OUR MATE IAN ROWLAND HAS A SCARE, IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE! Normally on this page there are a number of items about happenings of interest on Coochiemudlo Island. Not so this month. You see, our good friend and island correspondent, Ian Rowland, is crook and has been laid up in hospital. In fact, if the truth be known, he has been really crook! A couple of weeks ago Ian had a heart attack and has ended up being admitted to Greenslopes Hospital. So, how serious was it? Well], from we can understand, it was pretty serious. Anyway, he told us in his inimitable style: “I wasn’t going to die, because I would make too many of my relatives extremely happy! (That’s Ian’s idea of joke) The heart attack is not Ian’s first. He has had attacks previously, but keeps on keeping on! As a result, Ian couldn’t do his usual few items for us this month, so we decided to one about him. You may remember, the last time we wrote about Ian was when he celebrated a remarkable milestone: 50 years as an active Justice of the Peace. He is also known for driving that Blue and White Mini Make of his rather erratically sometimes, around and about Coochiemudlo Island. Regarding his JP work and that 50 years milestone, he now has a special framed document from the Member for Redlands, Kim Richards, recognising his achievement. It was way back in 1970 when Ian Rowland was initially appointed a JP, then living in his home town of Bundaberg. He was somewhat of a ‘baby’ to the fraternity then at just 24 years of age. In fact, he is still in the top three youngest ever to be appointed a Justice of the Peace in Queensland! He told us recently: “ I had a very responsible job in the welfare sector at the time and I was required to take statements on oath on a daily basis. “I was an investigator in the welfare area, living and working in Bundaberg.” It was a different world in 1970. There were no cordless phones, answering machines, computers, let alone mobile phones or the internet or emails. It was mostly paperwork and JP’s were busy, unpaid people. Ian remembers: “But somehow we made it all work and I have helped thousands of people needing JP services over the years. “In the main the clients were decent, honest and friendly people who really appreciated the service.” Justices of the Peace are an important level in the justice system and operate a level under Court Magistrates. However, from time to time in unusual and emergency situations, JP’s are called upon to ‘fill-in’ for this important role. “I have ‘sat on the bench’ many times while travelling around the countryside. and the local court was a JP short.” There have been some funny incidents too. One particular client proved to be quite troublesome and unhelpful to himself, turning up without the required paperwork on two occasions. He was asked to go and get it all in order and to provide his mobile phone number to be contacted if there were any problems. The gentleman replied to Ian: “I don’t hand my phone number out to just anybody!” Ian Rowland says he first visited Coochiemudlo Island in 1964, and purchased his land in 1982, building his house in 1984. He moved here full time in 2003. As a Justice of the Peace for more than 50 years, Ian says today he is 10 times busier than he ever was on the mainland. “There is a lot of JP work on the island and, like all levels of government, the legal system has become more corporatised over the years, but the JP section is still a very efficient and effective system. “Ooverall, it has been a privilege,” Ian Rowland said. Fortunately, he has recovered somewhat from his latest heart attack, staying for a while on the mainland with one those relatives of his (we are sure they love him dearly!)
• Ian Rowland give us the ‘thumbs up’ from his hospital ‘luncheon'.