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Stamp of approval for five generations of posties

Keep it in the family, so the maxim goes. That’s what the Archers did. Five generations of the family have served with the NSW postal service. For more than a century and a half and through two world wars, the Depression and now a pandemic they have delivered good news and bad by telegram and letter.

David Archer at work delivering the mail while trialling a new electric buggy.

David Archer at work delivering the mail while trialling a new electric buggy.Credit:James Brickwood

David Archer, a senior postal delivery officer at Seven Hills, is the contemporary face of Australia Post. He is trialling a new electric delivery vehicle. More parcels and fewer letters mean 6000 of the buggies – which are greener, safer and carry more than a motorbike – are on trial.

Turn back the calendar to the 1860s and David’s great-great-grandfather Thomas Archer (who worked for the postal service from 1860 to 1898) arrived in Sydney from England by tall ship as a free settler. The colony’s much anticipated mail arrived the same way. Thomas soon secured a job as a letter carrier in Woolloomooloo, when the postal service was in its infancy. The adhesive stamp had been introduced 10 years earlier, mail was moved by the Cobb & Co horse-drawn coaches and the GPO building at 1 Martin Place was still only half built.

Thomas’ only son Albert Archer also followed the family tradition (served 1887-1937), delivering telegrams before becoming a postmaster at Epping. Back then the postmaster, a prominent figure in the community, lived in a postal service residence.

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