Lengthy dedication to shire celebrated
Berrigan Shire Council has paid tribute to long serving staff and councillors with a special cerebration last week.
Barooga-based John Bruce celebrates his 20th year as a councillor this year, and Tocumwal’s Colin Jones has notched up his 10th year.
Three shire staff members were also celebrated for long service — Ken Jamieson and Alan Heard both for 40 years and Alan Lawrence for 45 years.
Each was celebrated at the annual Berrigan Shire staff awards, held at the Berrigan Sportsground on Thursday.
Cr Bruce’s last 20 years will be best remembered for his 10 years as shire mayor, with his first stint from 2000, then again from 2004 until 2011.
He said one of his biggest highlights was the opening of the Cobram-Barooga bridge in 2006 linking the NSW and Victorian towns.
‘‘The infrastructure we’ve worked on in the past 20 years has been outstanding,’’ Cr Bruce said.
‘‘From our libraries to the recreation reserves they are all so important to each town.
‘‘Another highlight was meeting with Prime Minister John Howard in 2006 out the back of the Finley RS Club.
‘‘I’ve really enjoyed my time, it’s been an educating experience understanding how local government works.
‘‘You also learn how to deal with people and understand that there are two sides to every story and in some cases three sides.
‘‘I’ve been very lucky to have a really great group of staff members. They can change around but the system they have is excellent and I’ve worked well with a lot of them including Rowan Perkins (general manager).
‘‘I’ve also been able to do a lot of is travel and explore the other shire towns.’’
Cr Jones said it felt pretty good to reach 10 years.
‘‘I’ve learned a lot since joining, such as how local government is run and how frustrating it can be to deal with the state government, especially the way they shift the costs onto us.
‘‘The Tocumwal Foreshore funding we received earlier this year has been the biggest highlight.
‘‘At the age of 75, I’m not sure if I’ll reach John Bruce’s 20 year milestone though,’’ Cr Jones said with a laugh.
Berrigan Shire long service staff (from left) Ken Jamieson, Alan Lawrence and Alan Heard.
Berrigan Shire Councillors Colin Jones and John Bruce.