Jack Delaney leaves his stamp on local postal history
The team at Cessnock Library is excited to launch a book written by late local historian Jack Delaney, Our Letters, The Mail Goes Through, which reveals the rich history of our local post offices.
When there was no internet, television, radio or telephones, the post office was a vital information hub. The mailmen (who were always men) were an important source of informal news about ‘who was doing what’ and passed on stories along their postal routes throughout rural and regional Australia.
The first post office in the Cessnock local government area was at Wollombi, where Postmaster, John McDougall, opened its doors on 1 January 1839. Adjoining areas followed suit with Mount Vincent’s post office opening in 1859, Ellalong’s in 1862 and Cessnock’s in 1864.
Jack Delaney spent years compiling this fascinating insight into our local postal history, which runs over 1,000 pages and stands as a fitting final tribute to his life.
Library Coordinator, Rose-marie Walters explains, “Just as Jack Delaney was focused on making his research as widely available as possible, so too is Cessnock Library. For this reason we have digitised his book and have made it available as a free digital download from the library catalogue.”
“It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time not so long ago when the humble post office was the information centre of any local community. If anything, the post office was even more important in regional areas than in the cities,” added Rose-marie.
Everyone is invited to Cessnock Library for the launch of this important digital book on Wednesday 30 August from 10-11.30am, which will include morning tea. Bookings are essential and can be made by calling the library team on 4993 4399.