Archive for the ‘Post offices’ Category

Continuing on the theme of post offices, I recently came across a lovely article in the Bega District News of 19 March 1936 estolling the virtues of Mr Potter, Bega Postmaster.  The article concerns his retirement from the position of Bega Postmaster after 47 years service.  Mr Potter began working for the Postal Department on 3 September 1889 and was obviously a respected member of the local community.  Tributes from Mr Burns, southern district Postal Inspector, Mr Hartup, Eden Postmaster, Mr C.A. Lawrence, Tathra Postmaster as well as from Mr Mills acting Bega Postmaster are included in the lengthy article.

Were any of these postmasters related to you?  If so, please tell us more.


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Despite the fact that the government department responsible had decided to erect a post and telegraph building in Eden in 1885, there were conflicting opinions about the best site. 

Eden Post Office

Eventually though the building went ahead on the corner of Mitchell and Imlay Streets. According to the “Eden Post Office History”  produced by the Historical Officer, Australia Post, this building was first occupied in 1891. 

Additions to the building were made over the next 10 years or so.

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It appears that the first Post Office established in the Valley was at Eden in 1847.  Although there was possibly an earlier one opened at Boydtown in 1844.

The opening of a Post Office often marked a township as having a viable status and locations of Post Offices could be hotly contested. Post Offices and the mail were, after all, the only link with the outside world.

Residents would petition the Post Master General requesting the establishment of a Post Office for their town with explanations as to why an office was required. These records of petitions and correspondence provide invaluable insight into the prevailing social conditions. Petitioners signed their name, often giving their address and occupation so these records can prove to be another source of family history information. As part of the petition a likely candidate for the position of postmaster was offered with supporting information. These candidates were often the local schoolteacher or owner of the general store.

Especially in the early establishment of an office,

The Bega Library has a set of local Post Office histories. These were produced by the Historical Officer of Australia Post in the 1970s and are based on primary records such as petitions and correpondence.  Histories are available for the Post Offices at Eden, Bega, Lower Towamba, Quaama, Candelo, Tathra Road, Kameruka, Bemboka, and Tanja.

The histories also include some information on the establishment of local Telegraph Offices and Telephone Exchanges.

Picture Australia includes historic photographs of many local post offices http://www.pictureaustralia.org/index.html

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