The old school house in the southern Alberta hamlet of Priddis has been home to the post office for decades, but the building has seen better days. There are plans to build a new multi-purpose centre, but Canada Post can’t wait that long.
“The post office has notified us that we have until November 1 to decide if we want to keep the post office in a different location or have it move out of the hamlet altogether,” Priddis Community Association spokesperson Ed Osborne said.
800 rural families rely on the Priddis outlet for mail and parcels.
“People have a sense of ownership, a sense of passion towards keeping it here, as well as convenience,” councillor Suzanne Oel said.
“It is really part of the community to have a post office. It’s a central location for people, brings business to the hamlet.”
Residents held a meeting to try to find a spot and agreed on a temporary location in the Priddis strip mall.
The landlord reduced the rent and then a call went out for donations to help pay the lease, utilities and renovations.
“More than one quarter of the residents in Priddis Greens and Hawk’s Landing have come forward with donations,” resident Roberta Roesler said.
“We had an original goal of raising $8,400; we have exceeded that goal now.”
The Priddis postmaster has submitted a plan for the temporary location to Canada Post and is now waiting for a decision.
“This initiative has really galvanized the community and got people to focus on something that’s important to them,” Osborne said.
To the people in and around the small, rural hamlet, a post office is more than just a building: it’s part of the community.