Remember when a letter addressed locally, unsealed, cost but one cent to mail? A sealed letter cost us two cents and a letter addressed out-of-town and sealed was three cents? And to top it all off we had the mailmen doing their walks twice a day and once on Saturday!
During a recent visit to Lindsay I had the pleasure of visiting with a dear old friend in the person of Guy Mills and our conversation wasn't long in recalling the days when mailmen worked really damned hard to get the mail through in a lot less time than it takes to-day.
There were no drop off locations in those days, said Guy. "I can readily recall leaving the Post Office with bags draped over each shoulder and one in front of me which was the one I worked out of and believe me, in the winter the going was really tough, but that was our job and people being so friendly made our jobs much easier."
Asking Guy if they were expected to carry parcels in addition to letters, he stated certainly they were. "There was no special truck for parcels at that time. No, Jack, that was all part and (excuse the pun) parcel of the job."
Mail was exceptionally heavy at Christmas time when cards would be mailed at one cent each and it was nothing to have as many as 20 or more dropped off in a letter slot at the same time. More often than not "extras" were hired for the Christmas rush and sometimes three deliveries were made in a day due to the excessive volume.
Lindsay's first Post Office was opened on Kent Street across from the Olympia Tea Room in 1919 under Post Master Peg" Murphy who was assisted by Basil McIntyre. Our original mail carriers were Jack Cuthbert, Bill Smith, Ernie Rance, Geo. Davis, Gordon Bates, Geo. Peppiat, Bert Brown, Jimmy Thacker and Stan Henry. This group of fellows included what we called our eight regulars and one spare", Guy related.
What a contrast from to-day's 43 cent fee for a letter and the time it takes to get from one destination to the other.