On August 18, 2016, Carsten "Bud" Hahn became Merrimack's new holder of the Boston Post Cane.
Carsten (now more commonly known as Bud) was born on September 20, 1916 in Lovett, Alberta Province, Canada and his family eventually settled in the Seattle area. Bud graduated high school in 1935 and from the University of Washington in 1940, after which he worked for Boeing Aircraft. He served as a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps in WWI and went on to serve and additional 7 years in the Army Reserves and was discharged as a Captain.
Bud married his wife Simone in Manchester, NH in 1947, and in 1962 they moved their family to Merrimack. They have 4 children, 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. He founded Control Power Systems and worked as its senior engineer until retirement in 1980.
Bud has deep roots in the community. He founded Boy Scout Troop 424 and served in as a boy scout leader, Council Commissioner and Advisor for over 5 continuous decades. He served Our Lady of Mercy parish as a Eucharistic Minister and coordinator of the home ministry program. He was also a volunteer at the Nashua Soup Kitchen for many years, a member of the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion.
The Boston Post Cane tradition started in 1909 when the Boston Post newspaper delivered the gold-headed ebony canes to 700 towns in New England and requested the canes be presented to the oldest citizen in town and passed on to the next oldest when he or she dies.
To qualify as the oldest resident, one must be a physical resident of Merrimack and have resided in Merrimack for at least 25 years.
The following is from http://web.maynard.ma.us/bostonpostcane/ which has a wealth of information about the Boston Post Cane:
On August 2, 1909, Mr. Edwin A. Grozier, Publisher of the Boston Post, a newspaper, forwarded to the Board of Selectmen in 700 towns* (no cities included) in New England a gold-headed ebony cane with the request that it be presented with the compliments of the Boston Post to the oldest male citizen of the town, to be used by him as long as he lives (or moves from the town), and at his death handed down to the next oldest citizen of the town. The cane would belong to the town and not the man who received it.
The canes were all made by J.F. Fradley and Co., a New York manufacturer, from ebony shipped in seven-foot lengths from the Congo in Africa. They were cut to cane lengths, seasoned for six months, turned on lathes to the right thickness, coated and polished. They had a 14-carat gold head two inches long, decorated by hand, and a ferruled tip. The head was engraved with the inscription, — Presented by the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of (name of town) — “To Be Transmitted”. The Board of Selectmen were to be the trustees of the cane and keep it always in the the hands of the oldest citizen. Apparently no Connecticut or Vermont towns were included (at one point it was thought that two towns in Vermont had canes, but this turned out to be a bit of a myth).
In 1924, Mr. Grozier died, and the Boston Post was taken over by his son, Richard, who failed to continue his father’s success and eventually died in a mental hospital. At one time the Boston Post was considered the nation’s leading standard-sized newspaper in circulation. Competition from other newspapers, radio and television contributed to the Post’s decline and it went out of business in 1957.
The custom of the Boston Post Cane took hold in those towns lucky enough to have canes. As years went by some of the canes were lost, stolen, taken out of town and not returned to the Selectmen or destroyed by accident.
In 1930, after considerable controversy, eligibility for the cane was opened to women as well.