Fairfield City Open Libraries: Heritage Blog

A history of postal services in Fairfield

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POST OFFICE

The first post offices were located at the railway stations (Cabramatta Railway Station was opened in 1870 and Canley Vale in 1878). Stores gradually opened nearby, the first being Mr Bossley’s, at the corner of Railway Parade and the old Cook Square in Cabramatta. In 1895, Nicholas McBurney opened a general store in Railway Parade. In May 1895, McBurney applied to have the post office moved from the station to his store, submitting that “…In the consequence of the multitudinous duties of the Officer in Charge (he having no assistant) causing his frequent absence from the office, the residents are put to considerable inconvenience. My store is in close proximity to the station and the residents believe…they would be better accommodated…”.

Until 1909,  local mail was process on Fairfield Railway Station, and handled by several unofficial offices, including Wheatley’s Store. The Fairfield Post Office was constructed in 1922; a small, neat brick building located on the corner of Ware and Spencer Streets, it became Fairfield’s first purpose-built post office and opened its doors in 1923.  This site was later sold to the Commonwealth Bank in 1961. The new post office was then relocated to Ware Street and opened for business in 1961. The above picture shows staff from the old Fairfield Post Office (from left to right – Jack Bates, Miss Ewebank, Bluey, unidentified female staff, Postmaster and Alf Dixon) serving customers at the counter.

St Johns Park received an office in April 1888 with John Henry Hope in charge. William Flood, master-in-charge of Cecil Park school was Cecil Park’s first postmaster when the post office opened in July 1897. Fairfield West received their office in July 1914 with C. L. Oakes in charge. Mt Pritchard’s turn did not come until the increased in population made it necessary in 1922. Edensor Park did not warrant a post office until 1946. An application for a post office at Fairfield Heights was made in 1950 by Mrs Beard but was deferred as at the time there were only three shops in the area. Five years later, the population had increased sufficiently for a post office to be opened.

The Smithfield Post Office was opened in 1901. The building was damaged by fire on the  2nd October 1965 and was subsequently demolished in 1969. Leo Morris (pictured above with 2 children), who later was to become Fairfield’s first taxi driver, delivered the mail on horseback.

Horsley Park established its own post office in 1933. The building was set in an informal rural setting; a large notice board near the roadside was the only indication that the house was the official establishment of the post office in the Horsley Park area.

[Source: “Fairfield: a history of the district” by Vance George]

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