THE last man in the line of Bathurst Deputy Sheriff’s retired yesterday after the official unveiling of a commemorative plaque at the Bathurst Court House.
NSW Sheriff Chris Allen made presentations to the last two volunteer deputies to serve in Bathurst, Bill Crawford and Alex Bedwell during a brief ceremony at the opening of District Court sittings.
Mr Crawford’s last duties were to welcome Judge John Nield and staff, Sheriff’s officers, the local court registrar and the legal profession.
Mr Crawford has voluntarily fulfilled the role of Deputy Sheriff since 1994.
After the ceremony Mr Crawford said his appointment had been a symbolic role following his predecessor Alex Bedwell who had recommended him to follow in his footsteps 14-years-ago.
“Ceremonially welcoming the judges of the Supreme Court and District Court from 1994 through to today’s welcome to Judge Nield in the District Court,” Mr Crawford said.
“Deputy Sheriffs have usually ensured the judge and his wife or partner have satisfactory accommodation, making their stay a happy one. It has involved organising relaxation away from the court, often a game of golf before or after sittings.”
Mr Allen related how the Office of the Sheriff was first established in Australia by the Charter of Justice in 1824. Prior to this, the duties of the Sheriff were performed by the Provost Marshal of the Colony of NSW.
From the earliest days there were Deputy Sheriff’s, an unknown number prior to the four honoured yesterday Cyril Suttor (1935-2959), Arch Gardiner (1959-1979), Alex Bedwell (1979-1994) and Bill Crawford who served between 1994
“The 1824 charter also created the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,” Mr Allen said.
“In 1834 NSW included the whole of the eastern half of Australia, as well as Van Dieman’s Land now Tasmania.”
Mr Allen said it was a historic moment in Bathurst yesterday with Mr Crawford the last person to hold office in the second oldest public position in English Law locally.
“The only public offices older than the Sheriff are the positions of King and Queen,” Mr Allen said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.