Re­flec­tions on an ‘ad­ven­ture’

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL News Staff

Af­ter three decades of ser­vice with two lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, South Glen­garry clerk Mar­i­lyn LeBrun is re­tir­ing at the end of the year.

“It’s been quite an ad­ven­ture. That’s for sure,” Mrs. LeBrun told The News last week.

“I’m go­ing to miss deal­ing with the public. I’ll miss my co-work­ers in the of­fice. I’ve loved all of the coun­cils that I’ve worked for, since I’ve been clerk. They’ve all been very good to me and very re­spect­ful.”

A South Lan­caster na­tive who still lives there with her hus­band of 31 years, Peter, Mrs. LeBrun first be­came a mu­nic­i­pal em­ployee in 1988 when she be­gan a 10-year stint as clerk for the for­mer Vil­lage of Lan­caster.

Fol­low­ing mu­nic­i­pal amal­ga­ma­tion across the prov­ince in Jan­uary 1998 – and con­se­quently, the cre­ation of the Town­ship of South Glen­garry through the merg­ing of the town­ships of Char­lot­ten­burgh and Lan­caster with the Vil­lage of Lan­caster – Mrs. LeBrun took on a new role, as re­source per­son for the newly-created town­ship fire depart­ment.

“We also amal­ga­mated five fire de­part­ments into one, and it was a tough job,” she re­called.

“It was pretty chal­leng­ing at times. It took a lot of work to get all the five for­mer chiefs to start to think about that and how they would work to­gether. But the fire chiefs in those early years taught me a lot about the fire ser­vice and all the good that they do for our com­mu­nity.”

Af­ter spend­ing close to a decade (from 1998 to 2006) in that role, Mrs. LeBrun de­vel­oped a deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion for vol­un­teers of the lo­cal bri­gade.

“I’ve al­ways had a bit of a soft spot for the fire depart­ment since then,” she said.

“I feel that some­times peo­ple over­look them, and all of the ser­vices that they pro­vide.”

Mrs. LeBrun be­came clerk in 2006 when ad­min­is­tra­tor-clerk Mar­cel Lapierre re­tired and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity sub­se­quently di­vided the po­si­tion into two of­fices by hir­ing a CAO and ap­point­ing Mrs. LeBrun as clerk.

Since as­sum­ing that ti­tle, she’s amassed a collection of mem­o­ries.

“One thing that re­ally stands out is the Ice Storm in 1998,” said Mrs. LeBrun.

“We amal­ga­mated on Jan­uary 1 and the Ice Storm came right af­ter that (Jan­uary 4). It was quite the way to be in­tro­duced to your new fire depart­ment, and all the other new em­ploy­ees that you were meet­ing.

“But we all came to­gether as if we’d worked to­gether for years.”

The launch of the Glen­garry County Ar­chives, through the col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­forts of both North and South Glen­garry town­ships, and County Archivist Al­lan MacDon­ald, is an­other high­light.

“It took a lot of years and a lot of work to get it go­ing, but we were al­ways be­hind get­ting that done, so it was re­ward­ing to see that,” said Mrs. LeBrun.

Al­though she ad­mits that she won’t be do­ing “any­thing too great,” at least dur­ing the early stages of her re­tire­ment, Mrs. LeBrun will def­i­nitely be keep­ing busy.

“Peter and I are go­ing to do Meals on Wheels. I think that’s a start, this win­ter,” she said.

“I’ve got a cou­ple of clos­ets to clean out, to get rid of some junk...and maybe we’ll just travel a bit.”

She also hasn’t ruled out step­ping away from the po­lit­i­cal scene to­tally.

“I may come back for the elec­tions (next year),” said Mrs. LeBrun, who’s served as mu­nic­i­pal re­turn­ing of­fi­cer and helped over­see the vot­ing process in the town­ship dur­ing the last sev­eral pro­vin­cial elec­tions. “We’ll see.”

Mrs. LeBrun leaves her post as clerk with­out any re­grets.

She’s also con­fi­dent in her suc­ces­sor.

“Kelli (Cam­peau, the town­ship’s cur­rent eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer) is go­ing to take my place...by the first meet­ing of the new year,” she said.

“Kelli tak­ing over is go­ing to be a good thing. And Bryan (Brown, town­ship CAO) is al­ways go­ing to be there as a good backup, and man­ager, so I feel very com­fort­able in leav­ing.”

Mar­i­lyn LeBrun

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