Who is the oldest person living in Derry?
The Derry Heritage Commission has begun a search to find the oldest person to hold the Boston Post Cane. The cane was last awarded by the Town Council to Appolonia “Bella” Riccio, who passed away on Oct. 29, 2016 at 101, according to a press release.
Dating back to 1909, the Boston Post Cane was introduced by Edwin Grozier, the publisher of the Boston Post Newspaper.
The newspaper donated Ebony canes to the 431 largest communities in New England with the instruction that they be given to the oldest man in each town or city and upon his passing the cane was to be presented to the new oldest citizen.
The first recipient of the cane in Derry was Patrick Gillespie who in 1909 was 92 years old, according to the Heritage Commission. In 1956 the selectmen changed the rules and declared that the cane would be given to the oldest man or woman in Derry. In addition, a further requirement is that the person receiving the cane must have lived in Derry for at least 5 years, the release said.
Following the selectmen’s decision that same year, the Boston Post cane was given to 98- year- old Nellie Huckins, according to the Heritage commission.
The Heritage Commission is asking anyone that knows of a Derry resident, man or women, who is at least 90 years old and has been living in Derry for at least 5 years, to please fill out the Nomination Form.
To receive a form, contact the Heritage Commission; via mail; Heritage Commission c/o the Derry Municipal Center 14 Manning Street, Derry, N.H. 03038; emailing to email@example.com or by calling 603-434-1247. All submissions must be received by March 17, 2017.