Ranger John says farewell after 35 years

Ranger John says farewell after 35 years

After 35 years as a ranger with the City of Nedlands, John Anthony has more than a few shaggy dog stories to tell. But on 8 May, he will bid farewell to Nedlands. He is retiring – for now. “I’ll see how it goes,” he says.

John has been a familiar face around the City of Nedlands. He started as a ranger back in August 1980 in a part time position, before moving to full time the following year.

He has gotten to know many residents over the years – an aspect that has kept him in the job so long.

He has also liked the flexibility – he spends some of his time in the office but mostly he is out on the road, making sure parking limits are respected, there are no campers in our parks, or keeping an eye out for bushfires or people littering.

John has featured in the local papers a number of times over the years – once being nominated for Ranger of the Year by the grateful owner of a Hampden Road newsagency. As the burglar crawled out of the window he had broken to get into the newsagency, John appeared, casually saying “Gotcha”.

So surprised at being caught, the suspect nearly cut his throat on the broken glass as he jerked his head up.

His colleagues always enjoyed John’s stories on Thursday mornings, after he had spent Wednesday evenings out on patrol. Wednesday nights used to be big nights for uni students at Steve’s – there was always something going on and John and other rangers were regularly called in to help local police with security.

Back in the 80s, the police notified John and his colleagues of a break and enter in Swanbourne, and to keep an eye out for the suspect. During his patrol, John saw the suspect, took down his rego and reported it to the police. The police subsequently searched the car and found guns and $20-30,000 in stolen goods. A pretty good night’s work.

He’s rescued plenty of cats stuck up trees over the years, as well as reuniting dogs with their owners.
On one occasion back in the day, before the green bins came into use, he found a big old Labrador routing through rubbish bags left on the street. It was late, so instead of impounding the dog, he returned it to his owners and issued an infringement notice.

The next day, he received a letter, “written” by the dog, apologising for his behaviour. The dog explained he was an old man, and that he was only out walking and couldn’t help himself when he saw the rubbish. The infringement notice was subsequently cancelled.

Workshop Coordinator Alex Macarthur, another long-term Nedlands employee, says John has been great to work with.

He also jokes, “He’s trouble though – but don’t quote me!”

He’s looking forward to using his daughter’s travel discounts – she works for Virgin Australia training flight attendants – to see more of the world.

As a ranger, John and his colleagues provide a visible patrol of the City for the amenity and safety of residents and visitors. City vehicles are clearly visible and rangers welcome people approaching them in the field for advice or assistance.

Rangers are involved in ensuring compliance with many State Acts and Local Laws, such as parking, dogs, litter, camping and bushfires. Rangers encourage people to report any issues they observe, with date, time and details. Together we can all improve the safety and amenity of the City of Nedlands.