Stewartstown came to a virtual standstill on Thursday as the community turned out in great numbers to wish local man Ian Millar well on his retirement.
Ian served as sub-postmaster in Stewartstown for 39 years and has now handed over the post to new sub-postmistress Leanne Elgin.
Speaking to the MAIL about his time as sub-postmaster in Stewartstown, Ian said he was sad to be retiring as his job was such a big part of his life for so long.
He said: “I am apprehnesive and sad about leaving. I will miss the people the most, I had a great relationship with the people in Stewartstown and all the staff that I worked with down through the years.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff and postmen down through the years for all their help and support. I would also like to wish Leanne all the best as she takes on the role.”
Talking about how his role changed over the years, Ian said the introduction of a new computer system certainly had a big impact on his working hours.
“The biggest change over the years I was here was the Horizon system, the new computer system which was introduced,” he said.
“It changed everything, before that everything had to be done manually and you could have been here to 9 or 10 o’clock a night, so once the computer system came in it made things a lot easier, you weren’t working the really long hours that you used to.
“Initally when I took the role on, I started with the Post men at half 6 in the morning, and worked to half 5 or 6 in the evening, and did that for around 30 years.
“It is only in the last number of years that the postmen start at 8.30am which meant I didn’t have such an early start,” he said.
Leanne Elgin, a native of Portglenone but now living in Stewartstown with her fiance will be Ian’s replacement.
Having worked in the Bank of Ireland for 13 years, Leanne said she is really looking forward to starting her new role, “I’m delighted that the post office will be staying in Stewartstown.
“It is great for the local community and is a very valuable service. I am looking to bring in a retail floor to sell cards, stationary, jewellery, gifts, candles etc.”
She added: “I know I have big shoes to fill following Ian but I hope to build up a great relationship with the local community.”