Post and Telegraph Office turns small profit

The historic Post and Telegraph Office in Arrowtown made a small profit in the 2011-12 financial year, but trading conditions continue to be tough, its owner-operator the Lakes District Museum reports.

Income to help keep the business afloat in the 98-year-old building on Buckingham St also came from the fruit stall outside, renting a room to Pure Solutions and the annual market after Christmas Day.

Proceeds from the latest market went towards new landscaping near the post office, the museum's summer newsletter said.

''Due to the redevelopment of the Postmaster's Precinct, the space that was previously handed over by the museum for public use and access was removed,'' the newsletter said.

''This has now been reinstated with new landscaping, new seats, a relocated water fountain and new planting.

''The area will once again be a beautiful place to sit.''

Museum management voiced its frustration in the newsletter over the inability to find out what was happening to the successful ''Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom'' programme after June this year, when the contract expires.

''The Ministry of Education is unable to tell us whether the programme will continue or not past this date.

''In the meantime we are running the programme with our dedicated team of assistant educators.''

The education programme was hailed as having a record year with every primary school in the district visiting the exhibition ''Gold is Where You Find It: 150 Years of Gold in Central Otago'' in the museum's gallery since it opened in mid-October. The exhibition ends next month.