It's the end of an era for Doubtless Bay

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Lynn and Mike Pooley, who will make their last mail and courier runs on Monday.
Lynn and Mike Pooley, who will make their last mail and courier runs on Monday.

She was born in Auckland, but Lynn Pooley (nee Brown) has lived at Mangonui since she was six. That, she says, just about makes her a local.

Husband Mike is from the Waikato, and was a slightly later arrival. But while they might not quite make the cut for true local status according to the traditional definition, together they have become a real Far North institution.

And on Monday they will jointly bring down the curtain on their jobs as Doubtless Bay's postie and courier driver respectively.

The couple work under contract to NZ Post, so Mike said embarking upon retirement involved nothing more complicated than handing in their notice.

Their runs, formerly part of Kaitaia-based RD3, would go to Jo Hogg, the current RD1 contractor, who would employ Cooper's Beach woman Sarah Jones.

Mike, born and bred in the Cambridge area, joined the Post Office in Putaruru in 1960 as a bright-eyed telegram delivery boy, a job that came with a uniform and a bike.

He moved to Kaitaia, and a job on the telephone exchange (where he and Lynn met - she worked there for 10 years), in 1971, then to the Mangonui Post Office as a clerk seven years later, until it closed in 1989.

From there he went to the Mangonui Four Square, setting up and running the Post Shop agency for a couple of years, followed by 23 years as caretaker at Mangonui School. He bought the courier van in 2013.

Lynn began delivering the mail from Mangonui to Taipa on November 1, 1997, so will finish one day short of her 20th anniversary.

They had both been happy in their work, Mike saying their customers had been very generous, especially at Christmas.

"We haven't had to buy wine or chocolate for quite a while into the new year," he said.

Retirement might not quite be the right word for what is looming now though. Mike is an active member of the Mangonui Lions, the Far North Vintage Car Club - he has just taken delivery of a beautifully restored 1960 Morris 1000 - and the Mangonui Cemetery Committee, and enjoys a weekly outing on the water under sail.

Lynn, who received a Far North District Council Citizen's Award in 2004, said last week that she was looking forward to doing less and seeing more, but would will still be part of the St John area committee, the Mangonui Hall Committee, Scouts and Guides and the National Party's Northland Electorate Committee.

They will find time though to enjoy their third grandson, born five months ago and living "just along the road," along with two older grandsons, who have come home to Doubtless Bay from Switzerland.

They will also no doubt be spending time in Australia, with daughter-in-law Laura Langman putting her 12-year international netball career on hold next year to play for the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

- Northland Age

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