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Former Caribou City Clerk surprised with prestigious statewide award

CARIBOU, Maine — Former Caribou City Clerk Jayne Farrin had no idea she would receive the prestigious Ethelyn Stuart Marthia Award during the Maine Town and City Clerk Association’s annual meeting held virtually on Sept. 15. 

Farrin, who retired on Aug. 3, served Caribou for 13 years, with 10 as city clerk and three as deputy city clerk.

Farrin thought she was attending the swearing in of newly appointed Caribou Deputy Clerk Sue Skidgell as the MTCCA first vice president, but her colleagues erupted into applause for her when she entered the Caribou city office. 

CARIBOU, Maine — September 15, 2020 — Former Caribou City Clerk Jayne Farrin hugs recently appointed Caribou Deputy City Clerk Sue Skidgell following a Maine Town and City Clerk Association meeting. Farrin was surprised with the prestigious Ethelyn Stuart Marthia Award during the meeting and Skidgell was sworn in as the MTCCA First Vice President. (Chris Bouchard | Aroostook Republican)

“Thank you,” Farrin, who seemed to be at a loss for words upon hearing the announcement of her award, said. “Thank you from Caribou, Maine. Thank you. I don’t know what to say.”

“We got her here today because she thought she was being invited to support me as I was being sworn in, which was actually the truth,” Skidgell said. “This lady has meant a lot to me over the years. We’re both going to cry.”

Ethelyn Stuart Marthia served as both MTCCA president and vice president, in a myriad of organizations and committees, and was the 1995 Maine Clerk of the Year and a Lorraine M. Fleury award recipient. The award is not given out annually, and is reserved for those who exemplify the extraordinarily high standards set by Marthia throughout her career.

CARIBOU, Maine — September 15, 2020 — Caribou Tax Assessor Penny Thompson, left, former Caribou City Clerk Jayne Farrin, and Caribou City Manager Dennis Marker stand with Farrin as she holds the Ethelyn Stuart Marthia Award after a Maine Town and City Clerk Association meeting. Thompson and Marker worked with Farrin’s former colleagues to surprise her with the award during the meeting. (Chris Bouchard | Aroostook Republican)

“Quite frankly I didn’t see myself fitting the criteria,” Farrin said after receiving the award. “So it really is a surprise, and I thank the clerk staff and the city manager [Dennis Marker], and the support from the city over the years for training and education. I don’t know what else to say.”

“Jayne was very surprised,” said Caribou City Tax Assessor Penny Thompson. “You don’t know if someone is sniffing out your deceptions. Mr. Marker and I actually talked about nominating her for Clerk of the Year last year, but she was determined to nominate Kalen Hill for Deputy Clerk of the Year.”

Thompson said she and Marker discussed nominating Farrin this year, but found out that she would not be eligible because of her retirement.

CARIBOU, Maine — September 5, 2020 — Caribou City Clerk Danielle Brissette, left, Assistant City Clerk Cherie Garman, former Caribou City Clerk Jayne Farrin, and Caribou Deputy City Clerk Sue Skidgell stand with Farrin as she holds the prestigious Ethelyn Stuart Marthia Award after a Maine Town and City Clerk Association meeting. Farrin’s former colleagues surprised her with the award by inviting her to the ceremony for solely for Skidgell’s swearing in as MTCCA First Vice President. (Chris Bouchard | Aroostook Republican)

Farrin also commended Skidgell on her nomination as first vice president of the MTCCA.

“This is a big deal,” said Farrin of Skidgell’s recent swearing in.

“It’s an honor and a privilege,” said Skidgell. “Over the years, councilmen and selectboard members have been instrumental in budgeting for us clerks, so I’d like to give a shout out to the selectboard people and council people who do the budget every year. Within the budget, they have training for us so that we can be the best that we can be and serve the community the best that we can serve them.”

Skidgell has 15 years of deputy clerk experience, serving the towns of Mapleton, Castle Hill and Chapman. She was appointed as Caribou’s deputy city clerk in early August. 

She also commended Farrin for receiving the prestigious award.

“The Ethelyn Stuart Marthia Award isn’t handed out every year, and Jayne would be the first one, not only from Caribou, but the first from Aroostook County to receive it,” Skidgell said.

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