Bill Rotch is recipient of the Boston Post Cane in Peterborough

Anyone who has lived or worked in the Milford area for even just a few years will know the name Bill Rotch.

Bill was, for decades, the publisher and/or editor of The Cabinet, the next–to–the–last member of the Rotch family to own the paper. That last was, of course, his daughter Martha who owned The Cabinet and its sister weeklies along with her husband, Frank Manley, until 2005.

Last week, we got an email from Martha telling us that her dad, Bill, was being honored with the Boston Post Cane as the oldest resident of Peterborough.

Bill has lived there for several years and, while we wish he were still in our area and still involved in the paper, we’re glad to see that the officials of Peterborough realize that he is among them.

Now knowing Bill, we’re sure he’d tell you, and us, that being the oldest resident of any community isn’t exactly hard work, but it’s still a signature accomplishment and one that serves to remind us of some wonderful times gone by.

The Cabinet, in Bill’s day, was more than just an important part of the community; it was essential.

We can remember a meeting in Milford one night when Rosario "Sarooch" Ricciardi stood up and said, "I read in the paper …" and everybody in the room knew to what paper he was referring: The Cabinet.

And under Frank and Martha Manley, who took over for Bill in 1994, The Cabinet family grew to four papers, won numerous state and regional awards, and continued to be an essential part of the community with a big, hard-working staff that believed in the paper’s purpose, which was to report the news fairly but to also have a strong editorial voice, one that would be tough when it needed to be, but also was often compassionate.

Bill’s honor reminds us of those days. We know, too, that the many former Cabinet employees still in the area, such as Kathy Bauer, Kathy Flammia, Elizabeth Rotch, Karen Johnson … and so many more will read about Bill and remember, too.