A LOCAL postmaster has just celebrated a milestone anniversary.
Eleanor Speer is celebrating over 40 years of service with Killen Post Office.
The Main Street office has been in the Speer family for over 100 years, with Eleanor taking over the Post Office from her late husband’s aunt in 1981.
Eleanor was used to assisting with the counting on a Friday evening, and after four days training took on the Post Office on her own.
"The rest is history,” she said.
Killen Post Office is still a real family affair, with one of Eleanor’s sons Martin helping with the day to day running of the branch and hardware store, while Eleanor’s other son John runs the grocery store next door.
The Speer family have developed a great connection with the local community throughout the years.
“The customers are the best thing about running the Post Office,” Eleanor continued.
“We know all of them by their first name.
"We try to help them if we can, solving their problems or pointing them in the right direction.”
This was evident during the COVID pandemic, with Killen Post Office remaining open throughout to ensure customers could still access essential products and services.
Martin said the family were keen to help customers in any way they could.
He added: “We are in a small village, so everyone wants to help each other out.
"While we were in lockdown, we would be taking orders for groceries and John or I would go and drop their food to their door."
Reflecting on his mother’s four-decade milestone, he said: “40 years is very good. There have been so many hours put into the Post Office.
"Martin and I have always been included and Post Office was a huge part of growing up.
"I remember doing my homework in the back of the Post Office as a child, wanting to stamp the booklets of regular customers. I’m glad her dedicated service is being recognised.”
Eleanor extended her thanks to those who had supported her over the year.
She said: “I would like to thank those from the Post Office who have helped me, including my area managers.
"We really know the community and would like to thank them for their support over the years.
Eleanor was presented with a 40 year long service award from area manager, Sean Doherty, who thanked the Speer family for the dedication to the Post Office.
Sean said: “We would like to thank postmaster Eleanor Speer and the Speer family for their loyal and devoted service to Killen Post Office.”
The Post Office is located at 3 Main Street, Killen.