Eddie Stone has been delivering services to the Gin Gin community for much of his lifetime and has now sold the Gin Gin Post Office.
As a Kolan Shire councillor, Eddie represented his community for 29 years, eight of those as mayor.
As the owner of the Gin Gin Post Office in partnership with wife Sally, he spent another 16 years providing an essential community service.
Eddie and Sally recently sold the Post Office business and are now contemplating a life of holiday travel, maintenance jobs at home and watching as the “marvellous achievements of their grandchildren unfold”.
Eddie and Sally are a couple whose looks belie their years.
“It’s the benefit of a life of keeping busy,” they both laughed.
A desire to serve his community and to bring about positive changes runs deep in Eddie’s character.
“I suppose 29 years is a fair stint in local government. I reckon I would be in a rather unique position of seeing our first child, our daughter Louise and our first grandchild Abigail born during my time as an elected representative on Council.
“I believe that prior to the amalgamation of Kolan Shire Council with Bundaberg we achieved plenty positives for our community.
“This included infrastructure for our elderly through Kolan Gardens and pensioner accommodation units. The first stage of the streetscape had been planned by Council prior to amalgamation in 2008 and other initiatives like Bendigo Bank, the highway diversion and even the building of the IGA have all been projects to positively impact the lives of our residents.”
Eddie was never a fan of amalgamation but did have the honour of being appointed the interim chair for the Transition Committee overseeing the Council amalgamation process.
“The days of small Councils are gone forever and, to tell the truth, the dynamics of our town have changed along with the residents who live here.”
Gin Gin Post Office changes
The couple’s 16-year stint at the Post Office has resulted in unprecedented changes as time and technology marched on.
“Post Offices are a very diverse business proposition now,” said Sally. “The growth in online purchasing has seen the parcel delivery side of the post office business grow substantially.
“Years ago, when we lost local banking services in Gin Gin, the Post Office took up a lot of that business and it still remains the case today.”
Sally, who is the daughter of the late Stan Lohse, a prominent Bundaberg builder and former City Councillor, has always worked and says she just enjoys being busy.
In the days prior to local radio station 4BU being sold to other interests, Sally held the position as Chair of the Board of Directors of Bundaberg Broadcasters.
It was this level of professional development that saw Sally prepared to accept any business challenge while Eddie was involved with Council and ran the family farm.
New owners welcomed
With the sale of the Post Office to Brian and Rika Gillard about a month ago, Eddie and Sally admit they will miss the community connection.
“it’s funny but people expect you to have knowledge about everything simply because you are the local post office,” laughed Eddie.
The couple are looking forward to a life less fast paced. “The 8am starts and 6.30pm finishes probably won’t be missed,” said Sally.
“But it’s that contact with people from all walks of life that really made the work interesting and enjoyable.”
Eddie and Sally plan to retire to a home the couple own in Bundaberg.
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