KITTERY, Maine – The Kittery Historical Society is searching for the town’s oldest resident so that he or she may become the recipient of the Boston Post Cane Award.
The Boston Post Cane Award is a tradition that continues in many New England towns to recognize the town’s oldest resident. It’s a custom that dates back to 1909, when Edwin Grozier, who published the now defunct daily newspaper the Boston Post, distributed 700 gold-tipped canes to towns in New England, except for Vermont and Connecticut, with the request that the town governments bestow the cane to the oldest living male. This rule was changed to oldest living resident in 1930.
Kittery still has the original gold-headed ebony cane originally sent to the town in 1909, which is housed in a glass case inside the entrance of Town Hall. Once the oldest living person in town is determined, there will be a ceremony to honor the person. The original cane will be used in the ceremony and then returned to the glass case with a copy of the proclamation and a picture of the recipient. The person who is awarded the cane will hold the title for the remainder of his or her life.
The last person to hold the title was Lilliann True who lived in the Kittery Estates, said Town Clerk Maryann Place. True received the award in 2014 and held it until she died in July of 2015 at 101 years old.
To submit a name and date of birth of someone who may be eligible to receive this honor, contact Barbara at (207) 439-1332 or Kim at (207) 439-0909 by March 31.