Good Morning -- May it please the Court -- Honored Guests – Reverend Clergy -- members of the bar -- elected officials -- family and friends -- welcome to the installation of those recently elected to the various public offices of Somerset County. The Somerset County Bar Association is particularly delighted to participate today because we have two of our esteemed colleagues who are going to assume the bench. We are glad to see so many here to support them and those others who have chosen public service to continue their careers. For those first time office holders – welcome to the fray; to the others, welcome back.
We are, however, a bit saddened today as we say goodbye to two distinguished jurists in that President Judge, Eugene E. Fike, II and Judge Sandra Upor, are both retiring. We understand, though, that President Judge Fike will be continuing in Senior status and for that we are grateful. President Judge Fike has approached each day in his term with dignity, humility, and respect – both for the office and for those who put him there. It is fitting that he presides today because if all who will take their oaths shortly will approach their public service in the same way, the people of Somerset County will be well served for years to come. Judge Upor, while not serving nearly as long, has served in the same manner.
It is on occasions like these that we often reflect upon TIME and generally how quickly it passes. It is difficult to believe that President Judge Fike has been on the bench for 20 years now but it was in December 1985 when he first took his oath -- it truly seems as if it were only several years ago. I mention this only to remind us that every day is special, regardless of the path that each of us has chosen; particularly for those of us in the bar who go about our daily business trying to help others solve problems and these two men who will soon become the final arbiters of many situations -- and for all of you elected officials who will strive every day to assist others with or through a specific circumstance. Cherish the opportunity for it will all too soon be gone!! Congratulations to each of you and good luck as you begin or continue your service. Thank you.