Lengthy ded­i­ca­tion to shire cel­e­brated

Southern Riverina news - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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