Municipal staff praise work of now retired administrative assistant, over the years

Melanie Chatwell retired from her position of administrative assistant of the municipality of Gordon/Barrie Island on May 27. In photo, left to right, is Gordon/Barrie Island Reeve Lee Hayden, Melanie Chatwell and Carrie Lewis, clerk of Gordon/Barrie Island

GORDON/BARRIE ISLAND – While Melanie Chatwell is looking forward to retirement, her colleagues and municipal representatives praise her for the work she has done over her years working with Gordon/Barrie Island.

“Melanie definitely deserved a big sendoff for everything she has done for the municipality,” Carrie Lewis, clerk for Gordon/Barrie Island told the Expositor upon the retirement of Melanie Chatwell, a long-time member of the office staff, last Thursday.

“Melanie has been working for Gordon/Barrie Island the past 13 years as an administrative assistant,” said Ms. Lewis. “She has been great in doing this job, but the job has been a lot more than administrative assistant. She has taken on and carried out work on so many different things in the office over the years. She is definitely going to be missed.”

Lee Hayden, reeve of Gordon/Barrie Island, told The Expositor, “On behalf of council I would like to thank her for her years of dedicated service and commitment. And we wish her all the best in retirement.”

“Melanie has done a tremendous job over the past 13 years,” said Reeve Hayden. “The municipality has seen incredible changes over the years, including amalgamation, and she adapted very well with all of this. We appreciate all her hard work and dedication. Sometimes it can be a thankless job working at the front counter of a municipal office; you see the best and worst of people in different situations. Melanie took all of this in stride and handled things very well in all situations.”

“It’s simple to make the decision to leave a job, but it is hard to leave the people behind,” stated Ms. Chatwell when contacted by The Expositor. “It’s the people that I’m going to miss the most, office staff and community members.”

Ms. Chatwell said, “this has been a great place to work, and working in a small municipal office you have to learn how everything operates.” 

As for retirement, Ms. Chatwell said, “I just hope to see my daughters  and their families, including my (four) grandsons. It’s been nine months since I’ve been able to see them (due to the pandemic). My main thing will be spending time with my grandchildren; I don’t really want to make any other plans beside that for now, and I’m hoping that my husband will be retiring soon and we can do some things that we haven’t been able to spend time doing over the years, because of work commitments.”