Gobi testifies in support of bills honoring dedicated civil servants

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  • Quabbin Visitors Center. Legislation offered by Sen. Anne Gobi and co-sponsored by Rep. Susannah Whipps (I-Athol), S.544, would designate the Quabbin Visitor Center in Belchertown as the Les and Terry Campbell Quabbin Visitors Center. File photo

Staff Report
Published: 5/6/2021 1:41:12 PM
Modified: 5/6/2021 1:41:10 PM

BOSTON — Sen. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), former chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture, testified Tuesday before the committee on a pair of bills she has sponsored this session aimed at honoring individuals who dedicated their lives through service to the Commonwealth.

Gobi had this to say on her testimony, “I was glad to offer my support for the passage of these bills. Les and Terry Campbell and Detective John Songy made a positive difference in Massachusetts and being able to honor them in a tangible way is something we should do.”

The first bill offered by the Senator and co-sponsored by Rep. Susannah Whipps (I-Athol), S.544, would designate the Quabbin Visitor Center in Belchertown as the Les and Terry Campbell Quabbin Visitors Center. The Campbells dedicated much of their lives to all aspects of the Quabbin and were instrumental in the founding of the visitors center that continues to bring educational benefits to the thousands of guests the wilderness reserve sees annually. Their lasting contributions to the region remain with the many conservation groups they founded and the people they touched, including the Friends of the Quabbin, Pioneer Valley Photographic Artists, and the Quabbin Photo Group, all of which preserve the memory and beauty of the Quabbin region for future generations.

The second bill the Senator spoke on addressed designating a boat launch area in the town of Rutland as the Detective John D. Songy Boat Launch, recognizing the life of Rutland Police Detective John Songy, who tragically lost his battle with COVID-19 in May of 2020. Detective Songy was an eight-year veteran of the department who previously served with the Oakham police, and was a staunch conservationist in his spare time that could often be seen patrolling around the boat launch areas.

Gobi spoke about how the boat launch dedication would serve to honor both his memory and that of other first responders who lost their lives during the pandemic, and encouraged the expeditious passage of both bills to honor the fallen during these difficult times. The bill has been co-sponsored by Rep. Kim Ferguson (R-Holden), Rep. David LeBouef (D-Worcester), and Sen. Michael Moore (D-Milbury).

For more information on the legislation, please contact Sen. Gobi’s via email at Anne.Gobi@MASenate.gov.


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