By Julia Beauregard
Hometown Weekly Staff
The Sherborn Council on Aging and friends recently gathered together at Pilgrim Church on Wednesday, October 26, to commemorate longtime Sherborn resident Phyllis Braun as she was presented the Boston Post Cane Award.
The Post Cane Award was established in 1909 by the Boston Post newspaper, which sent over 700 canes to Massachusetts select boards to be bestowed to the oldest resident in town.
On the day, Phyllis was surrounded by her son, Robert, friends, and the Sherborn Council on Aging. The tables within the church function room were adorned with elegant hand-made table cloths, topped with quaint tea sets. Attendees of the ceremony celebrated with tea and pastries.
Sue Kelliher, the director of the COA, welcomed guests to the event as they arrived. Once everyone was settled in, Kelliher gave a wonderful speech both explaining what the award was, and honoring Phyllis’ dedication to the Sherborn community throughout her years as a resident.
She then turned the microphone over to Select Board Members Paul Derensis and Marian Nuetra to make the presentation of the pin and certificate — the actual cane itself remains in custody of the town — to Phyllis Braun.
For her part, Braun is thrilled to be the oldest resident in town; she is the embodiment of aging with grace. Phyllis shared with us that she has “had a wonderful life in Sherborn,” and despite all of the changes she has seen, “Sherborn is still a nice, small farm town.”
Phyllis Braun has been a Sherborn resident for over seventy-one years. She moved to Sherborn with her husband, Robert, in 1951 after purchasing a farm that had been established in the 1700s.
While her husband tended to the livestock, Phyllis planted herbs, which she grew, sold, and used as a means for decoration. She designed wedding bouquets and wreaths. Phyllis became the local expert in herbal horticulture and spread her knowledge of growing and using herbs to locals — this despite the fact that she had no formal training in horticulture; she was entirely self-taught.
It was the goal of her family to maintain the farm as it was in the 1700s, growing herbs and crops without the use of pesticides. The Brauns had a very successful local, organic farm.
Phyllis Braun is a dedicated and well-respected member of the Sherborn community. She is the co-founder of the Sherborn Garden Club and the Sherborn Council on Aging, and she has been involved in both the Sherborn Historical Society and Sherborn Benevolent Society.
After asking Phyllis for a piece of advice for those younger than her (which, in Sherborn, means all of us), she stated succinctly: “Keep our minds open to accept changes, because life is going to change, whether you like it or not.”