Post office a hub of the community
Published May 3, 2016
To the Editor,
The best way to make a little community crumble is to pull the foundation out from underneath it.
That’s exactly what is happening in the town of Gooderham. It may be a small community but has been held together for years by long standing central hub the post office.
It’s not just a place to send and receive mail, its been a place to meet your friends and neighbours, a place to catch up with the town’s goings on, a place where you could seek advice on just about anything you wish as you could trust the staff with the information shared. You can ask directions to just about anywhere within a 100-kilometre radius and get an answer and not just a shrug of the shoulder, you can ask about who can cut your grass, where can I get firewood, who can I get to clean my house, who can empty my septic tank, who can grade my road, who can remove a danger tree for you, who can you recommend to pet sit, what species of fish are in that lake, a call from a cottager to see how much ice is on the lake, where can I launch my boat, where can I ride by ATV and how do I get a trail pass, where can I get some photocopies made, where can I send/receive a fax, where can we get our water tested, what hours are the landfill site open, where can we swim, I am having trouble making ends meet where can I go for help, there’s this dog and he looks like this do you know who owns it, I need a mechanic who can you recommend. . . . . .the list goes on and on. None of these questions relate to the post office but you can sure bet you can have them answered there. If the answer is not known, it will be found or the person will a least be sent on the right direction. That’s what makes it a community.
The closure of the post office will inevitably lead to the loss of many services and the loss of that close knit community Gooderham has come to be, and you cannot put a value on that. However the council of the municipality of Highlands East has determined that there is a value on that and they will not pay for that service any longer and are terminating their contract with Canada Post. Our postal clerk knows our townspeople deeply and that knowledge transforms into the most personal service a person can get. The postal clerk is also well versed in the services and business of the community and has been able to refer local business on a number of occasions to new comers’ in essence helping new and existing business to keep going. When a service is needed a local business if referred, when an event is coming up or in the area, they spread the word.
Gooderham post office is a full service retail post office. You need a parcel or letter sent anywhere in the world, does it need to be insured, tracked or signed for, do you need a bill payment made by money transfer or money order, just need a stamp to two or pack of 10. How about a postal code to complete an address. Your item has been lost in transit, they will help you take measures needed to find it whenever possible. The postal clerk has your back and will always provide you with the best service to meet your needs. Delivery of your mail, it’s handled with the utmost discretion and care
Gooderham simply cannot afford to lose the post office, it’s the core that keeps the apple from going to mush.
What will be next, the library? The building department? Public water supply ... these are questions our ratepayers need to be asking if they want their opinions to be heard.
I served many years as a member of council and I am appalled by the lack of public input and the behind closed doors manner in which the termination of the contract with Canada Post has been handled by council. I believe proper protocol was not followed in the situation and that the best interest in the ratepayers of Ward 3 has not been considered. I voted for two of the members at our current council table and the depth of deception felt is only surpassed by the depth of the knife that is now in the backs of their constituents.
Chuck Viner, Gooderham