Boston Post Cane Goes to Hampstead’s Cay Robbins

The Board of Selectmen honored Catherine “Cay” Robbins at Monday night’s meeting, awarding her the Town’s Boston Post Cane. The Hampstead Historical District Heritage Commission unanimously approved Robbins’ nomination last week.

The tradition of the Boston Post Cane originated in the early 1900s, when the first canes were created by the Boston Post newspaper. The canes were sent to 431 towns in New England to be given to the oldest male resident. In 1930 women became eligible to receive the Boston Post Canes that were owned by the towns, and the cane then was presented to the oldest resident.

Robbins is 94. Selectwoman Priscilla Lindquist asked for authorization from the Board of Selectmen in 2000 to have duplicate Boston Post Canes made. One is awarded to the Town’s Boston Post Cane recipient and one is kept as a spare, while the original is kept at the Hampstead Historical Museum.

Robbins, born Jan. 17, 1919, has lived in Hampstead since 1964. She has been involved in many Hampstead activities and groups over the years, notably the Friends of the Library, the Congregational Church as a member and a choir member, as a Cub Scout Den Mother, as a Library Trustee and as a member of the Conservation Commission. She was nominated for the honor by Marion McPherson.

Robbins attended the meeting Monday and accepted the cane, saying, “This is a great honor.” In other business Monday night:

• The board opened 10 bids for work on the French drain system. The bids ranged from a low of $17,200 by Deano Construction of Goffstown to a high of $46,000 from M.A. Bean Associates of Sanbornton. The selectmen gave the bids to Road Agent Jon Worthen for his review and recommendation.

• Worthen was authorized by the Board of Selectmen to award a minor road project, grinding and repaving of a portion of Odd Fellows Road, to Busby Construction. Busby was selected last year to do similar grinding and paving work for the town, and the company said it would give the Town the same price for the work as last year. As the project amounts to $6,000, which is $1,000 over the amount required for going out to bid, Worthen had to ask the board to waive that requirement in this instance, which it did. Worthen said he plans to create a three-way stop on Odd Fellows because there have been complaints of people driving through without stopping.

• Worthen said the town’s line striping project is up again and the board told him he had to go out to bid because it is in the $10,000 range.

• Selectman Rick Hartung introduced the Hazmat Mutual Aid budget and said Hampstead’s portion would be $6,351, an increase of $26 over last year. He said the increase in the overall Hazmat budget is due to having finally found warehouse storage space to rent for the Hazmat Mutual Aid vehicles and equipment.
The board re-appointed Hartung as the Hampstead delegate to the Hazmat Mutual Aid organization.

• Lindquist reported that the Historic District Heritage Commission is moving forward with the State Historical Sign for the Old Meeting House. She said the necessary signatures have been procured and sent in with the application, and the Commission is looking for donations from the public for the cost of the sign, which amounts to $1,700.

• Selectmen’s Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault reported that the Cable Committee is seeking permission to use the now vacant Human Services Office that adjoins the present cable studio. Theriault wasn’t sure what Cable intended to use the room for but said the only thing that should be removed was a file cabinet.
The board members had no problem with Cable’s taking over the room but wanted to know its projected use. The board authorized Lindquist to get that information and if she considered it appropriate, she could approve the request on behalf of the board.

• Theriault said a resident had come forward wanting to donate a third of an acre to the town. The worth of the lot is about $18,000. The board declined to act until the members could look at the parcel. The board also will check with the Hampstead Conservation Commission about the parcel, and no action was taken

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