Boston Post Cane presented in Union

By Beth A. Birmingham | Dec 22, 2013
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Muriel Heath, center, is presented the Boston Post Cane Dec. 20 in Union. The 94-year-old was surprised with the presentation, and poses with two of her three children — Alan Heath of Union and Linda Snow of Auburn.

Union — Muriel Heath, 94, was not expecting anything when two of her three grown children paid her a visit on the morning of Dec.20. The Union resident was still unsuspecting when three of the town's selectmen knocked on the door.

The famous Boston Post Cane was revealed and Elmer "Bud" Savage, chairman of the selectmen, presented Heath with the honor of being the oldest citizen in town.

"I knew I was older than dirt," said Heath. She has lived in Union all her life.

Still young at heart, Heath keeps herself busy with her knitting group and as a member of the historical society. She is always on the go, said her daughter, Linda Snow of Auburn, and son, Alan Heath of Union, who were on hand for the presentation. Another daughter Sharon Hoffses lives in Baltimore, Md.

"When someone calls to ask if I want to go, I answer 'yes' then find out where I'm going," said Heath.

In 1909, the Boston Post newspaper had several hundred ornate, gold-tipped canes made and contacted the selectmen in New England's largest towns. The Boston Post Canes were given to the selectmen and presented in a ceremony to the town's oldest living man. The custom was expanded to include the communities' oldest women in 1930. Many towns in New England still carry on the Boston Post cane tradition with the original canes they were awarded in 1909.

Union's original cane is on display at the town office. A gold-tipped replica was made and is presented to the recipient.

Also present for the ceremony were Selectmen Greg Grotton and Lyle Cramer, and Heath's daughter-in-law, Genie.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at

Comments (5)
Posted by: Susan Harriman | Dec 23, 2013 09:26

Muriel is one special lady- Congratulations to you!


Posted by: Susan Sinclair | Dec 23, 2013 09:01

I LOVE the say yes first and then ask where she's going. That's inspiring!

Posted by: Tera L Corson | Dec 23, 2013 08:57


Posted by: Bill Packard | Dec 22, 2013 18:57

Muriel is a treasure, for sure.  Congratulations!


Posted by: Martha Johnston-Nash | Dec 22, 2013 16:19

Congratulations, Muriel! I hope you hold it for a long time!!

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Staff Profile

Beth Birmingham
Staff Reporter
594-4401 ext. 125
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Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.

Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.

Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.

Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.

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