MECHANIC FALLS — Carl Beckett was recognized as this year’s Outstanding Public Sector Volunteer at the 30th Governor’s Awards for Service and Volunteerism ceremony in Augusta.

As a continuance of this recognition, visitors to the Mechanic Falls Municipal Building can’t help but notice the large poster in the council chamber corridor with a picture of Beckett, his contagious grin and words announcing: “Carl Beckett has been an insightful and inspiring influence in the Mechanic Falls region for decades. His contributions to his community span over 50 years of volunteering.”

“When you are in a community, you should pay it forward,” Beckett said. “You owe it; you should give, but I am really pleased with the recognition. This is payback, I never expected the payback.”

Beckett, a native of Topsham, began his service to residents of the town in 1962 when he arrived to teach at Mechanic Falls Junior High School.

Four years later, Beckett and his wife, Frances, whom he had married in 1959, decided that Mechanic Falls would be a good place to raise their son, Mark, and daughter, Karen, and they took up residence on a large parcel on North Street.

Beckett taught at the school until 1970 and transferred to the Auburn school system, teaching fourth and sixth grades for 20 years.


“It’s a long story, my becoming a teacher,” Beckett said, “but I was born to be a teacher, and because I hated school when I was a kid, no student of mine was going to say my classes were dumb or boring or a waste of time.”

Beckett noted that the essence of teaching is giving knowledge, time and experience, and that his lifetime of volunteering in the broader community was an extension of who he was.

During the past five decades Beckett has served on the:

* Mechanic Falls 75th Anniversary Celebration Committee;

* Planning Board for three years:

* Budget Committee for 10 years;


* Mechanic Falls School Committee for four years;

* Building Committee for the Elm Street School junior high addition;

* Consolidation steering committee for School Union 29;

* Regional School Unit 16 board of directors for three years; and

* Tri-Town Optimist Club as a director for 12 years.

With his 80th birthday coming in July, Beckett continues to be involved in community affairs, not only with the Optimist Club, but as an active member of the Mechanic Falls Revenue Enhancement Committee.

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