Nine shire residents thanked for 50 years service as JPs

JPs acknowledged for 50 years' service at a function held at Sylvania Bowling Club: Front l to r: Barry Krywulycz, George Jones, Kenneth Lewis, Peter Rochaix. Back l to r: Mark Speakman MP, Robert Ellicott, Kenneth Arthur, Alan Moir, David Nary, Colin Shanahan, Eleni Petinos MP.
JPs acknowledged for 50 years' service at a function held at Sylvania Bowling Club: Front l to r: Barry Krywulycz, George Jones, Kenneth Lewis, Peter Rochaix. Back l to r: Mark Speakman MP, Robert Ellicott, Kenneth Arthur, Alan Moir, David Nary, Colin Shanahan, Eleni Petinos MP.

Colin Shanahan has a simple explanation for his 50 years of services as Justice of the Peace (JP).

"I'm just a bit old fashioned - I don't mind helping people," he said.

"That's how it all started, and I still enjoy it."

Mr Shanahan is one of nine JPs from the state electorates of Cronulla and Miranda, who have just reached the 50-year service milestone.

Attorney-General and Cronulla MP Mark Speakman and Miranda MP Eleni Petinos thanked them for their service at a function at Sylvania Bowling Club.

The office of JP dates back to 1195, when Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) appointed knights to keep the peace in troublesome areas, and has evolved over many centuries.

These days, JPs serve as independent witnesses to documents people use for official or legal purposes.

JPs used to hold the office for life, but renewal now takes place every five years.

All nine of those who were recognised for 50 years' service are still active JPs.

Most said they became JPs through work, but happily continued in the role at the end of their career.

Robert Ellicott added it was also helpful in clubs and "and, of course, mates are always looking for a JP".

Kenneth Arthur said, "It's good to help people out", while Alan Moir, who "retired last century", added, "It's just a pleasure and a honour".

David Nary expects to be kept busy having "just moved into a retirement village, where, out of 110 oldies, I am the only JP".

George Jones has been able to be of help to many in the Greek community, while Kenneth Lewis became a JP in the interests of the environment.

"I was a member of the Conservation Foundation of Australia [which was founded in 1965] and, at the time, we had a need for people to have legal qualifications to put our case forward to the government," Mr Lewis said.

Mr Speakman told the group, "All of you have been witnessing many important events in the lives of other people....You have been there at critical life moments".

"Thank you so much for your service, sometimes in the workplace sometimes volunteers helping the community.

"We know here in the shire we are incredibly blessed with volunteers.

"We have one of Australia's highest volunteering rates - people in surf clubs, the Rural Fire Service, SES, clubs, church groups, outreach groups with senior citizens, youth groups...

"JPs are a big part of this and the whole community really appreciates what you have done."

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