On June 8th, 2018, Harris Langille was presented with the Boston Post Cane Award by Hooksett’s Town Administrator, Dr. Dean Shankle, at Mt. Carmel Rehabilitation Center in Manchester where he resides. Despite being a busy time of the morning, numerous friends and staff members came out to witness the presentation ceremony. Mr. Langille had also previously been recognized for the Post Cane honor at the May 23rd meeting of Hooksett’s Town Council and at the recent 41st Annual Hooksett-ites Golden Age Luncheon.
Turning 97 this July and still vigorous, Harris has an amazing personal history. He was originally born in Canada, and served in the militaries of both Canada and the United States in WWII and its aftermath. Harris subsequently lived in Hookset for many years and held a number of interesting jobs to support his family, including being a security guard at a local phone company. Today, Harris is active and well-loved by staff and residents at Mt. Carmel, to the point of being named “Prom King” at a recent resident event. He still also loves to get out and about, noting that although his legs are weaker than they used to be, everything else about him is sharp and working well. Harris even joked that the morning’s award presentation “was getting in the way of his morning walk.” His name is now currently on a plaque in the lobby of the Hooksett Town Offices where the cane is displayed.
The Boston Post Cane presenting tradition dates back to the turn of the century when 700 canes were made for New England towns by the former Boston Post newspaper. The idea of having New England’s selectmen and mayors pay tribute to their eldest citizen by ceremoniously awarding them the canes was originally conceived as a publicity stunt by then Post Publisher Edwin A. Grozier. Barring no expense, Grozier reportedly hired a leading cane manufacturer in New York to craft the canes out of African imported wood, each of which took nearly a year to produce from start to finish. Many towns continue the tradition to this day.