His son-in-law, Keith, and six grandchildren had applied for special consideration to be able to come from New South Wales.
Peter Jones presented John with letters and certificates from those who represent the people, starting with the local member for Bancroft, Chris Whiting MP, and working his way up the “food chain”: Hon Luke Howarth MP, Federal Member for Petrie; Councillor Peter Flannery, Mayor of Moreton Bay Regional Council; Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland; His Excellency The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland; Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia; General David Hurley, Governor-General of Australia – all the way to the top: Elizabeth, to which John commented, “She won’t be very long after me”.
Messages of congratulations also came from John’s Antarctic colleagues: Kim Ellis, Director of the Australian Antarctic Division; Richard Unwin, President of ANARE; David Dodd, Treasurer of ANARE and David Parer and Elizabeth Parer-Cook. Two National Council members, David Dodd and Brian Harvey, had arranged for a plaque which Trevor Luff, National Secretary, then presented to John.
During Trevor’s address to the party goers, he spoke of his five-year project to record John’s life as an Antarctic Engineer, which resulted in the publication of Antarctic Engineer. Co-author of the book, Dale Jacobsen, was also present to share in this significant milestone in the life of John Russell.