The Londonderry Town Council is seeking a piece of town history, and someone to record it.
The council is trying to find two people to fill openings in town. The first opening is for a town historian, which has been empty since 2010. The last historian was Marilyn Hamm, who served for seven years until she retired and moved to Derry with her husband Chet Hamm.
The role of the town historian is important because he/she not only helps to preserve the history of Londonderry, but educates the community on how that history could help guide the town in the future. With all of the expected growth and development coming to the area, it’s important to have someone to help preserve and record the way things are in town for future generations to be able to reflect on and enjoy.
The council is also trying to find the oldest resident in Londonderry to become possessor of the Boston Post Cane. Traditionally, the honor goes to the eldest member of the community.
Passing along the cane started back in 1909 by Boston Post publisher, Edwin A. Grozier, according to The Boston Post Cane Information Center website. A cane made of polished ebony with a 14-carat gold, hand decorated head was sent to hundreds of towns across New England. Inscribed on each cane were the words, “Presented by the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of (name of town) “To be transmitted.” It was first only given to men, but was allowed to be awarded to women after 1930.
Kirby Brown, the executive assistant to the town manager said in an email that the last woman to hold the Boston Post Cane was Barbara Eaton, who passed away in 2015 at age 98.
Typically, the eldest citizens in town would apply for the right to cane through the town historian. But since Londonderry does not have one, applicants can bring in their proof of age and residency along with a form to the town offices for submission. Acceptable forms of ID include a birth certificate, passport or voter registration. The person applying must have lived in Londonderry for at least a minimum of 25-years. There is also a section on the form to fill out a brief biography and how he/she has contributed to the Londonderry community. Brown said there will be advertisements for the Boston Post Cane honor coming out soon.
The cane that currently resides in the town offices is a replica of the original, according to Town Manager Kevin H. Smith.