Westport Island announces Morton Mendes as next Boston Post Cane honoree

Tue, 09/20/2022 - 8:30am

Selectmen have announced Westport Island’s next Boston Post cane recipient, for the oldest current resident, will be Morton Mendes, who is 96 years young.

Morton and his twin sister Faye were born in 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio. Immediately upon graduating from high school as valedictorian, Morton joined the Army and was stationed in Austria. After his discharge he enrolled in Case Western University, where he earned his Phi Beta Kappa key. He then enrolled at Harvard and graduated with the honor of being named a Baker Scholar. Notable in his career was his appointment as President of Tenna Corporation. They manufactured original equipment for Detroit automakers, and held the original patent for electric automobile antennas.

After he and his wife Patti had summered in Maine for years, they decided to retire to Westport Island from Coral Gables, Florida in 1979. They loved Westport and became involved in local organizations. Morton served as treasurer for Chocolate Church Art Center and on the board of Morris Farm. He was an early founder of the Westport Island Recreation Committee that held programs to honor Westport’s senior citizens. He fondly remembers dancing with Adeline Tarbox, who was in her mid-80s at the time.

When Westport Island was threatened with a Route 1 bypass, Morton gathered friends and neighbors to form Friends of Coastal Preservation. Result – there is no bypass!

When a coal-fired plant was being planned for the head of the Island, Morton once again gathered this group and others to oppose it – and there is no coal-fired plant!

Mort to his friends, Papa Moose to his large family, Morton has five children, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.