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Dublin’s oldest resident awarded Boston Post Cane

  • Dublin Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

    Dublin Town Meeting 2013.

    (Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

  • Dublin Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

    Dublin Town Meeting 2013.

    (Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

  • Dublin Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

    Dublin Town Meeting 2013.

    (Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

  • Dublin Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

    Dublin Town Meeting 2013.

    (Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

  • Dublin Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)
  • Dublin Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)
  • Dublin Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)
  • Dublin Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

DUBLIN — Dublin is the place where Peter Shonk spent his childhood summers and settled down in his later years to raise a family of seven. It was the place that no matter where his work brought him, Shonk always called home — and still does.

Now at the age of 94, Shonk is Dublin’s oldest living resident, and at Saturday’s Town Meeting he became the latest recipient of the town’s Boston Post Cane.

“It was a wonderful day for our family,” said Shonk’s daughter, Lucy Shonk of Dublin in an interview with the Ledger-Transcript on Tuesday. “We’re so proud of our father, and let me tell you this was just a wonderful experience for him.”

Lucy said she’s known about the Boston Post Cane tradition for a long time, but added, “You never think your father is going to be the oldest person in the town.”

The tradition of the Boston Post Cane dates back more than a century. In 1909, Edwin Grozier, the publisher of the Boston Post, distributed gold-headed black ebony canes to a number of New England towns, including Dublin, as a part of an advertising campaign for his newspaper, according to Dublin town records. Since then, town officials have presented the cane to the oldest resident.

Elizabeth Pool, a longtime friend of Shonk , was the last person to hold the cane, between 2010 and 2012.

Prior to that, Doris “Granny D” Haddock, who is nationally known for her walk across the U.S. in support of campaign finance reform, held it from 2005 to 2010.

A few months after his father died in 1930 when Shonk was just 12 years old, Shonk went to live in Dublin with his mother, brother and sisters. For three consecutive summers, the family rented a house in town and then in 1933 purchased the home where Shonk lives today.

Shonk served with his brother, Bronson Shonk, in World War II. Shonk was a fighter pilot and his brother a bomber pilot. Sadly, Lucy said, her uncle was killed in a terrible training accident.

In 1944, Shonk married Lucy Lay Clarke and, although his work required him to travel quite frequently, Lucy said her father reserved his summer months for Dublin.

“Dublin was an idyllic place to him as a young boy,” she said. “He gained many lifelong friends and was able to participate in many sports from skiing, skating, tennis, golf and sailing.”

Today, Shonk enjoys the simple things in life, such as watching the sun set and rise from his old home at the base of Mount Monadnock.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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