WESTFIELD – The Conservation Commission meeting Oct. 22 began with a celebration of Henry Bannish’s 36 years of service on the commission.
“This is a special occasion for the city,” said Mayor Brian P. Sullivan; an opportunity to thank Bannish, who has stepped down, for his longevity, commitment and work ethic.
Sullivan said he did a little homework, and learned that Mayor Michael O’Connell first appointed Bannish in 1983, and that subsequently he had survived the terms of seven mayors and over 50 fellow commissioners.
“His attendance at meetings was also exemplary,” he said, which is probably the reason new mayors kept appointing him.
Sullivan then read a short proclamation thanking him for his years of loyalty to the city.
“I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Bannish, to a standing ovation in the room.
He then said he had to leave with a joke, one of his trademarks on the commission and at Westfield Technical Academy, from which he retired in 2017 after 49 years in education, 47 of them in Westfield.
“What goes up and down all day but never moves? A staircase,” Bannish quipped, before waving goodbye.