Alan Duncombe recognised for 50 years of service as JP in Crookwell

On March 12, 1969, Alan Duncombe was registered a Justice of the Peace (JP) making him one of the longest-serving JPs in the state.

Four Southern Tablelands residents were congratulated by the state government for their 50 years of service; Mr Duncombe of Crookwell, Peter Kay of Goulburn, Terence Legge and Anthony Parker of Yass.

Livestock agent Alan Duncombe (left) served as a JP in the 1960-70s to assist drought-affected graziers. Photo: SELX

Livestock agent Alan Duncombe (left) served as a JP in the 1960-70s to assist drought-affected graziers. Photo: SELX

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More than 250 JPs from around the state celebrated their Golden Jubilee at a ceremony held by the Attorney General of NSW, Mark Speakman, on October 22.

In the same year as the moon landing, Mr Duncombe was appointed by the Governor of NSW. He received a letter confirming his selection from the Under Secretary of the Chief Secretary's Department A G Kingsmill and a congratulatory letter from the Member for Goulburn Ron Brewer.

Mr Duncombe said being a JP was not unique.

"There were a few around and there always was before I became one."

He wanted to assist the clients of his livestock business Duncombe and Co.

"Being a country stock and station agent I felt that it would be a benefit to be able to serve rural graziers, particularly our clients, in the signing of declarations. For them to obtain transport and fodder subsidies under times of stress - drought - which we are now going through and was one when I first became a JP," Mr Duncombe said.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman, JP Tony Parker and Attorney General of NSW Mark Speakman.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman, JP Tony Parker and Attorney General of NSW Mark Speakman.

"Apart from signing these declarations there were all those country people who needed a JP to facilitate things such as obtaining a passport, general domestic things, if a government paper had to be witnessed for them to obtain say a pension. It wasn't all just altogether signing drought declarations."

Mr Duncombe said the rules have tightened.

"They insist the JP know the person personally or through their position in the town. It's not a blank cheque or anywhere near that now.

"In the past, in a country town, you did know the people."

To become a JP, a knowledge test must be passed and a nomination must be made by a member of the NSW Parliament.

JPs act as independent witnesses to documents. Their main functions are to witness affidavits and statutory declarations, and they may certify copies of original documents. JPs are volunteers.