Still passionate about the law

September 09, 2017

ENDLESS PASSION: Lance Woodhouse is still working in the legal industry after 60 years.

Many workers count down the days till their retirement when they will never have to work again, but not Lance Woodhouse.

At 92, the Shepparton local still works hard with a passion that has not diminished after decades in the job.

A lawyer since 1954, Mr Woodhouse worked at law firm Felthams and later Dawes and Vary.

He officially retired two years ago but decided that sitting down at home was not for him.

Instead, despite being officially retired he will still work several days a week as a Notary Republic.

‘‘I know a lot of people have no option but to retire, but I think if you still have the ability and you are well enough to continue, why not,’’ Mr Woodhouse said.

Each day could be bring something new to his desk from someone that could be in need of his unique skills.

He describes Notary Republics as similar to a Justice of the Peace. In Victoria Notary Publics usually have backgrounds as solicitors or attorneys, and help out with non-contentious matters such as witnessing documents and other administrative functions of an international nature.

With Shepparton’s multicultural community his skills were always in demand.

On any given day, he could be helping prove to the Iraqi Government that one of their former citizens is alive and well and living in Shepparton, or helping transfer a power of attorney across national borders.

‘‘Almost every day I do something,’’ he said.

His wife of 69 years, Wilma Woodhouse, said her husband still had more energy at 92 than many people she knew.

With more than six decades working in the field of law, you could think that a young Lance Woodhouse always had dreams of working in the legal system.

Instead, he came into the profession more or less by accident.

When he was in high school at Melbourne’s Scotch College, he planned to join the airforce as soon as he turned 18.

But when he went to enrol, he was barred from joining the airforce, as well as the army, due to his colour blindness and being partially deaf in one year.

He later took a job at University of Melbourne, where he later decided to become a student in its law faculty after gaining an interest in law.

After graduation he moved to Shepparton to work as a lawyer, where he did everything from criminal law to conveyancing.

Australians may be forced to work longer and longer in coming decades as the retirement age is set to gradually increase.

But Mr Woodhouse believes work is a good thing to be passionate about, even in his later years.

‘‘There is always something to do,’’ he said.

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