Family and friends shower love on Goffstown's Boston Post Cane recipient
GOFFSTOWN — Lorette Rose Hudon might be 102 years old, but her sharp wit and independence continues strong.
Hudon received Goffstown’s Boston Post Cane earlier this month, and with more than a dozen of her family members looking on, she joked that none was allowed to touch her prize.
“Nobody touch,” she said, hugging the cane to her chest.
The ceremonial cane is given to the oldest resident in a particular town. About a dozen others have received the designation over the last three decades. She received the honor at the Board of Selectmen meeting earlier this week.
The idea for awarding a Boston Post Cane is the creation of newspaper publisher Edwin Grozier, who in 1909 ordered the manufacture of 700 elaborately designed canes, all ebony-shafted and gold-capped. The canes were then distributed to selectmen in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, with the explicit direction that they were to be presented in ceremonies to each town’s oldest man. In 1930, the custom was expanded to include women.
More than 500 towns in New England still carry on the tradition, and Goffstown is one of them.
“We wish that you enjoy this cane and we wish you a long healthy, prosperous life,” said Selectman Chairman Mark Lemay.
The previous recipient — Caroline Mary Tryka — died in May at 104 years old. She had been awarded the title in 2015, when she was 102.
Hudon has lived in New Hampshire her entire life. Born on June 12, 1915, she grew up in Manchester. When she was 16, she met her future husband, Amedee, whom she married just six months later.
The two settled in Manchester, working at the shoe factories that were thriving at the time. Hudon worked as a stitcher, as a floor girl and as a forewoman during her career there.
Hudon and her husband raised five children — Robert, Connie, twins Annette and Jeannette, and Gerard. She was in charge of the household from 1944 until 1945 while her husband served in U.S. Army during World War II.
When her husband returned, the pair settled on a farm in Manchester, where Hudon spent her free time working the farm, canning vegetables and making homemade root beer.
The family stayed on the farm until 1968, when city officials bought the land from the Hudons. Laurette and Amedee then moved into a home their sons Robert and Gerard built for them on Horseshoe Pond in Merrimack.
Hudon and her husband would also travel to Hudson, Fla., regularly after she retired in 1978. She continued to make the trip down south after her husband of nearly 60 years died on Oct. 29,1990.
Hudon moved back to New Hampshire in 2005 to be closer to her family, settling in Goffstown. She currently lives in the Meeting House at Goffstown, where she continues to live independently.
Her daughter, Annette, is Hudon’s only remaining living child. She has 17 grandchildren; 35 great- grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
“I have a wonderful family and wonderful friends,” she said. “And hard times sometimes, but you take one day at a time and you make it.”
The love she receives from her family and friends is one of the greatest gifts in her life, she said.
“They are a big family, but they are there for me and very good friends,” she said. “That’s what you need in life.”