A BALLYMONEY postman has finally hung up his post bag and turned the key in his van for the last time after delivering thousands of letters and parcels in the local area. He completed his final round on Wednesday, August 3rd.
Albert McCook of Dehra Gardens, a postman in Ballymoney for 36 years, said it was emotional finishing his final round and saying goodbye to his ‘friends’.
For the first 11 years he delivered mail on a variety of different duties. For the last 25 years, however, he has been on the Craig’s rural duty.
Albert revealed to Niamh Burns of the Ballymoney Times: “I have been a postman in Ballymoney since 1975 and I have loved every minute of it.
“As you can imagine, it was hard saying goodbye to all of my colleagues and people on my rounds. Delivering the post for the final time was always going to be difficult as I have made so many good friends over the years.”
Albert continued : “Ballymoney is quite a close-knit community and you quickly get to know people. To be honest I saw many of the residents as friends rather than just a post code.”
Albert would often help the older people on his round. He would deliver newspapers and help out in other practical ways.
“Sometimes I was the only person they’d see and talk to all day.” he told The Times.
Reflecting back on his time as a postman, Albert stated: “There have been a lot of changes in my job since I started in 1975, good and bad, and I have worked under seven different managers and seen many staff come and go. However, everyone I’ve worked with has been great and we have had loads of craic over the years.
“Obviously I will miss my colleagues. However I have no regrets about retiring and I’ll definitely not miss the early morning starts, that’s for sure! I have loved my time in the post office.”
Speaking to the Times, Sammy Graham, Ballymoney Post Office manager added: “I have known Albert basically his whole career, after transferring to Ballymoney in 1992. Albert has been a great postman over the years and has been very much well loved by both his colleagues and customers. 36 years is a long time and is a fantastic achievement for anyone. I know he will be greatly missed - he was an asset to the Royal Mail. We have yet to organise his retirement celebrations, however, I’m sure it’ll be first class - just like Albert.”
Albert loves vintage cars and is looking forward to spending more time at vintage rallies. He also says that his time will be full with his grandchildren, entertaining them and taking them to and from school!
Albert would like to thank the public for their generous retirement gifts and for the friendliness that has been shown to him throughout his career.