At the Town council meeting on March 5, the town was delighted to announce who had won “The Boston Post Cane Award.” This award is given to the oldest citizen of a town with certain stipulations. The requirements for eligibility are the oldest citizen of Londonderry, a United States citizen (nationalized or register voter), has lived in Londonderry for at least 30 years and currently resides here, and has been a contributor to the town of Londonderry in some way. This year, the prestigious award was given to Forrest H. Pratt at the age of 89.
Pratt has lived in Londonderry his whole life, the only years he was absent was when he went off to serve his country in the Air Force during the Korean War from 1950-1954. When he became old enough, Pratt joined the Boy Scouts and was certified as a Star Scout. Pratt was also awarded the Orchid Award during WWII for his War Bond sales. Among his incredible achievements was the Firemanship Badge from the Boy Scouts. After this, Pratt joined a remarkable group of residents who volunteered their personal time to help put out forest fires in town.
In 1950, he joined the Air Force. Pratt showed to be a man of great courage and a hero to the country. Before he went into the Air Force, Pratt also had a hand in building the original fire station in North Londonderry. The Volunteer Fire Department needed a place to house their equipment for doing their job. After his time in the Air Force, Pratt returned to Londonderry where he helped to train the new Volunteer Fire Department members. While Pratt continued to work as a volunteer firefighter, he also held a fulltime job at Hermsdorf Fixtures and worked Saturdays for the Town of Londonderry’s road agent on the road crew to help repair roads, building bridges, and plowing snow.
After being discharged from the Air Force, Pratt soon met the love of his life Marian Hall in 1954. They dated for six months and got married shortly thereafter. The couple then decided to start a family and welcomed three beautiful children into their lives, Brenda, David, and Belinda. Pratt currently has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren that he lovingly helps with their various projects. Unfortunately, Mariam passed away six years ago, but Pratt has expressed how grateful he is to have a loving family and wonderful friends who meet daily at a local Dunkin’ Donuts to laugh and be there for one another.
Pratt was also given a personal letter of congratulations from Governor Sununu. The Boston Post Cane was then presented to Pratt by Town Manager Kevin Smith and Fire Chief Darren O’Brien. “The Boston Post Cane: The Londonderry Town Council presents this certificate as a symbolic representation to Forrest H. Pratt given to the oldest citizen of Londonderry in recognition that at the age of 89, he is the oldest citizen of the Town of Londonderry. Signed and presented on the fifth day of March 2018.” Town Manager Kevin Smith then stepped to the side and Fire Chief O’Brien presented the cane to Pratt.
“Thank you very much. I want to thank you all. I appreciate the cane,” Pratt modestly said, after receiving the cane from O’Brien. Pratt’s friends and family were then welcomed to a reception to celebrate his historic achievement.
The Boston Post Cane was last presented to Barbara Eaton, who passed away in 2015.