Marion Goff of North Yarmouth received the Boston Post Cane award in 2020. Contributed / Town of North Yarmouth

North Yarmouth and Falmouth are searching for their oldest citizens to receive the Boston Post Cane.

North Yarmouth most recently bestowed the century-old honor on Marion Goff, 96, in 2020. In Falmouth, Myron Hager was presented the cane at age 102 in 2019.

The tradition began in 1909 when the Boston Post newspaper sent gold-headed ebony canes to towns across New England with instructions that it be presented to their oldest living male citizens. In the 1930s, eligibility expanded to include women.

When a recipient dies, the cane is passed to the next oldest living citizen in town. Goff died in 2022, and Hager in 2020.

North Yarmouth residents are able to nominate people for the cane and town staff also are on the lookout, according to Assistant Town Manager Debbie Allen Grover.

“We have some ideas of who might be the next recipient,” she said.


When a recipient is named, the town will hold a small ceremony for their family and friends. It’s a popular recognition in town, Grover said.

“They understand the tradition of it,” Grover said. “I’ve never had anyone who wasn’t pleased to receive it.”

Falmouth Town Council Chairperson Amy Kuhn presented Myron Hager with the Boston Post Cane in 2019. Contributed / Town of Falmouth

Falmouth residents can also make recommendations for the town’s next Boston Post Cane recipient. To be eligible, recipients must be able and willing to receive the honor in person or through a family member.

Most towns no longer give the actual cane to recipients, opting for a pin or another token as recognition instead.

Yarmouth Town Manager Nat Tupper said many canes have been lost over time.

“By its nature, the cane was presented to a person very late in life and then lost when family members or heirs packed things up later,” Tupper said.


Yarmouth displays its Boston Post Cane at Town Hall. The tradition is still recognized in town, but the honor has not been presented since 2012.

“It was last awarded to a lifelong resident at the age of 103,” Tupper said.

The Boston Post Cane tradition isn’t as popular in Cumberland, where there has been little success in getting residents to participate, Town Manager Bill Shane said.

“It’s kind of a tough ask if you’re giving the cane to the oldest living person,” Shane said. “It feels a bit awkward.”

It’s possible, though, Shane said, that new Town Clerk Jennifer Doten may want to reestablish the tradition in the future.

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