GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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July 23, 2013

Dems salute Rockport's political 'diamonds'

Beverly Quint cast her first vote for U.S. president for the Democratic candidate Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

When Martin Luther King Jr. came to Boston in 1965 and marched from Roxbury to Boston Common to stand up for civil rights, David Wise was among the crowd of tens of thousands of people.

When Elizabeth Warren ran for the U.S. senate last year, these two and four other senior local democratic party campaigners gave it all they had, even though they range in age from 82 to 92 years old. A couple of them faced some physical limitations, but they still found a way to help their party manning voter registration tables, working the crowds at the town dump, hosting fundraisers and endless phone canvassing.

Those six Rockport residents were honored on Saturday afternoon at the Community House at a special event attended by Gov. Michael Dukakis and Congressman John Tierney, both of whom benefited from their ceaseless efforts. Both wanted to extend their profound thanks to this group of six — referred to locally as the “Democratic Diamonds” — who have given nearly 200 years in combined service to the Rockport Democratic Town Committee.

The honorees are: Pat Koechlin, Kay Murphy, Ruth Perrault, Ann Sheinwald, Beverly Quint and David Wise.

“This is the Democratic party at its best,” said Dukakis, 79. Dukakis served three terms as governor of Massachusetts and was the Democratic Party’s 1988 nominee for U.S. president. He explained that he was asked to send a congratulatory letter, but instead he wanted to do more. He spoke about the power of their old-fashioned door to door precinct-based campaigning.

“I know I speak for everybody here when I say thank you for setting the example for the rest of us,” he said. “We live in a world, country and state that is better today than the world I was born into during the Great Depression because of the work done by so many, like these six honorees. My hat’s off to you.”

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