News

The last pushbike postie in Queensland hails from Lowood

POST WITH THE MOST: Lowood's John Ruhl reminisces about his days as an Australia Post pushbike postie.
POST WITH THE MOST: Lowood's John Ruhl reminisces about his days as an Australia Post pushbike postie. Francis Witsenhuysen

LOWOOD'S John Ruhl is the last postman to ever deliver mail on a pushbike in Queensland.

"I hopped on my bike to deliver the mail in Lowood for the first time in 1979, it was my first job,” John said.

"My family were mail contractors so it was in my blood.”

John and his family worked out of the old Lowood post office where they did the original mail run between Lowood and Rosewood, every day five days a week.

John's parents held one of the longest mail runs in Australia up until they retired - an astonishing 50 years with their Lowood to Rosewood contract.

In 1992, John received the Australia post State Achievement Award for the best individual postal delivery officer.

Nominees for the eight regions which made up Queensland were judged on customer service, work achievement, innovation, conduct, diligence and efficiency.

John was nominated by the Lowood postal manager Glen Bishop, who stated in his nomination "I cannot place enough superlatives on this employee... If only Australia Post has a workforce for of John Ruhl's”.

John said he would cover roughly a total of 12 kilometres each day on his Lowood mail run.

"It was a lot of exercise it would've killed me today, but I loved the job though and I was sad to finish up there,” he said.

"I unfortunately don't have my Australia Post pushbike any more, but I would have loved to have kept it.

"It was an interesting time, my dad used to say if you're going to do a job, do it well or you damn well don't do it, so I did my best.”

John put in a lot of effort with his customers and always went out of his way to drop parcels off instead of them having to go back to the post office.

NUMBER ONE: John took out an award for the best postie in Queensland in 1992.
NUMBER ONE: John took out an award for the best postie in Queensland in 1992. Photo Contributed

John recalled how over his 14 years as a pushbike postie he was bitten a total of five times by dogs.

"All of the bites were from different dogs,” he said.

"Funny enough big dogs were never a problem it was the little dogs that got you, because they moved so quickly.”

But not having the opportunity to deliver mail on a motor bike instead of a pushbike didn't worry John because the distance of a mail run was much less back then.

"The town was more compact then, now there's the new estates. I think it was roughly it was 350-400 households I used to deliver too when I started,” he said.

Born in Laidley on February 3, 1960, John grew up in Prenzlau and has continued living there his whole life.

"I went to primary school there and high school,” he said.

John is happily married with three children, which are his pride and joy.

"I met my wife Judy when my mum was delivering mail one day, she was one of mum's customers. They got talking and one thing led to another,” he said.

"My wife has played a very important part in my life, there was always a standing joke 'it wasn't the milk man, it was the postman I had it off with'.”

During his 14 years as a postman, John said he barely had a sick day because it was harder to find a replacement back then.

"When I finished up I had 14 weeks of sick leave up my sleeve,” he said.

"When the kids were born, it was the case of go to work, race down to the hospital for the birth of the child and the next day I would probably be back peddling away like crazy trying not to get too behind.”

John said the biggest change he had seen during his time living in Lockyer Valley was the progress of the smaller towns.

"It was back around the time I finished up where I thought Rosewood, Lowood, Laidley and even as a degree Gatton were all declining,” he said.

"There wasn't much really going on at that time, the train was even pulled out of Lowood.

"I didn't think a lot of progress was going to happen, but it has.”

John finished up as a postman when all of the country post offices were privatised in 1993.

"I took a redundancy and moved into servo stations with my father-in-law,” he said.

"Now I've been working at the Lowood Mitre Ten Hardware shop for just over 10 years.”

Topics:  australia post, lowood


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

BOM predicts potential above average rainfall for Lockyer Valley

The weather forecast for the Lockyer Valley.

More rain than usual for region revealed in Bom outlook.

Safety improvements for road black spot

News

Road works are scheduled to upgrade a dangerous stretch of road.

Charges to be laid for $2m Gatton grow houses

Police dismantled an elaborate, hydroponic set-up at a grow house on Falconer St, Gatton, following raids on Tuesday, August 23.

Three persons will be charged in relation to Gatton cannabis raids.

Local Partners

Thornton braces for off-road racing action

The final round of the CAMS Off-Road Championship will be held in Thornton.

Gat ready for Laidley's first Small Farming Expo

RURAL COMES FIRST: Expo co-ordinator Margo Hayes is an experienced Vitulus Lowline and Ozline breeder.

Get ready for the 2016 Small Farming Expo.

BOM predicts potential above average rainfall for Lockyer Valley

The weather forecast for the Lockyer Valley.

More rain than usual for region revealed in Bom outlook.

Safety improvements for road black spot

News

Road works are scheduled to upgrade a dangerous stretch of road.

Charges to be laid for $2m Gatton grow houses

Police dismantled an elaborate, hydroponic set-up at a grow house on Falconer St, Gatton, following raids on Tuesday, August 23.

Three persons will be charged in relation to Gatton cannabis raids.

New shed dedicated to late mayor Steve Jones

Under the watchful eye of Clive Barton (right) The late LVRC Mayor Steve Jones tried his hand at operating a wood lathe in the Lockyer Valley Community Activities Shed.

The late Steve Jones to be honoured by the Lockyer Valley community.

Trucks, tractors take to the Gatton showgrounds

Patrons inspect one of the many tractors on display at the Historic Commercial Vehicle show.

Historic trucks and tractors on display in Gatton.

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state