Dorothy Greene receives Derry's Boston Post Cane
DERRY — The town honored its oldest resident on Friday, awarding the Boston Post Cane to 105-year-old Dorothy Greene at the Pleasant Valley Nursing Center.
When Greene was born on Dec. 13, 1907, Teddy Roosevelt was president, but it would be several years before Greene moved to the United States.
Greene was born in Canada in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and moved with her family to Concord when she was 15. At the age of 21, she married Roy Greene and they moved to Belmont, Mass., according to Elaine Connors of the Derry Heritage Commission.
The Greenes had one daughter, Kathy, and Dorothy has four grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
“She has a strong faith in God and most days she reads the Bible,” said Connors. “She manages to walk short distances with the aid of her walker, and she insists on wearing a skirt and nylons every day.”
Although she has trouble hearing, Greene warmed up to the attention she received when Town Council chairman Michael Fairbanks handed her the Boston Post Cane.
The Boston Post Cane dates back to 1909, when the publisher of the Boston Post newspaper donated 431 ebony canes to the largest communities in New England to be handed to those towns’ oldest residents.
Originally, the canes were for the oldest man in a community, but women were included beginning in 1956, according to Connors.
Patrick Gillespie, 92 at the time, was the first Derry recipient of the cane in Derry in 1909. In 1956, selectmen awarded the cane to the first woman, 98-year-old Nellie Huckins.
The most recent holder of the Boston Post Cane in town prior to Greene was Catherine Dion, who received the cane in 2009 and died in 2012 at the age of 110.