Mallala Postal Services
|Type of organisation:||Government|
|Also known as:||Mallala Post Office|
|Town or locality:||Mallala|
|Date established:|| 1865
|Business or purpose:||Postal and communication services|
The earliest postal services operated from Butler Station. This postal service formally opened as Mallala Post Office from 1 April 1865. Postal facilities in the days of settlement were poor. Hill & Co. ran a mail coach from Adelaide to Two Wells, and for some years farmers took turns on Saturdays to visit Two Wells and collect the mail. Years later, after the construction of the bridge over the River Light (known as Paddys Bridge) at Korunye, a single horse buggy made a daily trip to Mallala from Two Wells to deliver mail. A railway service at Wasleys opened in 1869.
The post office eventually relocated into the Mallala township, but the exact date, and the location it operated from, have not been determined. H.L. Roe is recorded as the first postmaster, from 1867 to 1870.
Facilities for Money Orders were established in 1875.
By this time Mr F. Hastwell had taken over as postmaster, and on 22 July 1880 the Telegraph Office opened.
The new post office at 6 Wasleys Road was declared open on 24 November 1880.
In about 1883 a coach driven by Mr B. Angus and pulled by a team of 5 horses made the journey to the Wasleys Railway Station 5 days a week to deliver and return mail and passengers. His son Mr Sam Angus continued this service until 1917. Then on 20 April 1917 the railway line through Mallala was officially opened and the journey to the Wasleys Railway Station was no longer necessary.
In 1910 Mallala was classified as an Official Office. This was altered again on 1 May 1914 when its status changed to an Allowance Office, and it reverted to an Official Office again in 1924.
The current postcode of 5502 was allocated in 1967, and in 1993 the service was listed as a Licenced Post Office.
Postmasters until 1900:
H.L. Roe 1867-1870
E. Hastwell 1871-1880
Miss Waddy 1880-1882
Miss Alice Boys 1882-1883
Miss C. Baker 1884-1898
Mrs M.E. Droper 1898-1902
Later postmasters included:
1939 - H.A Byerlee
1940 - Mr J.R. Ryan until
1956 - Mr J.R. Ryan
1957 - Mr R. Johncock until
1964 - Mr R. Johncock
1964 (October ) - Mr H. B. Grantham until
1981- Mr Harold Grantham.
The Mallala Post Office was then made an unofficial Post Office.
Memories of Mallala Postal Services
A Mr. Murphy was Postmaster, perhaps during the 1920's. He was also part-time District Clerk (C.E.O.) of the then District Council of Grace.
Mr. J.R. Ryan was Postmaster during and after World War 2. He and his daughter Mary ran the Office practically unaided during the War, after 1941, at a particularly busy time because of the establishment of the R.A.A.F. base, before a Post Office was established at the base. For a time there much telegraphic traffic coming to the base, often in code, and Mr. Ryan was the only person qualified to operate the morse code equipment.
At the same time, the population of the town had practically doubled because many families were "required" to provide board and lodgings, firstly for the base construction workers, and then for R.A.A.F personnel and their wives.There was no mail delivery in the town at that stage - so everyone came to the Post Office to collect their mail either at the counter or from the post boxes.
There were two incoming mails and two out-going mails each day.Telegrams were delivered to households by bicycle, which was also the mode of transport of the large bags of out-going and incoming mail, to and from the railway station.
The P.M.G. Department was a big employer given that there were the office staff, the telephonists (24 hour service), and the linesmen.