By Mary Cook Citizen special correspondent
Home mail delivery here doesn’t appeal to everybody. Now that the system has been established more than nine months, most people, according to a post office spokesman, now accept it and are pleased with the added service. However, a few diehards like Maurice Price, who has a personal objection to door-to-door delivery, would be just as happy with the old system. In fact, Price, a professional engineer, refused to go along with the change and rents a private post box. “I find it most puzzling that an institution which continues to lose money would venture into an operation which costs more money.
“It also annoys me that by refusing door delivery, I am in fact saving the post office money, and yet they charge me for the ‘privilege’ of renting a box … it doesn’t make any sense.” The most common argument against home delivery comes from older residents who miss the social contact the daily walk for the mail afforded them. Ray Moffatt said his morning trip down Bridge Street was the “highlight of my day.”
“There was always someone to sit with on the benches outside . . . and the obituaries were always placed inside the post office and we all went in every day to check on them. Now, if I go downtown, it’s for a cup of coffee.”
John Belisle said it was one of the worst things that ever happened to the town. “I really miss visiting with my old friends … I still come downtown every day, but I rarely meet any of the old post office gang.” Many people, however, are pleased with home delivery. Mrs. William Hanham, whose husband is a physician said: “At least now I get my mail … my husband often forget to bring it home from the office.”
Older people who are confined to their homes feel the same way, and young working couples are pleased that their mail is at their homes when they come home at night. Peter Montean, assistant postmaster, said that out of 1947 points of call, only 75 families retained boxes at the main office. These figures, he said, would indicate the door-to-door delivery was generally well received. However, the post office has not been without its own transition problems. Many local mail users often put only the name and the word “town’ on their envelopes, omitting street and postal code, so that all of this type of mail requires hand sorting and the marking on of the postal code. After a notice from the post office, the situation is gradually improving.
Many businesses say that the traffic past their stores has decreased because of home delivery, and they feel the demise of the daily trip to the post office has affected their cash registers … but they all agree it (home delivery) is here to stay. As one old timer put it, “Sure I miss the trips to the post office every day, but now my morning friends are the people on the soap operas.”
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Jul 1977, Tue • Page 4
Mary Cook Archives
“Who is to say the street won’t be overrun with irate husbands ready to fill people full of lead?” Clippings of Mary Cook