Wanaka postie Ed King finishes with NZ Post on Friday after
40 years. Photo by Mark Price.
After 40 years delivering the mail in Wanaka, postie
Edwin King has hung up his bag for the last time.
Mr King has been team leader of New Zealand Post's four
Wanaka posties in recent years but still fondly remembers
starting out in 1974 as the town's sole postie - doing his
round on a bicycle rather than on a motorbike.
During his Post Office days, he was inclined to stop to lend
a hand with a lawnmower that would not start and sometimes he
would add flowers to deliveries of bereavement cards.
On one occasion the mail was three hours late because Mr King
was busy taking an elderly woman to Dunstan Hospital, in
Clyde, after she slipped in the snow.
In 1990, he was first at the scene of a house fire, tackling
the fire with a garden hose and helping the elderly Lady
Margaret Gilkison to safety.
But he was unable to save her husband, Sir Alan Gilkison
And there was the big snow of 1995, and the equinoctial gales
of spring that meant he was forced to walk in places such as
Rata St, rather than ride.
Mr King took over Wanaka's postie round not long after home
Previously, residents collected their mail from 150 boxes at
the Post Office in Ardmore St.
With much of Wanaka consisting of cribs, and cribs not having
telephones, Christmas brought a rush of seasons greetings via
telegrams and these were always given priority.
Since then, Mr King has seen the ''summer holiday town''
where he was born grow to a point where it has 1100 to 1200
And the mail that once consisted mostly of letters and the
occasional birthday present now includes a lot more magazines
and online purchases.
Mr King says he has never had an accident, despite the
ever-present danger of car doors opening in front of him and
vehicles pulling out without signalling.
He says it will take him a couple of months to work out how
he will spend his retirement but he and his wife Judy plan to
start by exploring the parts of the North Island they have
not been to.
He says they are well-equipped with bikes, tennis racquets,
golf clubs and fishing rods, and he hopes to have more time
now to use them.