Canterbury, New Hampshire

The Boston Post Cane tradition was established in 1909 by the Boston Post Newspaper. A special cane was presented to the Board of Selectmen in 431 towns in New England, to be presented as an honor to each town’s oldest resident. The recipient held the honor as long as he/she lived (or moved from the town). Upon his or her death (or move) the cane would be awarded to the next oldest resident.

The Cane would belong to the town and not the resident who received it.

To provide for preservation and public awareness of the tradition and protection of the cane from loss or damage, the Town of Canterbury and the Historical Society, will establish a policy and definition for Canterbury’s oldest resident.

Eligibility and Selection

The holder of the Cane must be 90 years young and be a legal resident of the Town of Canterbury and have lived here for the last 20 years although we will allow for periods of absence.

The term “resident” refers to a person who has physically resided at a fixed, permanent and principal home in the town.

Recognizing that numerous individuals establish residency in Canterbury’s nursing homes late in life but otherwise may not be engaged as residents of the Town of Canterbury and recognizing that the Town has no formal means of identifying residents by age, selection of the honoree shall be by a Committee of three. The Committee will consist of 3 members of the Canterbury Historical Society.

Method to Search for Oldest Resident

There shall be a notice placed in the media, Concord Monitor, and the Church Newsletter, the Town website, looking for nominations of those residents who are 90 years old or older and have been a resident of Canterbury for a minimum of the last 20 years although we will allow for periods of absence. All nominations must be received in the Town Clerk’s Office, or Historical Society, 30 days from the date of the posting of the notice in the media. The search may also include an informal survey, general public knowledge, and inquiries to nursing homes, civic groups, and churches or by nomination from family or friends. A nomination form may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s Office or on the Town Website.


The Chair of the committee, a Representative of the Selectmen shall present Canterbury’s oldest resident with a plaque donated by the Historical Societysignifying the honor and shall cause the name of the honoree to be inscribed on a plaque to be displayed along with the original Boston Post Cane at the ElkinsLibrary. There shall also be certificates awarded honoring those residents who are 90 years old or older and meet the residency requirements.

The location of the presentation will be determined according to the circumstances of the honoree. The recipient will retain this honor as long as he/she remains in Canterbury even though another resident may become eligible. The Town Clerk’s Office, Historical Society, must be notified if the recipient of the Boston Post Cane dies, changes residency outside the Town, is in rehabilitation longer than 90 days or otherwise refuses or returns the honor. At thattime the Committee of three shall determine the new oldest resident of Canterbury.

If the decision is made to no longer display the Boston Post Cane at the Elkins Library, it will be placed in the custody of the Canterbury Historical Society.

Download an eligibility form by clicking here

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