Trish Farrington: Cheers to 100 years

Wednesday, January 06, 2021
Cheers to 100 years

This year there have been several events and celebrations in honor of the 100th anniversaries of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and of the founding of the League of Women Voters.

You might remember the front page photos of our 2020 suffragist walk in downtown Amherst, as an example. Another part of this year’s commemorations was a state gala acknowledging Formidable League Women of Massachusetts. One of these honorees is Lucy Wilson Benson of Amherst, who has been a league member for 70 years!

But as important as that longevity is her dedication at the local, state, and national levels, serving all three as president and board member. She even gave her husband the form to sign up as the first man to join the league when it voted to accept men as members.

In addition to her league work, Ms. Benson was Massachusetts Secretary of Human Resources and then Undersecretary of State for Security Assistance — the highest position a woman had yet reached in the U.S. State Department. After her government work, she formed an organization for political consultants. Of course she was also a Town Meeting member for 17 years. A well-deserved accolade.

May Ms. Benson's dedication and perseverance inspire others, especially those who have yet to find their passion. Start local and see where it leads.

Trish Farrington