South Shields couple retire after running Green Street Post Office for 43 years
A couple who have been running a South Shields Post Office for more than four decades have made the decision to retire.
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To celebrate their remarkable achievement, the Deputy Mayoress of South Tyneside, Gladys Hobson, attended a surprise retirement party for the couple, organised by their daughter Angelee Pandit.
Subash and Anita took on the Post Office on October 1, 1980 - six days before Angelee was born.
Speaking about her parent’s retirement, Angelee has described it as the “end of an era” and has revealed how her parents are planning to spend their retirement.
She said: “This is the end of an era for my family. My father knows my age as he remembers the date he took on his own Post Office and shop.
“My parents really have been an integral part of this community for over four decades. They really have always gone above and beyond.
“The whole family is immensely proud of what they have achieved, and I am sure that customers are very grateful for all of the hard work that my parents have committed to this community over the years.
“Nearby is the first mosque in the country and there is a large Muslim population. Word quickly spread that the kind couple at the Post Office were very helpful and that they would assist them with understanding letters and forms.
“My dad will soon be 70, so it is time for them to retire. They carefully chose who they were going to sell their business to as they wanted someone who would be good for this community.
“They will be sad to go, but they have seen the new owner, an experienced retailer, already take on the shop and he has now been trained as the Postmaster, so they can retire knowing it is in good hands.
“Mum and dad are looking forward to doing lots of travelling They will continue to live nearby, so they can easily pop back to see their former customers, who are like an extended family.”
In-between Covid lockdowns in 2020, the couple celebrated 40 years at the Green Street Post Office, with the business remaining open to help the local community.
Angelee added: “Green Street Post Office and their convenience store stayed opened throughout Covid to serve the community.
“We wanted my Dad to shield, but he said that if his staff were willing to work, then they would also work. They didn’t want to let the community down.
“There is a large elderly community and they would check up on them to make sure that they were okay. They would find out if they needed anything and would deliver, which was important as many did not use the internet.
“The shop has always opened early for newspaper deliveries and there were Post Office customers who used to come in early for company, to have someone to talk to. They could help themselves to hot drinks and chat.”
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Speaking after the surprise retirement party, the Deputy Mayoress thanked the couple for their service to the local community and wished them well for the future.
She commented: “I wasdelighted to attend this community celebration for Subash and Anita Pandit who are held in such high regard.
“I have known Subash, who was also a former Magistrate, for many years.
“On behalf of the people of South Tyneside I would like to thank Subash and Anita for their loyal service to this community for 43 years.
“They are such a kind-hearted couple. We wish them a very happy retirement.”
Niparsan Arulthas is now the Postmaster of Green Street Post Office, having started on the role earlier this week on Tuesday, October 24.