John E. Riley served as Auburn’s town clerk for 53 years from 1922 to 1975. His wife Ethel served for 45 years as his unpaid assistant. During Mr. Riley’s tenure he also served at various times as town accountant, clerk to the Board of Selectmen, registrar of voters, and town civilian defense chairman.
The John E. and Ethel E. Riley Outstanding Citizenship Award was established in their honor by a town committee after his retirement. Each year their daughter, Dr. Martha Pappas, presents the award to recognize an individual who has made life better for Auburn residents.
The recognition comes with a monetary award, the interest from a Certificate of Deposit donated for the Riley Award.
Residents may submit nominations from now until Monday, October 14, at 4 p.m. Nominations must include reasons why and how the person has been an outstanding citizen and improved life for Auburn residents.
The Riley Award committee consists of the town clerk, chair of the selectmen, a town meeting member chosen by the moderator, an educator named by the school committee, the high school senior class president, the president of the Auburn Ecumenical Cluster, a news media person covering news in Auburn and a citizen of Auburn named by the selectmen, Master of the Masonic Lodge, Grand Knight of the Auburn Knights of Columbus, and Commander of Chester P. Tuttle Post (American Legion).
Submit nominations to the Riley Award Committee, C/O Debra Gremo, Town Clerk, 104 Central Street, Auburn, MA 01501.
Winners in the last five years were Kenneth Ethier in 2014, Roger G. Belhumeur in 2015, Rev. Dennis R. Knight in 2016, Alice M. Rea in 2017, and Chester and Roberta Stencel in 2018.
-- Barbara Van Reed