Long-time town clerk Nancy Oates was honored for her years of service to the town Monday night at a retirement party, where several town employees thanked her for her hard work.
Town employees, residents, family and friends gathered at the Senior Center for refreshments and conversation, congratulating Oates on her retirement and remi niscing about various events throughout her tenure.
Selectmen Shawn Dahlen spoke on behalf of the board, and said Oates’ work had inspired him throughout the years.
“Nancy represents, to me, an ideal public servant who is willing to put everything into her job, not matter what it takes,” he said. “She was always there to help people out and do the right thing.
”When Dahlen’s kids were young, he and his family were about to go on vacation when he realized he did not have a birth certificate for one of his children. He called Oates at home after work on a Friday, explained the story, and she drove over to the Town Hall to give him a certified copy.
“Public service of that nature inspires the residents,” he said. “We are very appre- ciative of the work Nancy has done for this town.”
Former selectman Andre Martecchini said he might be one of the few people in town who has not known Oates since birth, but said he has appreciated the relationship he has cultivated with her over the years. In 1993, Martecchini said, he took out papers for an open Planning Board position, and Oates gave him all the information he needed.
“She was so nice and tried to educate me about finances and this and that,” he said.
Martecchini, who went through seven elections, said Oates always had a "very nice demeanor."
“That’s what it is to be a public servant,” he said. “The help you have given these people is very well remembered.”
ConservationAdministrator Joe Grady is one of the few town employees who was in town when Oates arrived and is still here as she leaves. “You are leaving me,” he joked.
Grady said Oates is the most helpful person the town could have, as she allowed department heads to go through the files in her office to recre- ate town meeting votes and understand what had happened in town before they had arrived. “You have always been helpful in that fashion,” he said. “Thank you for the work you’ve done for us.”
Town Manager René Read closed out the speeches by recalling when he first met Oates.
“It was probably in 2009 and I knew right away you were a tremendous innovator because you had opened the first drive through book store in town,” he said, referring to an incident in 2008 when Oates accelerated through the front wall of Westwinds Bookshop. “I remember you sending me a Christmas card that year and you signed it ‘Crash’.”
Read thanked Oates for her three decades of service to the town, overseeing town meetings, birth and death cer- tificates and annual elections, including eight presidential elections.
“The town of Duxbury thanks you for being such a positive public figure,” he said. “We are forever indebted and grateful.”