Tamil Nadu

British era post office honours oldest customer

Vellore Head Post Office has on display a photograph taken during its initial years of formation, on the occasion of World Postal Week celebrations.   | Photo Credit: VENKATACHALAPATHY C

Half a century ago when Kantha Ganesan moved to Vellore after her husband shifted to a local cooperative society where he earned his livelihood, she seldom stepped out of Sankaranpalayam, a posh neighbourhood where she resided, except once a week on Fridays.

She walked from her house with a small hand-held cloth bag that mainly contained coins to be deposited at the post office near the Fort in the town. Her weekly savings hardly exceeded ₹2 but she did that ritual week after week, covering a distance of three km.

Now 69 years old, Kantha wonders how she was able to make it all these years and still does it, though travelling by bus now. She was honoured by the officials, led by P. Komal Kumar, Superintendent of Post Offices (SPO) at the Head Post Office (HPO), Vellore Division, a few days ago for being the oldest savings account holder with the post office since 1972, to mark the World Postal Week, celebrated from October 11.

“My weekly visit was not only to deposit our savings at the post office. I was fascinated to see the huge building that was built for the post office near the Fort," said Kantha, a mother of three.

Interestingly, the new building for Vellore HPO was built in April 1971 after being relocated from its rented accommodation in Abdullapuram on the Bengaluru Highway. The Mangalore tiled rented post office in Abdullapuram served North and South Arcot regions including Vellore, Ranipet, Tirupatur, Krishnagiri, Thiruvannamalai and Cuddalore since 1930 when M.E. Nigel Jones, the then Postmaster General, Madras GPO, made a lease with the local resident, N. Margasahayam, to run the post office in his house. Prior to it, the post office was functioning from a dilapidated house of the village headman in the town since its formation on October 9, 1874.

At present, the Vellore HPO has 46 sub post offices and 106 branch post offices. As part of the week-long celebrations, the Vellore HPO also honoured its field staff including branch post masters in Vannanthangal, Veerakollaimedu, Puduvasur, Velangadu and Appukkal for taking postal services to the remote villages in the district. The HPO honoured 64-year-old A. Kaheer Ahmed for his 39 years of service, mostly in the Vellore division.

V.P. Chandrasekar, retired Senior SPO, released a special cover and banner depicting all days of the National Postal Week. G. Srinivasan, Senior Post Master, Vellore HPO, and P. Pradeepa, Assistant SPO, staff and senior customers participated.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 9:49:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/british-era-post-office-honours-oldest-customer/article37013600.ece

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