Members of the community, veterans, historians, and town officials gathered at the the Derry VFW hall on Sunday afternoon, June 11, to present 97-year-old veteran and Derry resident James Bilotta the Post Post Cane.
The cane, which is presented to the town’s oldest member, was originally presented back in 1909 by the Boston Post newspaper to 431 of New Englands largest communities.
The very first recipient was Patrick Gillespie, who at the time, was 92-years-old.
After a presentation of colors by local Sea Cadets, T.J. Cullinane, a member of the Derry Heritage Commission and local historian, lead off the ceremony, giving a brief history of the Post Cane and acknowledging the accomplishments of the new recipient of the cane.
Derry State Representatives David Milz and John O’Connor both read state proclamations honoring Bilotta.
Bilotta was surrounded by family members including his wife Edie and his son Rick as the cane was presented to him by Derry Town Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores.
Bilotta and his wife and family have lived in Derry since 1985. He is a World War II veteran who is also a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
After the ceremony, all those in attedence were treated to a spaghetti and meatballs dinner.