Shannon Post Office

The Shannon Post Office first opened on the 8th August 1887. George Gray was the first Post Master. The workers' payments were ten pounds then went to twenty pounds on 1892, (one pound means two dollars nowadays.) Fred Tremewan and Len Hoskins were the bosses. Fred and Len left the workers to work alone because they knew they were trustworthy. When the post office first opened it was really busy. There was a telephone exchange you had to pick up the phone to check there was nobody there then you plugged your plug into the switch board to call the person.

The workers worked from 7am to 11pm but of course they did shift work. The days they worked were Monday to Sunday. There was a postman everyday. When the postman had put the mail in your mail box he would blow his whistle so you knew the postman had passed along. People had to go to the post office to send mail because they were no email or cell phones. The mail was sent by post so the person wouldn’t get the message straight away.

There were big marriages at the post office because they couldn’t afford big marriages for example: Ilisoni’s koro Ben was at work and he decided to get on his forklift and he went to get Ili’s nan and Ili’s nan jumped on the forklift and they went to the post office and got married. Mail would go on a train to big cities like Palmerston North and Wellington. The longer time a day you worked the bigger promotion you got. There was also a party line so some nosy parker could listen to your conversation.

From Bush and Swamp (Page 163) by Marjorie Law
Whae Hui

Kete Horowhenua Shannon Post Office,c.1907

Team effort by Ilisoni (Year 7) and James (Year 6).