April 2, 2023 – New Braintree Celebrates its Oldest Citizen
It was with great pride and affection that the New Braintree Historical Society hosted the honoring of New Braintree’s oldest resident Mrs. Norman (Stephanie) Benoit. On April 2 family and friends gathered at the New Braintree Historical Society Museum, 10 Utley Road, to honor the 98-year-old. Notables in attendance were State Sen. Anne Gobi, and State Rep. Donnie Berthiaume who presented state citations and New Braintree town Selectman Joe Chenervert presented Benoit with a town award for her outstanding contributions and selflessness in the face of political adversity. She personally fought against illegal dumping with ground water pollution and the threat of a state prison potentially being located in our rural community. Stephanie Benoit is a local hero in the eyes of many.
In addition, as New Braintree’s oldest resident, Stephanie was awarded a wooden cane in the spirit of the “Boston Post Cane”. Please click HERE for the cane’s origin and history. The whereabouts of New Braintree’s original Boston Post Cane, which previously had been bestowed upon the town’s oldest resident, is unknown. Hence, the NBHS procured a new walking cane for Mrs. Benoit inscribed on the knob with the words: “To the Oldest Citizen of New Braintree, Mass. to commemorate the day.” This cane will be kept in perpetuity by NBHS for future recipients.
The diverse artistic expressions from this exceptionally talented resident – her paintings, poetry, voice recordings and past awards along with wonderful family and military photos – were showcased in a special display at the museum for all to enjoy and remember “back when.”
Benoit entertained the enthralled gathering with stories of her first visit to New Braintree in 1947, her husband, farm life and tales of her valiant efforts with the Dump and Prison Fights. Guests enjoyed refreshments, and shared memories of Stephanie’s influences on their own lives and the impact she has made on the town of New Braintree which we enjoy today. The day was a well-deserved recognition of a very special woman.