by John Foley

A notable milestone occurred at the Timaru Courthouse on September 23 when Waimate’s Dr Marieta Chan was sworn in as South Canterbury’s first Filipino Justice of the Peace. District Court Judge David Saunders inducted and presented Dr Chan with the justice’s warrant.

Russell Hendry, president of the South Canterbury Justices Association, congratulated her and expressed the wish that she would obtain much satisfaction in service under the appointment.

Dr Chan, who has a PhD in educational planning and management, joined her husband Philip — a herd manager — to live on a Waimate farm about
six years ago.

She is currently a department production supervisor at the Alliance Group’s Pukeuri Freezing Works.

She is prominent in Filipino gatherings in the North Otago and Waimate districts, which involve up to fifty family groups.

Dr Chan is also active in Waimate St Patrick’s parish affairs and she leads devotional practices.

Parishioners are honoured and proud over her appointment as Justice of the Peace. Included in a large gathering to witness the appointment ceremony were Fr Joaquin Camano (assistant priest), Alliance Company management, Filipino friends from Oamaru and South Canterbury, district justices and supporters.