Arline Lamarche was going through some old boxes at her home in Prospect late last week when she discovered a watch. Rectangular in shape, with a thin leather band, the watch had an inscription:
A union president at the former Verso Paper mill in Bucksport, Lamarche soon recognized what she had stumbled across — a retirement watch.
The watch celebrated 30 years of work at the mill, which was owned by Champion Paper at the time of the employee’s retirement. International Paper bought Champion in 2000, and International Paper spun off Verso Paper Corp. in 2006 before the mill closed permanently in late 2014.
TRM, Lamarche recognized, were the initials for Tony R. MacDonald, a machinist foreman who retired in 1994.
“I scheduled and performed payroll, so between being involved with union contracts, and being involved with scheduling and payroll decisions, I was pretty involved in anything that benefited the good of the employees,” Lamarche said. “Recognition was so important for individuals, not so much the ‘gift’ but an appreciation for a job well done.”
Lamarche took to social media Thursday and quickly tracked down MacDonald, who lives in Orrington. She gave him the watch on Friday. Her Facebook friends applauded the work.