Woodgate awards Justice of the Peace
John serves community for more than 25 years as a JP
HIS ink pad has stamped thousands of documents and witnessed just as many signatures.
Woodgate’s well known justice of the peace has just been handed a certificate of appreciation for his decades of service.
Local resident John “Ian” Hillhouse proudly received the certificate, presented by local Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett, for 25 years as a justice of the peace.
Mr Hillhouse is enjoying retirement after living and working in Childers for longer than he wants to remember.
Less than a stone’s throw away from the beach, the Hillhouse home has a manicured lawn and lush tranquil garden full of tropical plants which blocks the ocean breeze.
Since retiring, he and his wife of 53 years, Fay, spend most of their time with friends and potting around in their garden.
“Now that I’m not working I can spend more time with the garden,” he said.
With health issues, Mr Hillhouse isn’t as active in the community as he used to be but still provides the service of witnessing signatures.
Mr Hillhouse said he had signed birth registration forms then years later signed forms for passports.
“I have signed, dated and stamped thousands of forms and people continue to ask for legal advice,” he said.
With his sense of humour, Mr Hillhouse laughs off all the questions he has been asked over the years.
“Some people think I have a background in law and ask for advice, which I continually say I only witness signatures.
“For some reason, and my experience, people seem to confide in JPs.”
Local Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said it was an honour to present Mr Hillhouse with the award for his service in the community.
It takes a community minded person to dedicate almost 30 years to volunteering their time.
“I congratulate Mr Hillhouse and thank him for his many years of voluntary service as a justice of the peace,” Mr Bennett said.
“It’s a role that often goes unnoticed in the community, but is highly valued by those who need assistance and advice.”
Mr Hillhouse started his career in the 70s as the owner of Isis Tyre Service in Childers and sold that years later to move into real estate.
Woodgate has grown over the decades with more shops and even a pub.
Mr Hillhouse said that, years ago, everyone had a pub under their house in Woodgate, as there was no pub in the town.
“We made our own entertainment and now there is always something happening in Woodgate.
“We had a holiday house in Woodgate for many years before deciding to retire here.”
Mr Hillhouse has had an exciting life living in the Isis district and raising a family with his wife.
“I spent many years as an auctioneer in the region, auctioning off farming equipment and properties.
“It was the best job I had.”
People seem to confide in JPs. — John Hillhouse
THANKS FOR 25 YEARS: John Hillhouse and MP Stephen Bennett.