In Essex, She Holds The Cane!


On Monday, Lorraine Hardy-Wyatt, 97, was honored as the town’s eldest resident by Essex Board of Selectmen and State Sen. Bruce Tarr who presented her with the coveted Boston Post Cane, the ferruled, 18-ct gold-tipped walking stick made of mahogany that’s been a tradition since 1909.  The ceremony took place before a packed top floor of Essex Town Hall. 

Jim Witham of the Essex Historical Society kicked things off with a short history of the Boston Post Cane, explaining why so few of the 700 original walking sticks given by the publisher of what was then America’s second-largest newspaper remain today.  Mrs. Hardy-Wyatt is a member of the Hardy’s Hatchery family that ran a mainstay chicken farm on Island Road and John Wise Avenue for more than three generations. 

An avid walker and reader, Mrs. Hardy-Wyatt still drives, loves playing cribbage and bridge, and only gave up her lifelong love of tennis when she turned 90. 

Because of her incredible fortitude and energy, friends and family watched with amusement Monday as Selectmen, Sen. Tarr and even Witham kept offering Mrs. Hardy-Wyatt a chair for the ceremony.  Graciously, she accepted her seat, receiving first the beautiful cane, then a proclamation from the Massachusetts Senate, and then another from the Mass House of Representatives, which was presented by BOS Chair Ruth Pereen.  Speculation is she’ll hold the cane for many years to come. 

Then, the grandmother of four and great-grandmother of six joined the many friends and family in attendance, including sons Frank I. Hardy, Jr., Roger Hardy, and daughter Linda Osburn in the audience, who pulled her in for hugs and well wishes.  The group was large enough that the TOHP Burnham Public Library offered a room on the lower floor for a proper after-party.  

frank i. hardy, ruth pereen, essex board of selectmen and state, the boston post, tohp burnham public library, roger hardy, house of representatives, hardy-wyatt, essex town hall, lorraine hardy, jim witham, linda osburn, essex historical society, massachusetts senate, lorraine hardy-wyatt, bos chair