June 10, 2010

Postmaster ends long career at local office “

Postmaster ends long career at local office “
My first job was scrubbing floors and it was the last thing I did when I left.”

By ALLAN TINKER
In her forty-one years of work for the US Postal Service, Alvina Martwick has seen many things change. One didn’t. “My first job was scrubbing floors and it was the last thing I did when I left,” she laughed. “I came ‘full circle.’”
Martwick became a postal clerk when Elmer Schielke was postmaster in 1969. Then Lydia Hanson took over and later retired and Martwick became postmaster in 1974. “I will miss the customers but I won’t miss the paperwork, she stated with a smile. “The transfer papers (on her last day of work) were unreal,” she stated.
Good service, and in some instances, outstanding service, was a given for her job. In the winter of 2008-2009, they were the only post office out of the Jamestown head office that got mail through everyday. “They might not have been able to get uptown to get their mail,” she laughed, “but it was here.” The mail truck at that time was driven by relief carrier, Jeff Martwick, her son.
“There were lots of challenges over the years,” added Martwick, but declined to relate any horror stories, but smiling at the memories she alone knows.
When she started her work, every piece of mail was weighed on scales and cancelled with a crank canceller. The postal rates were six cents with five cents for post cards. Currently the postage rate in 44 cents for the first ounce of first class mail, with 17 cents for each additional ounce. Postcards are 28 cents. There are also “forever” stamps available, which allow mailing one ounce first class at whatever price they are purchased, regardless of any increase in postage.
 


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