John Johnson Remembered

Barbara Chamberlain Celebrates Her First 100 Years on the Planet

by Paul Saulnier
April 12, 2018

Residents over the age of 100 become eligible for the Boston Post Cane.

April 11, 2018. Arriving at the Holliston Senior Center as she has for many, many years, Barbara Chamberlain was suprised by the standing ovation from a packed house.

Barbara, suprised but not discombobulated by all the attention, sat with her kinfolk at the head table, ready for whatever life has to throw at her.

Barbara has been a life-long, if not rabid, fan of the Boston Red Sox and was happy to see Alexa ready to carry the torch.

Senior Center Director, Linda Marshall, thanked Barbara for helping Linda in her first years as the Director, adding that she, Linda, often found herself without staff support in spite of being guaranteed that she would never be without support staff.

Town Clerk Liz Greendale spoke of the first cane issued in 1909, designated for men only. It wasn't until 1930 that women would be considered for the cane that signifies a town's oldest resident. Liz stated that originally all cities and towns could recognize their oldest citizen but only 50 still do so. Holliston has named 10 since 1994.

Jeff Ritter, Town Administrator, said that he can relate to Barbara's centennial as he has a relative who also reached 100 years old in 2018 (a younger sister perhaps?). Ritter read a proclamation on behalf of the Board of Selectmen.

Representative Carolyn Dykema read proclamations on behalf of the House of Representatives and the Senate for Senator Karen Spilka. Carolyn asked to be invited back for Barbara's 200th birthday celebration.

 DICK FLAVIN is the poet laureate of the Boston Red Sox. He came to Barbara's celebration, bringing with him the World Series Trophy and his personal brand of Sox memories in song and poems.

Flavin had Barbara and everyone in the room in stitches with his tales of players past and new lyrics of old favorite tunes.

Dick asked Barbara if she was married. "What", she asked. "Are you married, Barbara"? She thought about it for a second and then answered: "I use to be". Dick smiled and said "Great. Maybe we'll get lucky later".

Be sure to watch for the entire celebration on HCAT soon.

For more on the Boston Post Cane go to the web site: http://web.maynard.ma.us/bostonpostcane/origins-of-the-tradition

 

 

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