WILTON — 1920 saw the beginning of what would be known as the Roaring Twenties, where the 18th amendment prohibited alcohol in the United States and Babe Ruth started playing for the New York Yankees. In September of that year, Wilton’s oldest resident and recipient of the Boston Post Cane was born.

Ferna Girardin of Wilton is the recipient of the Boston Post Cane. Submitted Photo

Ferna Girardin of Wilton was presented with the Boston Post Cane on Friday, April 26, by members of the Wilton Select Board and Town Manager Maria Greeley. Girardin received the honor after being selected by the Select Board at its meeting on Tuesday, April 23, which she was unable to attend.

Friends and family all gathered with the selectpersons and Greeley to present Girardin with a duplicate of the Boston Post Cane at her home on the morning of April 26. The original cane remains in possession of the town office.

Greeley shared with the Livermore Falls Advertiser that Girardin was thrilled to receive the honor. She was among three applicants who had submitted an application by Thursday, April 18.

Girardin lives in the home that she and her late husband, Valmore Girardin, designed and built themselves in 1951. She is a 1938 graduate of Wilton Academy and lived through World War II, where her last husband served in the Air Force.

She and her husband raised two daughters, Dawn Girardin Schneider and Lea Girardin.


Ferna worked in accounting for 41 years at International Paper Co. as a buyer and is a member of the Wilton Historical Society. She and her family also attend Wilton Congregational Church.

The Boston Post Cane was established by Edwin Grozier, owner of the The Boston Post, in August of 1909.

Grozier had 700 ornate, ebony-shafted, gold-capped walking canes made and distributed to selectmen in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island towns, given with the request they be presented in a ceremony to the town’s oldest living man.

In the 1930s, after some controversy it was decided that women could be eligible to receive the cane. More than 500 towns in New England carry on the tradition with the original canes they were awarded in 1909, with Wilton and Girardin among them.

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