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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Alisdair Mackenzie (Sandy) Marks 60 Years Serving Post Office Customers in Rogart

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Postmaster Alisdair Mackenzie, better known as Sandy, has reached his 60 years’ milestone for running Rogart Post Office in the Sutherland area of Scotland.

After leaving school Sandy had worked for Bank of Scotland for a few years, then he decided that he wanted to run his own business.

He has just reached the diamond anniversary.

Sandy, a native of Rogart, took on Rogart Post Office in 1964.

He ran the Post Office from a couple of rented rooms at the Cross House in Rogart where he introduced some stationery and basic staple items alongside his business.

Sandy and his wife, Marjorie, who married in 1965, then decided that they needed more retail space.

They built a brand-new premises, housing the Post Office, and a village shop directly across the road from the Cross House.

This is where Sandy, aged 83, is still Postmaster and runs the Post Office.

Postmaster, Sandy Mackenzie, said:

“My wife Marjorie and I have really enjoyed running a Post Office and shop in the community where my family is from.

“I know a lot of people as many have lived here a long time, but I also enjoy meeting new people coming into the area.

“Over the 60 years there have been many laughs, great memories, and obviously some sad times.

“Summer visitors regularly come back and are scared to ask if I am still above the ground, so are then amazed that I am still behind the Post Office counter.

“I am extremely grateful to the employees who have helped me in the Post Office over the last 60 years and the many loyal shop workers who have worked over the decades to the present day.

“The area is changing.

“Since Covid more people are now working from home and people have moved from urban areas down south to enjoy this rural, peaceful, location.

“I love serving the community and have been actively involved with many of our village committee’s over the past 60 years and also served as a Justice of the Peace.

“I worked for a bank and I run my own business, so I’m used to filling in forms and dealing with different officials.

“In days gone by, I helped many of the local crofters who came to me for help in putting pen to paper with form filling, VAT, tax returns and other official documents.

“With the introduction of computers, these days have long since passed, and pen to paper is a rarity.

“We managed to stay open throughout the pandemic and people were grateful that they could stay local for vital Post Office services and for their groceries.

“Sadly, during the pandemic we lost the Royal Mail sorting office at Rogart, alongside the income for the sorting office being within the premises, as they said there was not space for the two Royal Mail workers to safely sort the mail so it was transferred 11 miles away.

“We now use that space for storing parcels as there has been a real increase in home shopping returns and people collecting parcels from us.

“I also have fond memories of long ago when the local barber also used that back office to give haircuts.”

A Post Office 60 Years’ Long Service Award has been presented to Sandy in appreciation of his important role in the community.

Post Office Area Manager, Louise Duff, said:

“I want to sincerely thank Sandy for serving Post Office customers in Rogart for 60 years.

“It is an amazing achievement.

“Very few postmasters reach their diamond anniversary.

“Sandy also transformed his community.

“When he took on Rogart Post Office it was just a small, very rural, branch.

“He took the opportunity to have new premises built across the road to be able to incorporate a village store and to provide better Post Office facilities.”

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