Retired pastor Reverend Herman Ruyters has been recognised for his 40 years of service to the Toowoomba community as a Justice of the Peace.

Rev Ruyters travelled to Australia from the Netherlands for a working holiday in 1970 and has resided in the community ever since. “I came for a working holiday when I was 23 but I met my wife the same day I landed in Ann Street, Brisbane,” Rev Ruyters said. His 40 years of service was spent working hard as the demands of the job allow for little downtime. “That was the end of the holiday and I have been working ever since – there is no retirement for ministers and no retirement for JPs,” he said.

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP congratulated Rev Ruyters on his dedicated service to the community both through his work as a JP and a pastor. His contribution to the community will continue to live on through the programs, speeches and charity he undertook. “Herman is known for taking Rangeville Community Church into the community,” Mr Janetzki said. “Especially with co-founding the space pilots program.”

Rev Ruyters said the space pilots program for boys was very popular. “We had an amazing number of single mums bring their boys in for the program because it was the only place the boys would get oversight by men,” Rev Ruyters said. He retired from being the Senior Pastor at the Rangeville Community Church five years ago but continued to work as a JP for that time. Mr Janetzki presented Rev Ruyters with a certificate for his 40 years service as a JP.

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