State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today announced that more than 30 Justices of the Peace from Caloundra had received long services awards in the last 12 months, representing over 1000 years of service to the community.
It comes as Mr McArdle last month presented three rare 50-year JP Long Service Awards, saying that the large number of people reaching their 25, 40 and 50 year milestone in Caloundra is a testament to the commitment of JPs in the region.
“It is comforting that we have such a strong contingent of dedicated Justices of the Peace here in Caloundra.” Mr McArdle said.
“More than just a document signatory, JPs are independent and objective witnesses who provide support to the legal fraternity within a community. We are lucky to have this dedicated group behind us.” Mr McArdle said.
Baden Hitchcock, David Valentine and George Williams (not pictured) this year celebrated their Golden Anniversaries as JPs. Mr McArdle presented the three veterans with their 50 year Long Service Awards signed by the Attorney-General, and asked them about their history helping the community.
David Valentine, 75, joked about being gazetted as a JP on his name sake day, Valentine’s Day in 1967. Mr Valentine because a JP as part of his job in the insurance industry in Mackay and spent much of his time assisting new immigrants arriving in the region.
“In Mackay in the 1960’s there was a large Maltese community. Many of the older generation could not read or write so I had to witness a lot of documents for those who owned the sugar cane farms.” Mr Valentine said.
Baden Hitchcock, 86 originally became a JP while working for Commonwealth Bank Loans Department and later became a Commissioner of Declaration. Mr. Hitchcock agreed that up-and-coming JPs could benefit from understanding the law which is critical for them to perform their role.
In December of last year Mr McArdle also presented Currimundi resident Colin Stubbins with a long service award for notching up an impressive 60 years of 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 with two of his children deciding to follow in dad’s footsteps and work in the justice system.
“JPs really are part of the legal framework in Queensland and without them the law simply would not operate.” Mr McArdle said.
“I hope that Caloundra’s future generations are inspired to carry on the rich history of the Justice of the Peace and Commissioner of Delectations that we have here.” Mr McArdle said.
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.