Mailman ready to retire after 35 years

Regardless of rain or sleet or snow, the mail arrives every day and so has Denis Haarstead.

By Adam Eisenbarth

Regardless of rain or sleet or snow, the mail arrives every day and so has Denis Haarstead.

That soon will change as Bentley’s 35-year veteran of the Canada Post retires this month.

Reliability would clearly be one characteristic of the veteran postal worker. In 35 years he has reported to work as scheduled all but once.

To Haarstead, the remarkable commitment was never anything out of the ordinary.

“It’s just the way I am I guess.”

He’s outlasted six trucks in his tenure, clocking in close to a million kilometres, and along the way he has made many friends throughout his route.

“The customers have been nice, you meet new people and whatnot. It’s a nice place to work.”

Looking back on his many journeys along his route, the 69-year-old carrier is happy with the time he spent on the job.

“I enjoyed it. I was a farmer all my life so it fit in pretty good with what I was doing.”

In an ever-changing world, Haarstead enjoyed a job that has had few changes over the years.

“There’s a lot more flyers and a lot more customers. Otherwise it hasn’t changed much really.”

Haarstead’s favourite time of year came when Christmas was nearing.

“I got a lot of goodies; boxes of chocolates, homemade cookies and everything, hot cinnamon buns and lots of cards.”

As for his future, Haarstead has no particular plans and he’ll just have to wait to see what he misses about the job.

“I don’t know what I’ll miss yet, I haven’t quit so I don’t know. I’ll probably just miss the job, getting up in the morning and going out and driving around, meeting the people.”

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