Rowe’s oldest citizen honored with cane

ROWE — For many years, Florence M. Bjork played a prominent role in the life of this town — as its postmaster, town treasurer, auditor and as keeper of The Village Store.

This month, Mrs. Bjork, 97, was given the town’s “Most-Senior Citizen” Cane Award this month, presented to her on behalf of the Board of Selectmen.

Bjork has been a Rowe resident for 68 years and still lives in the same house in which she and her late husband, Wendell, set up and ran The Village Store from 1955 to 1983. Now, the closest stores for residents living here are in Charlemont.

The Bjorks moved to Rowe in 1945, and Mr. Bjork served as the town’s postmaster starting in 1946. When he retired in 1973, his wife took over as postmaster, until 1980. The Bjorks established the town’s small post office in their store, until that office was moved to the Town Hall.

The couple have two sons, Alan and Timothy Bjork, also of Rowe.

According to Alan Bjork, his mother was elected town treasurer in 1956, 1959 and in 1960. In addition, she has also served as town auditor and as selectmen’s clerk.

Many Massachusetts towns have a long tradition of recognizing their oldest resident with the presentation of a Boston Post gold-headed cane. In 1909, that newspaper sent a cane to each town and city, to be given to its oldest resident. However, many towns, including Rowe, lost their gold-headed canes over the years. Rowe doesn’t have its original Boston Post cane, but a similar cane, so that the town can continue this tradition.

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