End of an era

Mary Murphy will retire from the Nimmitabel mail run after 40 years, she is joined by Bernie Stove who assists her on the mail run.

Mary Murphy will retire from the Nimmitabel mail run after 40 years, she is joined by Bernie Stove who assists her on the mail run.

IT'S the friendly faces and the company whilst sorting the mail which Mary Murphy will miss most.

Later this month, Mary will deliver her final letter, bringing to a close 40 years of service to Nimmitabel and its surrounding properties.

On Monday, June 30, Mary will complete her final mail run. At 7.45am, the mail contractor will head out from the Nimmitabel Post Office, one last time. This trip is expected to be the longest, as the friendly faces farewell the 80-year-old, great-grandmother.

"All good things must come to an end," Mary says with a chuckle.

"I will miss the sorting of the mail, and the company at the Post Office. We are always bright and jolly down there,"

Mary took over the Nimmitabel mail run in 1974. The Post Office has moved several times, residents have come and gone, but the one constant in the small town is Mary delivering the mail on time.

Three times a week Mary makes the 212 km round trip, covering Springhill Road, Kybeyan-Tuross, the Monaro Highway and the other long, winding roads off the main track.

The journey is made easier with the company of Bernie Stove, who for last few years has helped Mary with her run.

"If it wasn't for Bernie I wouldn't be able to still do it," Mary said.

Paul and Bronwyn Fitzpatrick who run the Post Office know it will be a sad day when Mary finishes up as one of Australia Post's longest serving workers.

"Mary will be missed, her knowledge of the town and its people is incredible," Mr Fitzpatrick said.

"A morning tea will be held to farewell Mary from the post office; everyone in town will be there if they can."

Mary has lived in Nimmitabel since 1958, she has seen the town ebb and flow throughout the years. The Post Office has moved buildings several times; it currently sits inside the ever popular lolly shop in town.

"I've seen all the oldies leave and the new ones move in," Mary said.

Nimmitabel became her home in 1958, when she moved from Merrimbula with her husband. They started a family, which is now made up of five children, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren , number 11 is on the way.

Over the years Mary has encountered extreme weather events and many break downs.

"One time I blew two tyres at once, I had to walk 6 km for help."

Working for a company for 40 years, in the same place, is an achievement very few people will ever accomplish. The people along her mail route have had a reliable service always delivered with a smile.

"It's been a part of my life, I haven't regretted it since I took over in 1974," Mary said.

Whomever takes over the run Mary's philosophy is simple.

"If you treat the people right, they will treat you right."

On Tuesday, July 1, Nimmitabel will gather at the Country Club to thank Mary for her decades of service. Her presence in town won't diminish, except perhaps, now she has more time for her garden and lawn bowls.

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