Marion’s Oldest Resident Honored

One Marion woman has just been recognized as the Town of Marion’s oldest resident – and she has the Boston Post Cane to prove it.

Margaret Nye, born on March 1, 1916, sat like a celebrity in her recliner in the living room of her Converse Road home on July 19, surrounded by family, members of the press, and Selectman Jody Dickerson.

Dickerson held in his hand the Town’s 106 year-old Boston Post Cane, a tradition among New England towns that started back in 1908 to honor the town’s oldest resident. That afternoon, Dickerson passed that cane on to 98 year-old Nye, congratulating her on behalf of the Town of Marion and granting her the status as the oldest resident of Marion.

“It’s a real honor,” said Nye’s daughter Diane Kelly to her mother, leaning in closely to get a good look at the cane’s details.

Nye was born in Newport, Rhode Island and relocated to Marion with her family in the 1950s where she has lived ever since.

“You’ve still got three more years to beat Nana,” said Nye’s grandson, Will Huggins.

Nye’s two children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren reminisced about Nye’s mother who lived to be 101 years old.

“I think she’s gonna make it,” said Kelly. “She’s pretty healthy.”

In 1908, the now defunct Boston Post distributed the canes made of ebony and topped with gold to 700 New England towns. The cane was passed on to the town’s oldest living male resident until 1930 when the honor was extended to include women. Over the years, many towns have lost their Boston Post Canes, either through damage or theft.

“We lost it for a few years,” said Dickerson. “But then it was recovered.”

In order to keep the tradition alive, Dickerson said Nye would be allowed to hold onto the Boston Post Cane for a couple of weeks to show off to her friends and family members, but after that, the cane will be returned to the Town House where it will be protected and on display.

The gold head of the cane inscription reads, “Presented by the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of Marion, Mass – To be transmitted.”

Dickerson said, following tradition, Nye’s initials will be engraved into the cane within the next few weeks.

By Jean Perry

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