By Lotte Pegler
Rose Green’s ‘beating heart’ is still going strong as the post office celebrates its 25th anniversary.
A community celebration took place this week to mark the 25 years that Mac Patel has run the post office in Rose Green Road, with the help of his family and a devoted team of staff.
Lilian Richardson, chairman of Aldwick Parish Council, attended the event, along with fellow Aldwick councillor John Bass and the mayor of Bognor Regis, Cllr Phil Woodall.
Cllr Richardson said: “Rose Green is the heart of Aldwick. The post office is the heart of Rose Green.
“We thank you and all your staff for keeping that heart beating and keeping it at the heart of our parish.
“Mac is a popular, well respected and loyal postmaster, who is committed to the Rose Green community. Mac and his wife, Naina, are at the heart of this community.”
Inevitably, during Mac’s 25 years at the post office, a lot has changed, including the closure of the two banks that were previously on the parade.
Despite the challenges he has faced, he says he’s not even considering retirement.
“Why would I?” he said. “I’d have no idea what to do with myself.
“You see, all the people who come in love it here. I love what we do here. We love our customers, we love our staff. It works both ways. It’s worked out really well.
“The banks both went and we were worried, but we’ve had people coming in who wouldn’t have before. We’ve actually seen a massive increase in customers.
“Obviously, things change over time. We have to keep getting people to come to us, and stay with us. If they don’t come, we won’t last.
“Since I started giving out the letter, about two years ago, it’s really grown and grown.” Entitled ‘please read this’, Mac explains to his customers that due to a steady decline in post office
transactions, people were using the post offices less, and obviously affects their business.
For this reason, Mac’s customers are so important – something that everyone agrees is reflected in his service.
“You can tell from the crowds that gathered at the celebration that Mac must be a very popular member of the local community here in Rose Green,” Cllr Woodall said.
“I know from reading posts on social media that people recommend coming to this post office as he offers a very friendly and efficient service.
“I personally remember meeting him when I worked in the village probably when he and his family first arrived.
“Congratulations to 25 years serving your community and hopefully you will be serving them for many more.”