While the MPV Everest’s arrival next month is anticipated for many reasons, I am most excited about us receiving mail for the first time in 12 months! In addition to my day job I have been the postie here at Davis since we arrived in November 2019, and the lack of mail deliveries has left me at somewhat of a loose end. We can only send and receive mail in the summer months (November to March) when there are ships and aircraft coming over from Hobart. With no internal flights this summer we at Davis await the ship for our next delivery.
It may seem a bit old fashioned, but maintaining a postal service in these remote parts brings great happiness. A combination of hand written letters and packages from home, the odd forgotten spare part and a whole lot of presents bought for ourselves online fill the mail bags. Mail bound for Bharati (India), Progress (Russia) or Zhong Shan (China) stations, also comes through and will be bundled onto the next visiting helicopter (whenever that may be!).
As you can imagine there is also a lot of philatelist (stamp collector) mail, with collectors keen to get an Antarctic postmark stamp or signatures of expeditioners.
We have a real post office building here, Rawin hut. This historic plywood hut started life on Heard Island in 1953 to house a radio theodolite for tracking weather balloons, then moved to Mawson in 1955 and to Davis in 1959. Following incarnations as a paint and clothing store and a music room, it is now proudly the post office.
I’ll be opening the post office one last time this week for expeditioners to buy stamps and postcards for the coming voyage, though the mail will get there the same time as ourselves. Hopefully everyone remembers there is no EFTPOS available and that they have some cash lying around for which we have had no need since 2019. I will then hang up my postie coat ready for my successor.
In other news – the elephant seals have moved back in near station and the Adelie penguins are enjoying riding on ice floes in the bay. Naw.