After having her two children, Claire Delves applied for a job at the Canada Post post office in Port McNeill. Within a couple of weeks she received a phone call asking her to come into work right away.
That new job was evidently a good fit, because on Aug. 14, Delves will be retiring after 30 years with the Port McNeill post office.
Delves moved to Port McNeill from Richmond, B.C., 42 years ago as a newlywed. She has worked in both the Port McNeill and Sointula post offices, and spent 20 in the position of postmaster in Port McNeill.
She says that some of the most memorable moments of her career were the trips she went on as a field support postmaster, a role that saw her flying into remote, small communities like Sullivan Bay and Minstrel Island to audit.
“I really got to see a lot of country,” she says. On one trip in Ocean Falls, west of Bella Coola, snow caused Delves and her group to become stuck, and the town pub was opened for them.
Throughout her extensive career, Delves says that she has seen a lot of change in the mail industry. When she began at the post office it was primarily a business to transport letters and sell stamps, and transitions into a heavy duty parcel focus and constantly evolving technology including a shift from manual to a complete computer system have kept her adapting over the years. “You have to have a very open brain,” she says.
Delves says that one thing she loves about the post office is that it serves as the pulse of Port McNeill.
Since residents need to come into the post office to receive their mail and packages, it is a vibrant and energetic place, and can even be a hub to hear about what is going on in town. She says she will miss the atmosphere and the great people she works with. Once retired, she is looking forward to spending more time with her husband and grandchildren.
On Aug. 14 Delves hopes to celebrate her 30 years by going out for a nice dinner.