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Millis/Medway - Local Town Pages

Millie Badalucco, Medway’s oldest resident, receives Boston Post Cane

Millie Badalucco. Courtesy photo

By Theresa Knapp

Millie Badalucco was recently awarded Medway’s “Boston Post Cane” as she is the oldest resident in the town.
Millie is 104 years old. She was born in Queens, NY, in 1919 and was one of nine children. When she was young, she worked in a pocketbook factory for a brief time. She got married in 1941 after which her husband served in World War II. She has lived in Medway since 1991.
The cane tradition was started in 1909 by the Boston Post newspaper, then considered “the nation’s leading standard-sized newspaper in circulation,” according to
The cane was presented toMillie in a small ceremony attended by family, friends, and community members, where Medway Historical Commission Vice Chair Paul Russell provided more background on the tradition.

Above: An example of a Boston Post Cane. Source: Below: From left, Front row - James Manchester (Millie’s Great-grandson), Millie and Michael Manchester (Millie›s other Great-grandson), middle row - Nicole Velardi (Andrew Velardi›s wife), Cathy Velard, (Millie›s daughter) and Laura Manchester (Millie›s granddaughter), back row - Andrew Velardi (Millie›s grandson). 


“Back in the early 1900s, the Boston Post was the region’s major newspaper similar to today’s Boston Globe. The tradition of the Boston Post Cane started in 1909 [when] Edwin A. Grozier, the publisher of the Post, sent a cane to the Boards of Selectmen of 700 New England towns requesting that they be presented to the oldest living male citizen of each town,” he said.
“The original canes were ebony adorned with a gold knob engraved with the town’s name and the words ‘Boston Post Cane’. Beginning about 1930, some of the Boards of Selectmen began presenting the cane to the oldest citizen whether they were male or female. The Boston Post newspaper went out of business in 1956 but the tradition continues in many towns.”
According to, “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