Lake Macquarie History

Belmont telegram kids

by Peter Myors

Back in the early 1950s when there were no emails, no text messages and very few home telephones, one of the main means of communication was by telegram. You could lodge a message at the local Post Office, pay a fee and it would be telegraphed to the Post Office in the town of the addressee. It would be delivered the same day to the home address by a Telegram Boy.

photo: ruth myors delivering telegrans at belmont c1955

During each December in the lead up to Christmas the volume of telegrams would increase dramatically. For a few years in the Christmas school holidays my elder sister, Ruth, and I would be employed by the Postmaster Generals Office to deliver telegrams by push bike all around Belmont.

One of the PO staff would allocate each of us, say, half a dozen telegrams and we would head off on our bikes to make the deliveries as quickly as possible before heading back to receive the next batch. It was a really bad day if we got two deliveries to the top of Hill St. or Wommara Ave.,or Hudson St. Belmont South. All this in the middle of summer!

On Christmas Eve we would do deliveries until about 8.00 pm as many of the telegram recipients would take pity on us and invite us to have a drink (cordial) with them.

I still remember all of the streets in Belmont.