Gov­er­nor recog­nises long-serv­ing JP

Southern Telegraph - - News - Pierra Wil­lix

Serv­ing as a jus­tice of the peace for more than 50 years, Safety Bay’s Bruce Bai­ley has many in­ter­est­ing sto­ries to tell.

While work­ing as a prison of­fi­cer in sev­eral WA pris­ons, Mr Bai­ley said he had al­ways been in­ter­ested in the ju­di­cial process and de­cided to sign up to vol­un­teer as a JP in 1968.

There are nearly 3000 JPs in WA. They are ap­pointed by the Gov­er­nor, who au­tho­rises them to carry out a wide range of of­fi­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive and ju­di­cial du­ties in the com­mu­nity.

Part of the role in­volves po­lice of­fi­cers reg­u­larly call­ing in on Mr Bai­ley to sign doc­u­ments such as search war­rants.

How­ever, when he first started the job, Mr Bai­ley’s fre­quent vis­its by po­lice got his neigh­bours talk­ing.

“In the 1970s I lived in Mt Pleas­ant and there was a lady liv­ing in the same street a few doors down,” he said.

“She was a busy­body and knew all about peo­ple’s busi­ness and so when she saw the po­lice com­ing and go­ing from my place she be­came sus­pi­cious and told all of our neigh­bours that I was a ‘bad man’.”

Mr Bai­ley had to un­dergo two years train­ing to be­come a JP, which in­cluded hav­ing to take part in sev­eral mock court tri­als where par­tic­i­pants would be as­sessed on their knowl­edge of the le­gal sys­tem.

Ear­lier this month Mr Bai­ley was recog­nised for his ser­vice and was awarded a Vol­un­teer Ser­vice Award by WA Gov­er­nor Kim Bea­z­ley at a re­cep­tion at Govern­ment House.

The awards recog­nised 53 longserv­ing vol­un­teers from around the State and co­in­cided with In­ter­na­tional Vol­un­teer Day, held around the world an­nu­ally on De­cem­ber 5.

Pic­ture: Pierra Wil­lix

JP Bruce Bai­ley and his wife Mervelln.

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