Former Ellenburg Town Clerk Thelma LaBombard, in front of her former office in Ellenburg Center.
The last time Ellenburgh had a town clerk other than Thelma LaBombard, Richard Nixon was in the White House, gas cost 35 cents a gallon, and a dozen eggs could be had for 62 cents.
LaBombard recently served out her last term, retiring at the age of 80, after 44 years of working out of her converted front porch office in Ellenburgh Center.
“Somehow it just seemed like time,” said LaBombard.
She ran for clerk the first time because a neighbor called her and asked her to. She asked her husband about it, and he said she shouldn’t run. She then called the neighbor back and said she would do it.
While much of her job was issuing various licences, from marriage to hunting licences, she saw the task of recording the minutes of the town meetings as the most important job she had. Those minutes, she says, become part of the history of the town. Now LaBombard, by virtue of her lengthy service to the town, is a large part of its history as well.
“They talk about politics. I guess I would rather think of my job as Town Clerk as non-political,” she said. “It’s more a service to the people of the town.”
She’s seen so much of the town’s history first hand, and has kept records of some of the more historic events. In retirement she plans to keep busy organizing and chronicling records for the town, as well as her own records.
She is being succeeded at Town Clerk by Jason Dezan, who will have an office in the town hall building.
The town is holding a dinner in her honor, scheduled for Jan. 19 at 3 p.m. at the Rainbow banquet Hall in Altona.