Harbour post office staying put

FITZROY HARBOUR – Much to the relief of a community in constant concern over its mail service, the Fitzroy Harbour Canada Post outlet is staying put.

Since a 2010 court case involving Canada Post and former Harbour Store owner Kai Zhang, the community has been at a raised level of anxiety the Harbour outlet was going to be closed, forcing residents to travel to Dunrobin for in-store postal service.

The anxiety rose to its highest level in 10 years following Zhang’s retirement in the fall of 2020. Many in the Fitzroy Harbour community felt Canada Post would like to close the outlet as a cost-saving measure. New owner Tejal T.J. Marfatia said he would fight to keep the post office in the community.

Concurrently Canada Post had posted the position of postmaster for the Fitzroy Harbour to its employment opportunities page and stated it was a bilingual position.

Rumours flew the end days of the Harbour post office were nigh. The language requirements were just an excuse to lead to the closure of the outlet. Between then and now, Zhang stayed on as postmaster while the process resolved itself.

In December, Canada Post stated they officially offered the position to Marfatia.

“We are pleased to confirm the Fitzroy Harbour Post Office will remain open in its current location,” Canada Post’s media relations officer Valérie Chartrand told West Carleton Online yesterday (Jan. 25). “We are finalizing details to make the current store owner the new postmaster and will finish the transition as soon as possible. The new postmaster is currently completing training for the role. As such, our search process is now concluded.”

Marfatia told West Carleton Online he’s “happy it’s staying in the community,” earlier today (Jan. 26).

He said he accepted the position the week before Christmas and says he will finish up his training around the middle of February.

“There’s a lot of parcel training,” Margatia said from the Harbour Store. “It’s all virtual.”

But it will be “business as usual” at the Harbour Store while he finishes up his training.

“My main concern was the post office didn’t have to leave the community,” Marfatia said. “The community won’t have to drive to Dunrobin or Kinburn to pick up their parcels. It’s good it’s going to stay here. It will be the same service as before.”

And Zhang has officially retired.