Penny Duguay, standing at right, is retiring after serving as clerk/treasurer for the town of Mexico since 1996. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — Friday’s retirement party for Penny Duguay was supposed to be a surprise, but after 28 years, not much escapes the watchful eye of the town’s clerk/treasurer.

At the conclusion of the day’s work at the Town Office, more than 30 fellow employees, family and friends honored Duguay with a cookout, kind words and stories.

“I appreciate everybody coming,” Duguay said. “I thank you very much. This is over and above anything that I expected.”

When longtime clerk/treasurer Calvin Lyons retired in 1996, Duguay said she ran for the position, won, and has served as clerk/treasurer ever since.

“I just enjoyed helping the citizens,” she said. “I enjoyed the elections. I served under five town managers, from the beginning. Tim (Kelcourse) was the first one.”

Duguay recalled that she first worked for the town for two years as a part-time worker in the town office in the late ’80s, then left the position to start a family. She then returned as part-time office help in January of 1994 under then Town Manager Jane Fiore.

Over her tenure as clerk/treasurer, Duguay said the biggest change was how she did her work, thanks to the improvement of technology offered through the computers.

“She’s worked very hard and was dedicated to the town of Mexico,” Board of Selectman Chairman Richard Philbrick said. “I really appreciate all the service she has done.”

Duguay’s last duty will be to oversee the referendum vote on Tuesday, to be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. downstairs in the Calvin Lyons Meeting Room at the Town Office.

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