Page 375 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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At the age of 65, Magistrate Dainer retired from his position in the Magistrates Court but was then appointed a special magistrate and continued serving the ACT and the bench until 1998, when he reached 70 years of age. For the last five years on the bench he lent his expertise to the bulk of the coronial work in Canberra. Even after his retirement from the bench, John Dainer continued to sit on the Federal Police Disciplinary Tribunal, a role he served in from 1994 until 2000. He presided over his courtroom with a strong and steady hand. He showed compassion and understanding for his fellow human beings, both the accused and the defendants. His colleagues remember him for the way he treated with respect and dignity everyone who came through his court.

Many of the court staff and fellow members of the bench regarded JD as a good friend and he continued to keep in touch and play a part in their lives after he retired. John Dainer’s contribution to the legal system in the ACT made a positive difference to the lives of many and I again express my condolences at his death.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition): On behalf of the opposition, I wish to pass our condolences and best wishes to the family of John Joseph Dainer, to his wife, Bette, to his children and his grandchildren, and offer them our sympathies at this time.

John Joseph Dainer—JD as he was known—had a distinguished career. He had humble beginnings as a railway clerk, then joined the New South Wales Police Force, then became a student. He was admitted to the bar as a barrister, served on and off in the RAAF, both as a permanent and reserve officer, and ultimately, in 1973 joined the ACT courts as a magistrate and as a coroner.

On behalf of the opposition, I would like to thank him for his years and years of service to his community, particularly this city, and for the work that he did in the role as both magistrate and coroner. I will leave it to my colleague Mr Stefaniak, who knew John Dainer very well, to offer some personal reflections, but on behalf of the opposition I extend our condolences to his family at this time.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services): I will be quite brief. I wish to join this Assembly in passing condolences on to Bette and the rest of the family on John’s passing. All of my childhood was spent as an air force kid. A couple of the people who passed through my life as an air force kid were John Dainer, and Bette. John and Bette were good friends of my parents.

I have particular memories of evenings at Butterworth when John and Bette actually joined us quite a few times. I was a kid with his nose pressed up against the windowpane at the time, but they were having a great time. So I felt his passing a bit acutely. Those people who have been service kids will know that attachments are not formed and firmed up very often; you do not actually get time in one place to get to know and get attached to people. Within the air force and army life particularly what happens is that, as you pass through the night, you see people and then you become attached to them because you see them so frequently and get to know them. Such was the case with John Dainer and his family and my family.

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