Retiring rural postie parks his truck

Kevin ‘‘Rock’’ McCrorie, of Ranfurly, has retired as rural postie after 17 years. Photo by Lynda...
Kevin ‘‘Rock’’ McCrorie, of Ranfurly, has retired as rural postie after 17 years. Photo by Lynda van Kempen.
After travelling more than a million kilometres, Kevin "Rock" McCrorie has finally parked  for good.

His 17-year career as a Maniototo rural postman ended on Friday and he shared some of the finer details with  the Otago Daily Times.

Number of vehicles used: Five Toyota Hiluxes

Kilometres driven: 250 a day, five days a week.

Total: 1,105,000km.

Rural boxholders: 125.

Mail, newspapers and parcels delivered: Hundreds of thousands.

Goldfish received: One

Axolotyls delivered: One.

Mr McCrorie (64) began working as a rural delivery contractor in 1999, initially covering the area around Ranfurly, Waipiata, Hyde and Kyeburn.

A couple of years later, he added another run, extending his patch to include Kokonga, Naseby and Danseys Pass: "as far as the pub".

"I was a truck driver before, so the k’s I was doing never really came into it."

There have been "a couple of prangs" in his time but nothing too serious.

As for rough weather, he points out every mail delivery person has to work in bad weather, no matter where they live.

"I’ve travelled in lots of snow. Eight or 10 inches doesn’t really worry me, but after that I’ll pull the pin."

He has also struck the occasional bridge washout.

"A year or two back, when the bridge up Danseys Pass was washed out, I went through the river a few times. It was deep enough ...  as I found when I went through it. It was just marginal really and a bit silly of me to try it."

In 17 years driving around heartland Maniototo, he says thankfully, he has never come across a serious accident.

"I’m not much good with blood, so don’t know how I’d have got on."

He has certainly had several close encounters with birds and animals.

"Crazy" nesting turkeys can be an occupational hazard.

"They fly up at you at the last minute and they’re quite sizeable birds."

And a hawk once collided with his truck’s wing mirror, snapping it off.

"He won’t get hit now though, not now he’s got a mirror with him to see both ways," he joked.

A few unusual items have been delivered over the years.

An axolotyl (Mexican walking fish) was delivered to a Naseby home and several artificial limbs have also been transported.

Children have left dozens of artwork in mailboxes for "Postie Rock".

"There’s been numerous things to pin to the fridge, artwork from kids along the way. They’ve been asked, what are you going to do with that painting and they’ll say: give it to Postie Rock."

"I used to leave them a dollar mixture of lollies at Christmas. One year I think we left 75 bags of lollies."

Gifts have also come his way.

"One Christmas, a little girl out on a farm gave me a goldfish in a jar and left a wee note saying the fish was named Fastpost."

"The kids on the run are a bit like grandkids. One lot will head off to school and there’s another lot arriving. The oldest of them are off to high school now, of course."

One of the notable changes over his time on the mail run was the progression of the Macraes gold mine.

"It used to be nowhere near the run and now I drive through it."

The growing number of centre pivots on farms was another change, as was the increasing volume of items ordered online to deliver.

Mr McCrorie has always done farm work after finishing the mail run about 1pm-1.30pm each day, and he plans to continue that work.

He has no regrets about his time as a rural postie. 

"I enjoyed it the very first day I went out and I still enjoyed it the last day."

lynda.van.kempen@odt.co.nz

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