Working in the insurance industry for more than 20 years, becoming a Justice of the Peace was almost a necessity for Deniliquin’s Russ Fisher.
But Mr Fisher stuck with the voluntary position after his retirement, and this week he was celebrated for 50 years of service as a JP.
He was presented with a certificate of recognition at Sydney’s Parliament House on Wednesday by NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman and Member for Murray Austin Evans.
Mr Fisher attended the celebration wit his wife Bev.
He said it was a great experience to be involved in the formal ceremony, and said he also enjoyed meeting Mr Speakman and Mr Evans.
‘‘My pleasure was in meeting Austin Evans — I had never met him before and I found him to be quite an affable fellow,’’ Mr Fisher said.
‘‘I was the only JP from Murray (electorate) to attend the ceremony, so I got to spend a bit of time with him.
‘‘It was also wonderful to meet the other JPs from all over New South Wales. There would have been well over 100 there.’’
Mr Fisher was nominated as a JP in 1967 by then NSW Member for Murray Joe Lawson.
‘‘The main reason for becoming a JP was that in insurance there are a lot of forms and stat decs (statutory declarations), and finding a JP back then was like finding hen’s teeth,’’ Mr Fisher said.
‘‘It’s something you just do for the community and even though I am retired now I still get called on from time to time.’’
Mr Evans said it was an honour to have been involved in celebrating Mr Fisher’s dedicated service.
‘‘It is a remarkable achievement to provide half a century of service as a JP, and one that deserves to be honoured,’’ Mr Evans said.
‘‘As a JP of 50 years, Mr Fisher has played an important part in the legal system and in our community by helping hundreds of people at key moments in their lives, such as when they buy a house or access superannuation.’’
JPs serve as an independent witness to documents people use for official or legal purposes. The primary functions of a JP are to witness a person making a statutory declaration or affidavit, and to certify that a copy of an original document is a true and accurate copy.
People can search for a JP in their area by visiting the online public register at www.jp.nsw.gov.au.