It’s an extra challenging Christmas for many in Springwood this year but the hub of communications — Springwood Post Office — is handling the festive event with aplomb.
Tim Forde, postal manager at Springwood Post Office, said all the extra mail and packages to homes damaged or lost in the fires was being re-directed to their new homes.
“We’re handling it pretty well,” Mr Forde said.
“We’re getting quite a few coming here and getting us to hold their mail here. I think 205 homes were lost, it’s a great number but it’s all going to their new abodes and Australia Post is geared up to handle that sort of thing.”
Mr Forde said “stacks of packages” were turning up and the crew had been “working every Saturday morning from the middle of November to Christmas” to handle the load.
The Santa box was also getting plenty of letters and Mr Forde said children need not worry about Santa finding them in their new home
“They don’t have to worry Santa will find them, we have a very good system redirecting mail for everybody and it works very well.”
Mr Forde said straight after the fires was “extremely busy”.
“It was very emotional, staff dealt with it, you are dealing with people crying because they have lost their home ... we were trying to give them as much assistance as we could, free photographs for their passports, free redirections, everything we could gave done to make their transition to their new place easier was done.”
Mr Forde said most of the fire affected families had moved to Sydney’s west — “Richmond, Penrith, Windsor — and “only a small percentage were able to stay in Springwood to stay with parents or other family”.
Some of the posties had also found it a struggle to deliver to the blackened areas after the disaster.
“It was traumatic for some of them [the posties] going through those areas again.”
He said 2013 was “turning into one of the bigger Christmases we have had”. People were returning to some of the old traditions and sending Christmas cards was back in vogue, he said.
“I think Australia Post has been floored, we didn’t realise how big Christmas would be this year ... obviously a lot of people have come back to cards, last year we had stamps left over, this year we’ve run out, we’ve gone through thousands, there’s a big turnaround.”