‘Friends for life’
Congratulations to Farook Choglay from Birmingham Mail Centre, who celebrates 50 years’ service this March – as well as our other long-serving colleagues who have reached their 40 year milestones this month.
Thank you too to Anglesey postie Stephen Jewell (pictured), who has finally hung up his postbag after a mammoth 47 years with the business.
Stephen, who retired at the age of 66 on Friday 26 February, said that he had fallen into the job ‘by chance’ back in 1973 when he bumped into the postmaster at his local pub.
At the time, Stephen was looking for a job that would allow him to keep playing football for Holyhead Town FC, but most of the work available then involved weekend shifts, meaning he would miss some games. So, when he was offered a role as a postman on New Year's Eve that year, he jumped at the opportunity and ‘never looked back.’
Having served his customers in the North Wales village of Valley for over four decades, Stephen was a popular figure in the area. So popular in fact, that after completing his final shift, he was presented with more than 100 retirement cards and gifts from his local community, thanking him for a lifetime of service.
‘With the reception I got on my last day, I was quite overwhelmed to be honest,’ Stephen told the Daily Post. ‘I've received over 100 cards and gifts. Some of the residents also set up a Go Fund Me page for me during the first lockdown that raised £1,000 which was unbelievable. They have made my job a pleasure over the years.’
Stephen said the main thing he enjoyed about the job was the people.
‘I've seen people grow up,’ he said. ‘I've been to weddings and funerals. It's been a big part of my life that I might not have had without it.’
From an incredible 47 years of service, Stephen has unsurprisingly collected a huge number of fond memories. But one shift from his early days has always stuck in his mind.
‘There's been a few shifts that have stood out from the rest for one reason or another,’ said Stephen. ‘I remember one time, back in the seventies, I delivered a pig in the back of a van to Valley market.
‘I arrived at this smallholding and the people there were upset because the person who was going to deliver their pig to the market had not turned up. They were distraught because the pig would have been worth a decent amount of money to them, so I took it there myself.
‘I got it to the market on time and it fetched a good price when it was there as well. I remember it like it was yesterday - it was definitely one of my stranger deliveries.’
Stephen now plans to enjoy his retirement doing his three main hobbies - sailing, gardening, and being with his three grandchildren.
‘I just want to thank everyone in Valley for their kindness over the years and over the past few days in particular,’ he said. ‘I've made some friends for life in this job and for that I'm very grateful.’
Congratulations to the below long servers, who all celebrate 40 and 50 years this month.
- Farook Choglay, Birmingham
- Neil Waggott, Pitlochry
- Jim Heenan, Newtonabbey
- Christopher McLoughlin, Warrington
- David Stone, Crawley
- John Stretch, Poole
- Andrew Fribbens, Chelmsford
- Andrew Abbott, Bexleyheath
- Sean Williams, Margate
- Shaun Reardon, Rochester
- Trevor Sawyer, Swindon
- Stephen Williams, Bristol
- John McKale, Glasgow
- Alexander Bilsland, Glasgow
- Gerard Morris, Glasgow
- Joseph Dillon, Woking
- Mohammed Sharif, Maidenhead
- Graham Barnes Hemel Hempstead
- Alan Green, Hemel Hempstead
- Keith Wood, Derby
- John Birch, Widnes
- Wayne Charlton, Rochdale
- John Coughlin, Warrington
- Robert McMurray, Liverpool
- Andrew Blower, Bolton
- Peter Jack, Luton
- Nick Paine, Southampton
- Jim Skinner, Southampton
- Les Taylor, Preston
- Nachhattar Singh Mand, Crawley
- Nick Southwick, Stourbridge
- Martin Onions, Redditch
- Stephen Smart, West Bromwich
- Linda Matteri, Coventry
- David Edwards, Cardiff