Recognition of fifty years of service as Justices of the Peace for Coffs Coast residents

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh with some of our long-serving JP’s (from left) Terry Shorten, Graham Short, Reinhold Pensch, Tom Strickland and John Horsburgh. Photo: David Tune.


ON Friday 11 December, the Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh presented Golden Jubilee service awards recognising over 50 years of individual service as a JP to eight local residents.

Justices of the Peace (JPs) are volunteers appointed by the Governor of New South Wales, and their primary role is to witness a person making a statutory declaration or affidavit, and to certify copies of original documents.

A JP is trusted to be honest and impartial when performing their functions and are bound not to refuse to provide JP services unreasonably, charge a fee or accept a gift for providing JP services, assist or write in a statutory declaration or affidavit or provide legal advice.

Most of the gentlemen that were recognised became JPs as a part of their employment, providing the services in house to their employer and members of the public.

The recipients John Horsburgh, Tom Strickland, Terry Shorten, Michael Howlin, Michael Goodwin, Reinhold Pensch, Graham Short and Brian Barry (dec.) were presented with certificates and commendations from the Justice Department by Mr Singh.

The local member addressed the gathering, stating, “Much has changed in these 50 years and these local residents have witnessed important developments over this time.

“They’ve also been there for people at pivotal points in their lives such as buying and selling property, applying for a passport or accessing superannuation.

“I extend my sincere gratitude to them for the countless hours of hard work they’ve invested in helping others and supporting the efficient operation of our legal system.”

Practicing JP Jill Woodcock said, “We are always looking for people to volunteer and become JPs so we can continue to offer services such as the JP desk at Park Beach Plaza which is open from 10am to 2pm Monday to Thursday, and we are hoping to restart the service at Toormina Gardens shopping centre soon as well.”


By David TUNE

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