Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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Valedictory Ceremony for the Hon. Justice Jones AO Print E-mail


The following speeches were delivered on the occasion of the retirement of the Far Northern Judge, the Honourable Justice Stanley Graham Jones AO 

The first speech was given by the Honourable Chief Justice de Jersey AC at the valedictory ceremony held at the Cairns Supreme Court on Friday 2 September 2011.

We join to farewell our colleague the Far Northern Judge, Justice Jones, upon his retirement from the Supreme Court. We do so with regret at his departure, but also gratitude for his contribution.

Justice Jones is highly respected by all his colleagues. Consistently, Judges who cannot be present here today are present in a virtual sense, by video-link from Brisbane, Rockhampton and Townsville. All Judges would wish to be associated with the observations I am about to make.

In welcoming all persons present this morning, I particularly note the presence of the Honourable the Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, Chief Justice Keane and Justice Dowsett of the Federal Court of Australia, both former members of this court, Judges of the District Court, the Chief Magistrate and Magistrates, retired Judges, Land Court member Mr Cochrane, Mayor Val Schier, Members of Parliament, Bishop Foley, Consuls and the Far Northern Judge Designate, Mr Jim Henry SC.

Justice Jones joined the Supreme Court on 2 October 1997, following a distinguished 33 year career in the practising profession, mostly as Counsel, and for the last 8 years as Queen’s Counsel. His Honour practised from Rockhampton, to which he contributed substantially, including as Chancellor for 13 years of Central Queensland University. That community contribution, and many others, were recognized by the nation in the year 2005 with his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia. He has also been awarded two honorary doctorates.

Justice Jones has discharged his judicial duties with great distinction. It is upon his role as the inaugural Far Northern Judge that I should dwell for a moment this morning.

Our colleague has established and developed the role of Far Northern Judge with great effectiveness, not only in accomplishing the heavy workload of this busy Supreme Court centre, but additionally, in presenting the Supreme Court to the regional community for the significant institution which it is. He has readily and regularly interacted in many ways with the civil community at all levels of government, at schools and the University, and through other community organizations, to the point where he is very well-known and respected as a fine community leader. Like the recently retired Northern Judge Justice Cullinane, Justice Jones has willingly embraced this aspect of the role of resident regional Supreme Court Judge, and what he has done has served to enhance community awareness of the work of the judicial branch of government at this high level, and reinforced respect for the court and its responsibility in the delivery of justice according to law and the maintenance of the rule of law.

In all these endeavours, our colleague has been greatly supported by his wife Helena, for whom all within the Supreme Court community feel great affection. Justice and Mrs Jones leave that community now with the warm appreciation of the court, and the Queensland, especially the Far North Queensland, community. We wish them all the very best as they embark upon a new chapter of their lives together.

The following speech was delivered by Karalyn Shaw, a former associate of the Justice Jones, on behalf of all of his associates, at his Honour's recent retirement dinner.  

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman.

In thanking you tonight on behalf of all your Associates, Judge, I would like to take the liberty of drawing on a few personal reflections.

When I first came to work with you, something which resonated deeply with me was the duality of your distinguished career devoted not only to the law but also to education. My parents firmly instilled in me their guiding philosophy that perhaps the greatest gifts anyone can impart are time and education and as your Associate, I had the privileged position, of being able to fully appreciate and admire first-hand, the extent of your service to both these fields.

Your Associates benefitted greatly from the combination of these prevailing interests in your life. To us, you were not only an astute, highly accomplished legal mind, also dedicated to the furtherance of higher education in this country, through your role as Chancellor of CQU for many years, but also, an impassioned teacher of the law, of the world and of life.

You never missed an opportunity to explain a complex rule of procedure, evidence or advocacy, enlighten us as to the etymology of a word or assist with our Latin pronunciation and derivation. You shared your immense general knowledge and taught us of geography, history, human rights, literature, poetry, music and art. We learned the importance of not judging prematurely, being compassionate, keeping an open mind and a sense of humour.

Some of my fondest memories range from our discussing and debating points of law and argument in the corridor between Chambers and Court - you encouraging me to reason, to question and to think - to our travels, circuits, French language, the finer things in life - fine wines, cuisine, whiskey and champagne (which was always all the sweeter at the end of a pile of reserved judgments)!

Concomitant with all this was your willingness to make time for us as individuals.You always made time to listen.

We hope, Judge, during our service to you, we contributed to a consummate teacher pupil symbiosis through our research, writing, proof-reading, organisational, people and I.T. skills not to mention ever-willing practical, helping hands and our individual natures, interests and experiences.

Being a Judge’s Associate is a position of immense privilege and equally, one of responsibility and trust. During our tenure, we shared in your day to day life and consequently came to meet, work with and know others close to you, including your family, colleagues and especially, your dedicated secretary, Di Chambers. I also wanted to extend our thanks to Di, Helena and all the Jones family for all they did in accommodating, guiding and assisting us.

An investment in education returns an immeasurable richness. Judge, we are all the more rich and feel truly privileged for working with and getting to know you. You have a fine mind and are a true gentleman - ever-patient and ever-courteous. We are all immensely grateful for your tutelage and time.

May you be richly rewarded in your retirement with contentment and fulfillment, for all you have given throughout your distinguished career to your profession, the
community and to others, generally.

I now ask if you would accept this gift from me, on behalf of all of your Associates, as a token of our gratitude.

Karalyn Shaw (nee Orr) BA LLB (UQ) LLM (QUT)
Associate to The Honourable Justice S.G. Jones AO 2001

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