Poor state of Islington Post Office causes concern
Cabbrina Lennox, Gleaner Writer
ISLINGTON, St Mary:THE RESIDENTS of Islington, St Mary, are declaring war over the state of the post office in their community, which is an addition to the existing problems of roads and escalating crime. The post office, they say, is in a very deplorable condition and need swift attention to rectify it.
"How can you have a post office in Jamaica under such deplorable conditions?" asks Dudley Champagnie, a member of the Islington Development Foundation and the neighbourhood watch.
The Gleaner visited the post office after the heavy rains that pelted the island recently.
"These postmistresses should be commended because nobody should be asked to work in such trying circumstances. It's awful," said Champagnie.
The building is said to leak profusely when it rains and there is concern for the health of the two females who work there.
Pastor Herold Henry, who has lived in the community for the past eight years, said his greatest concern is for the ladies who have to work in such inhumane conditions.
"One day mi run come in here to shelter from the rain, but it was better mi did stay outside - everywhere leaks," said Henry. "Now you look at the nice ladies that have to be working in this condition; that can't be healthy for them, and we have a sitting member of parliament for a third term. Come on, man!" he said.
Champagnie said he can't understand why the post office has been allowed to remain in a state of disrepair for such a long time.
Some of the windows are missing, there are obvious signs of attempts to break into the safety box, the roof is leaking in several places, the walls are cracked open and breaking away from the foundation by tree roots growing into the building.
"We refuse to (accept) these conditions; when the rain fall they have a pail there to catch water … . These conditions have been going on for over seven years," Champagnie told The Gleaner.
He expressed concerns that if the post office were to close, many elderly persons who receive their monthly sources of income through the post would be forced to travel to Port Maria or Highgate.
Residents are also concerned about the safety of their mails and pension payments, as there have several attempts of break-ins at the post office.
Added Champagnie: "We are fearful of the whole situation, including the security of the mail. It is easy for anybody to come in here and get rid of the equipment and the mail and stuff like that.
"We have had three cases of breaking and entry. As a matter of fact, even the water tank was stolen. The matter was investigated by the police, but nothing came of it. The glass door is broken, and it is heart-rending to speak of it," said another member of the community.
They said they have reported the matter to the postmaster general and other relevant authorities and are running out of patience because of the lack of response.