Bow is looking for the town’s oldest citizen

Bow is seeking nominations for its oldest citizen to be awarded the Boston Post Cane. Courtesy of Eric Anderson
Bow is seeking nominations for its oldest citizen to be awarded the Boston Post Cane. Courtesy of Eric Anderson
Evelyn Gallant held the Bow Boston Post Cane for nearly six years before her passing in March. The town is now seeking nominations for the oldest living citizen to be awarded the Boston Post Cane. Courtesy of Eric Anderson
Evelyn Gallant held the Bow Boston Post Cane for nearly six years before her passing in March. The town is now seeking nominations for the oldest living citizen to be awarded the Boston Post Cane. Courtesy of Eric Anderson

We all want to live a long and full life. Isn’t that why we’re all here?

For us, reaching triple digits is the goal, but we have a long, long way to go before attaining that milestone. There’s no reason to think we won’t make it, although for now, we’ll concentrate on enjoying this side of the hill.

There are though, some perks to making your way through the years – like retirement, Social Security and the opportunity to be given the Boston Post Cane.

And if you live in Bow, and have done so for the last 12 consecutive years, you might be the next recipient of the prestigious honor.

After the death of Evelyn Gallant in March, who turned 100 last year and was just about a month shy of hitting 101, the town is now searching for the oldest citizen to take over the role of the Boston Post Cane holder.

“Hopefully we find the oldest citizen,” said Bow Town Manager David Stack. “Some want it and some don’t.”

Gallant received the cane in 2011 and out of respect for her passing, the cane has been on hiatus since March.

But now it’s time to find the most senior Bow citizen, and the only requirement is that they need to have lived in town for the last 12 years in a row.

“Every town has their own criteria,” Stack said.

The tradition began in 1909 when Edwin A. Grozier, publisher of the Boston Post, sent a gold-headed ebony cane to 700 New England towns with the request that it be presented to the oldest male citizen of the town, and used as long as he lives (or moves from the town), and at his death handed down to the next oldest citizen of the town. It wasn’t until 1930 that women were eligible as well.

Bow still has the original one (above) hanging in the selectmen’s office.

“We give out a replica,” Stack said.

Nominations will be accepted through Sept. 15. So nominate a neighbor, loved one or even yourself. Nomination forms are available at the Municipal Building, the Baker Free Library and the Recreation Department as well on the town website, bownh.gov. You can also call 228-1187, ext. 110 to request a form by mail.

Author: Tim Goodwin

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