25 years of pushing the envelope(s)

Karen Bain marked her retirement as Clyde’s postie on Saturday. PHOTO: JARED MORGAN
Karen Bain marked her retirement as Clyde’s postie on Saturday. PHOTO: JARED MORGAN
Rain, hail, or shine, former postie Karen Bain mostly got through.

After 25 years delivering the mail to Clyde, Mrs Bain has called it a day and on July 4, she celebrated her independence.

Her story contains the odd crash, a bit of crime, dog bites, wild weather, and nudity.

The latter came with a couple of incidents that stand out in her career, one of a woman who had just lost her husband and another of a man who she firmly believes answered the door naked "on purpose".

Another tale involved a man "high on magic mushrooms" who decided to take her motorcycle for a spin around the forecourt at Dunstan Motors while she was sorting mail for delivery.

A dog bite required a tetanus shot and she also took a few spills but nothing serious, she said.

Those where some of the stories Mrs Bain told when she was joined by a circle of friends and colleagues past and present in Clyde on Saturday and took time to reflect on her career.

It is a career marked by 6am starts, six days a week.

Mrs Bain said she was in her first year in the job when her step-through Honda 90, which had done 6500km, burned out its clutch, leaving her to complete her route on foot for three weeks.

The breakdown involved an upgrade to a slightly gruntier 125cc motorcycle, but that was was not fail-safe in the depths of winter, when she donned a ski suit to make her deliveries, she said.

That sometimes meant abandoning the bike.

"There were days in winter you had to use a car and also when there had been snow."

At the beginning of her career she delivered after sorting the mail in two runs that took about two hours.

"It probably took longer to sort the mail than it did to deliver it."

After two-plus decades in the job that time had ballooned to three-and-a-half or four hours.

It was a health scare and a growing workload that forced her to reassess.

"My husband Neville was also retiring, so I thought it was time."

jared.morgan@odt.co.nz

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