Friday, July 4, 2008

After 33 Years North Berwick Town Clerk
Set To Retire

By Ron Long
Staff Columnist

Janet Belmain who is North Berwick’s first full time Town Clerk is set to retire on July 18, 2008 after 33 years of dedicated service.
Janet, who is better known as Jan, was born in York and moved to North Berwick as a very young child. Raised and educated in North Berwick, Jan has seen her share of changes. Jan’s mom Merriam Cole served as the North Berwick tax collector and treasurer from 1964 to 1988. Merriam would hand write the tax bills and then line up the children and grandchildren to lick stamps and stuff envelopes. Jan would go in and help out, just to help out. Some of the other changes Jan has seen since becoming Town Clerk include the use of computers, the change from paper ballots and hand counting to optical scanners, the number of town selectmen from 3 to 5, the hiring of the first Town Manager, and the refurbishing of her old school building into what is now the North Berwick Town Hall. Jan, who was first elected to the position, has seen that change to an appointed position. Jan commented, “I have seen the Town Clerk position change from a job into a profession.”
North Berwick resident and Selectmen Elaine Folsom worked for Jan as a Deputy Town Clerk. She said, “Jan means a lot to the Town of North Berwick and she will surely be missed.” Friendly, hardworking, dedicated, and she knows her job – is how Folsom describes Jan. “When you had a question on elections or whatever, Jan knew the answer,” Folsom concluded.
Jan has been married to husband Dick for 45 years. The couple has two children, a son Steven and daughter Chris. Steven has a PhD in Entomology and lives in London, England with his wife who is a lawyer. They have two sons, the oldest of which sings in “The Queens Choir” at the Savoy Chapel. Chris is now Deputy Town Clerk for the Town of North Berwick. She lives in Berwick with her husband who is in the biotech industry and their son.
While Jan and Dick love to travel, they have no immediate plans except to watch their three grandsons grow up. Spending family time and enjoying life is their only plan.
Jan’s co-workers, friends, and family want to invite everyone to join them in celebration of Janet Belmain’s 33 years of service as Town Clerk. The celebration will be held on Sunday, July 27 from 3-6 pm at The North Berwick Community Center, 264 Lebanon Road, North Berwick. Cake, coffee and punch will be served.

Caption: Dick and Jan Belmain. (Courtesy photo)