Meet local face Bill Gilbert

Kiama MP Gareth Ward praises Mr Gilbert for his service to the community.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward praises Mr Gilbert for his service to the community.

One of the state’s longest-serving Justices of the Peace resides in Kiama.

Bill Gilbert was presented with a commendation for 50 years of service last week.

You may not have heard of Mr Gilbert – he’s a quiet achiever and reluctantly agreed to an interview.

But we think his contribution to the community is worth recognising.

Mr Gilbert, a retired chief scientist, spent his entire career at Prince Alfred Hospital, and when he realised there was a need for a JP service at the hospital, he filled the need.

“People are always looking for a JP whether it’s just simple witnesses of a signature or something more complicated," Mr Gilbert said.

“They get a bit worried if they can’t find anyone.”

Mr Gilbert continued his volunteering into retirement.

He has lived in Kiama for 19 years, where he has also volunteered with the Kiama Lions Club.

“What I love most about Kiama is the people, the whole community,” he said.

“Where ever you go in Kiama, people will talk to you.”

He has been happily married to his wife, Jeanette, for 54 years.

His favourite thing to do in Kiama is spend time with his loved ones.

“I have a big family, we spend a lot of time seeing our six sons, one grandson and 13 granddaughters,” Mr Gilbert said.

“We love to go and see them at their chosen activities.”

Kiama MP Gareth Ward praised Mr Gilbert for his commitment to the community.

“It is a remarkable achievement to provide half a century of service as a JP, and one that deserves to be honoured,” Mr Ward said.

“As a JP of 50 years, Bill Gilbert 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, access superannuation or go to court.

“JP’s 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.

“There are nearly 95,000 JPs in NSW, together volunteering hundreds of thousands of hours to their communities and assisting the efficient functioning of our legal system.

“The NSW Government introduced commemorative certificates for 50 years of service as a JP in 2012. Since then, more than 2000 certificates have been awarded.

“This commemorative certificate is a small way of saying thank you to Kiama resident Bill Gilbert for his outstanding contribution to our local community.”