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Bedford Town Council looking for oldest resident

Friday, April 25, 2014

Do you think you are the oldest resident of Bedford, or do you know someone who might be the oldest resident?

The Town Council is looking for the oldest resident to become the recipient of the Boston Post Cane, which is traditionally given to the oldest resident. To be eligible to receive this cane, the recipient must be a 10-year resident of the town. The most recent recipient was Anna Richards who held this cane since May 2011. Richards passed away on Nov. 11, 2012, at the age of 98.

The cane had been retired for several years because it became too valuable to be kept in a home. Some years ago, the council decided to reactivate the tradition of giving the cane to the town’s oldest resident. The original cane will remain in a display case in the Town Office Building with the name of the recipients engraved on rings encircling the cane. Each recipient receives a full size replica of the cane, which they keep in perpetuity. The replica was handcrafted and donated to the town by Bernard Ruchin, of Bedford.

The idea of the Boston Post Cane started in 1909 as a gimmick to increase the circulation of the Boston Post. There were 431 canes to begin with, made of African ebony with 14-carat rolled gold heads, which were distributed to New England towns to be presented to each town’s oldest citizen and then passed along to the next oldest as each holder passed away or moved out of town. Bedford was fortunate to receive one of these canes.

Anyone knowing a person who would be eligible to receive the cane is asked to please forward the name, address, birth date, location of birth, residency and years of Bedford residency to the Town Manager, 24 North Amherst Road, Bedford, NH 03110 by May 9.

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