Monday, October 28, 2013

The Penny Post Office

UPDATE: Sadly Canada Post has slated the Penny Post Office to close on December 31, 2013.

Hey there,

This past weekend I went on a train trip to Jasper National Park. I went there on Saturday and returned on Sunday. Seems like a short trip right? Well, I basically only went to stock up on postcards to send and to send a bunch of postcards to people from Penny, BC. Population: 1

Penny Post Office
From a previous trip on Via Rail I had heard about the Penny post office. The Penny post office is located in Penny, BC. It is said to be the last post office in Canada that is only serviced by train. Mail is delivered 3 times a week when the train travelling westbound on its way to Jasper and it is picked back up when the train is heading eastbound toward Prince George. The Penny post office is only open for about 2 hours, 3 times a week when the train is due to come through with the mail.

To those of you that I said I would send postcards to this time around, they will be featured in the following photos. Diane, the Via Rail service manager who was working on this trip had previously told me about Penny and she always tells all the train passengers about it and encourages them to send postcards from Penny. She purchases the postcards from the Penny post office as well as the stamps then she sells them on the train for people to mail. I had sent one on the previous train trip but this time I was prepared and wanted to send a whole bunch to help support the Penny post office.

Diane handing off your postcards to the
 Penny Postmaster Andreas  (on Saturday)
One passenger so loved Penny that he wrote an article about it which Diane has printed out and keeps in a book with other interesting articles about destinations along the train route, on the train for all passengers to read. So please if you happen to take the train anywhere between Jasper and Prince Rupert, ask about sending a Penny postcard.

Diane picking up your postcards and the
rest of the mail (on Sunday) 

For any stamp nuts like me out there, there is a great opportunity here. If the Penny post office cannot get enough mail volume the government may close it. That would be a great tragedy. But, in the event that that happens the Penny postmark (seen below) will become a collector's item. If you would like something stamped with a Penny postmark and you do not live in the area I have found out that you may send a self addressed envelope (stamped or with the price of a stamp included) to the Penny post office. You may wish to write a short note asking Andreas to please postmark it and send it back to you. I'm sure he would love it if anyone just sent him a postcard or a nice Hello greeting as well. I am also told that stamps and Penny postcards can be purchased through credit card or PayPal but you would need to contact Andreas by email to find out about that. The address of the Penny post office and the email address where you can reach the Postmaster Andreas are posted below.

To the Postcards for Posties crew: I believe the plight of the Penny post office encompasses the whole idea of the Postcards for Posties campaign. So please friends, let's help support the post office by sending them mail. I know we can help keep this post office open. Let's flood it. Andreas will be so pleased. I was fortunate enough to meet him and he is a really great man. For him to be so dedicated to the post office to live in isolation like this is amazing. The winter population of Penny is 1 as Andreas' wife goes back to Germany. He was so pleased with the stack of postcards that I mailed on Saturday so let's keep them coming. :) I can also send postcards from Penny by dropping them off at the train station to be picked up and taken to Penny on the next train's departure so if you happen to send me a postcard and would like a Penny one in return I will see what I can do ;) . I learned about Penny all thanks to one Via Rail Service Manager, Diane and now I have shared it with all of you. If you have any messages for Diane let me know and I can pass them on for you. :)

Penny Postmark

If you would like more information on the history of Penny or other post offices in the Fort George area please leave a comment and ask me or if you are a member of Postcards for Posties send me a message on there. Thanks for reading this long post and I appreciate your support and I'm sure Andreas will too!

Important Info: 

Mail was delivered to Penny on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

UPDATE: Sadly Canada Post has slated the Penny Post Office to close on December 31, 2013.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mail Sorter Makeover

Hi there,

Almost before
A few months ago I really wanted to find a mail sorter. You know, one of those wooden things that everyone used to have that you use to sort bills from other mail and it had a place for incoming and outgoing mail. So I set out to try to find one that I could perhaps update. I had a vision and I needed to find the perfect specimen for my project. I went to the first thrift store on my list and no luck. I walked into the next one and saw what I wanted right away! It was meant to be I guess. I found it and for only $2! I forgot to take a before picture so I found the most similar internet picture I could, to show it.

I wanted to paint it first off, but I didn't know what colour. It was difficult to make a decision but finally I chose an acrylic shade called African Violet, which is a dark shade of purple. After it was all painted and dry I continued towards creating my vision. I went out and got some Mod Podge and went through my stamps looking for some doubles. I also collected used stamps from mail at work. After removing the stamps from the paper I decoupaged them all to the mail sorter. I wanted something special at the top and I have always been fascinated by mailboxes from all over the world. I love Japan and Japanese mailboxes so I found a great picture of a nice red one and used the air mail stamps from previous penpal's letters around it. Very pleased with my makeover project it found a place beside my desk. Here it is!


Recently I was informed of a website I might enjoy. I decided to check it out and was immediately in love with what I found. Postcrossing is amazing! I just cannot believe I was not aware of this site before. Here is Postcrossing's project, " The goal of this project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free. Well, almost free! The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world." The short version of the way it works is this.

1. Request an address from the website.
2. Mail the postcard to the address.
3. Wait to receive a postcard.
4. Register the received postcard in the system.

I love this whole concept and I immediately joined and started sending postcards. At first, the maximum you can send is 5 so I got 5 ready to go right away. In addition to the 5 Postcrossing postcards (2 for Russia, 2 for Germany and 1 for China). I also sent a letter to a PenPal in Japan, a postcard to one of my Canadian friends who wanted to start exchanging postcards and the first of what I hope is many letters to one of my friends who moved to a different city.  Here is a look at my outgoing mail for Tuesday after the long weekend.

So please if you love Snail Mail and are going to be a good Postcrosser, check it out, sign up and get mailing!