|Articles on this page with permission from GREG WANE, are taken from the Barwon Heads,Ocean Grove, and Wallington news .||Issn 13290371|
Published by Whistler Publishing
PO. Box 358, Ocean Grove
Editor Greg Wayne
Post boxes installed at Barwon Heads
PRIVATE post office boxes have been installed at the Barwon Heads Licensed Post Office, a first in the 112 years that a post office has operated in the town.
The 98 boxes were installed last month in the front window of the Hitchcock Avenue post office. Richard Lewis said post boxes were now available for business and private customers in three sizes and were priced from $38 per year. A large box is available for $139.
The bank of boxes was installed in one day and Richard paid tribute to the expertise of local tradesman Rob Menheere from Grove Glass for reinstalling the plate glass window to suit the new boxes.
A post office was first established at Barwon Heads in about 1890 in a small room at the Barwon Heads Coffee Palace which stood on the site now occupied by the hotel, on the corner of Bridge Road and Ewing Blythe Drive.
The room also housed the telegraph office and mails were despatched and received daily from Geelong by Cobb and Co coach. The coaches left Geelong each day at 9am for Barwon Heads.
The post and telegraph office was entered through a door on the Bridge Road side of the building, about where the current bottle shop stands.
The Coffee Palace was later renamed the Mt. Collite Licensed Hotel and the first licensee was George Golightly.
Maud Golightly and Miss Daphne Piper were in charge of the post office during the early 1920s. The hotel, including the post and telegraph office room, was burned to the ground in 1928.
A short time later Collier's general store in Hitchcock Avenue was extended to house a new post and telegraph office. john Collier and his son Fred also ran a car and mail service to Geelong and return, while Fred's sisters Ruth and Dorrie managed the post office and the manual telephone exchange.
The general store which stood on the northwest corner of Hitchcock Avenue and Clifford Parade was also the newsagent and general store. The store has since been demolished and a hairdressing salon is located on the site.
Australia Post moved the post office to the current building in 1976.
The building formerly housed a cake shop run by Mrs Mien Van den Eikel.
Current Licensed Post Office owners Richard and Donna Lewis have run the post office since taking over the licence from Ted and Madeleine Bates in 1998.
Mail sorting boxes have been used in the current post office for a number of years instead of post boxes, however the extra convenience of lockable boxes that can be cleared at any time is expected to be a boon to the business and private residents of the town. Donna said mail is sorted and available in the boxes each working day by 9am.