Rangiwahia community farewell popular postie
Having driven the same curves and twists north of Feilding for the past 20 years, Rangiwahia postie Ron Lawrence has been sent off in style.
The veteran driver retired to Wairoa last month where a life of fishing on the beach, his greatest passion, awaits.
On March 4 he was thanked by more than 100 people along the rural delivery 54 route, whose mail boxes he had filled every day for two decades.
Rose Brodie devised the idea and, with a group of enthusiastic Rangiwahia ladies, organised an evening dedicated to Lawrence's commitment to the community.
Resident Mary Bielski said it was a fitting send off for someone who had gone beyond the call of duty everyday.
"He travelled over one million kilometres delivering letters, parcels, junk mail, newsletters, flyers, farming parts." she said.
"He never grumbled, Nothing was a problem and he was always happy to have a quick chat while on his run. He was always looking out for others, including our older community members Ngaire Hancock and John Henson.
"No matter what the weather he made sure the mail went through rain, hail or snow. The 2004 February floods cramped his style, but as soon as the roads were cleared he was back on the job."
A red post box, designed by Nicola Murphy, sat on hay bails at the front entrance for people to post thank you letters and memories to Lawrence.
In other areas of the Rangiwahia Hall there were red balloons and Werther's Originals lollies. Bielski said Lawrence used to pop these in mail boxes on the odd occasion.
The community raised $1000 for Lawrence, which was converted into a Hunting and Fishing voucher to kickstart his fishing retirement.
Bielski said everyone brought a plate for supper and a memorable country-style night was enjoyed by all who attended.
Lawrence brought his two daughters, Sash and Chelsea.
The post run has been taken over by Glen Carter.