Currimundi resident Colin Stubbins was recently recognised for notching up an impressive 60 years’ service as a Justice of the Peace in Queensland.
Mr Stubbins, 81, became a JP when he was just 21 and is still active in the position to this day.
He was awarded with a certificate of recognition signed by the Attorney-General and presented by Caloundra MP Mark McArdle.
“I first started at the Nambour Court House as a clerk and then went down to Brisbane and learnt shorthand,” Mr Stubbins recalled.
“We were called court ‘recorders’ in those days and I had a shorthand speed of about 160 words per minute. You certainly couldn’t miss anything especially when the accused were giving evidence.
“So you’d take the witnesses evidence down in short hand as they gave their evidence in the courtroom and then later read it out to a typist to type it out.
Mr Stubbins said many of the judges were very understandable and good to work with but a few were opinionated and some even got a bit stroppy.
“Justice Kevin Row was the best judge I ever worked for and to this day we still catch-up for dinner,” he said.
“Because I was the only official court reporter I used to travel with him across Queensland for about 25 years.”
Mr Stubbins said he became a JP because he had a desire to help others, a sentiment that’s rung true with two of his children deciding to follow in dad’s footsteps and work in the justice system.
Daughter Sue is a retired court recorder and son Michael is currently the Director of Queensland Corrective Services, having spent 27 years in the court system in multiple positions including as a Registrar and Coroner.
“You want to make sure the law is upheld, you don’t get paid as a JP but it’s such an important position as we’re really the gatekeepers,” Michael said.
“It’s about wanting to make a difference and giving back.”
Mr McArdle praised Mr Stubbins for his incredible dedication to the justice system.
“JPs really are part of the legal framework in Queensland and without them the law simply would not exist,” Mr McArdle said.
“I thank Mr Stubbins for his outstanding service and hope he inspires others in the community to do the same.”
Just ten 60 Years of Service awards were presented to Queenslanders this year.
Under the JP and C.Dec Act, JP duties include issuing summonses, arrest warrants and search warrants, issuing justice examination orders, attending records of juvenile interviews, hearing bail applications, attending searches and witnessing the destruction of particulars.