Posted: 03.06.20 at 07:00 by The Editor
A peninsula postmaster is looking to put a smile on the faces of all his fellow villagers with a unique gesture.
Manish Patel will mark the 25th anniversary of his family operating Shotley Post Office and Premier Stores with a kind-hearted treat for every household in the communities that he serves.
Manish has arranged boxed Diwali sweets for all 1,100 homes in Shotley and Shotley Gate. The presents are being delivered to every home by Manish, his wife Trupti, their staff and ward councillor Derek Davis.
Attached to the box of sweets is an envelope which says: “Some food for thought. Given in the hope that it brings comfort and joy in difficult times.”
The beautiful card inside says: “The last 3 months have been difficult and trying times for all of us. During this time as your Postmaster, it has been humbling to see how all of you have risen to the challenges posed with good humour, kindness, patience and a quiet determination not to be beaten.
"The way our young selflessly volunteer to help the elderly and vulnerable keep out of harm’s way and neighbours care for each other has filled me with enormous hope and confidence for the future.
“My family is proud to be a part of this wonderful community and it has been our pleasure and privilege to have had to opportunity to serve you for 25 years. We have enclosed a small gift not only to celebrate this important milestone for my family but also as a celebration (and reminder) of the fact that all of us, in our own small way are a precious part of a truly extraordinary community and that better days are ahead of us.
“God bless you and keep you and your family safe. Thank you Manish, Trupti and Mrs Patel.”
In 1995 Chandrakant Patel, who had been a Postmaster in London, decided to move to Suffolk with his wife Kokila, and he became the Postmaster for Shotley at Shotley Stores in The Street, Shotley. Later he handed over the reins to his son Manish who has now been Postmaster for 13 years. Sadly Chandrakant passed away two years ago.
For the past few years Manish has organised a big social event and fundraiser in the village and he had been planning a similar event to mark the 25th anniversary, but that was not possible.
Manish also decided in these unusual times that he would like to give a treat to every household and to help to bring a smile to the residents of Shotley and Shotley gate during lockdown.
Post Office Area Manager, Shervorne Page, said: “Manish Patel is very community-minded and he wanted to mark his family’s 25th anniversary in Shotley with a treat and a thank you for all the households that he serves and that he truly cares about.
"I am sure that this gift will bring a smile to the face of local residents during these difficult times.”
Cllr Derek Davis, said: “We are very lucky to have Manish and Trupti running our shop and Post Office and their staff are great too.
"They are a big part of this community and they do so much for these villages. They are constantly benevolent - doing kind things for the community every Christmas and Easter.
"During the pandemic they have also organised deliveries for customers who could not get out. They are a fantastic couple.
"Congratulations on their family’s 25th anniversary in Shotley.”
The presents will be hand delivered over the next few days in Shotley and Shotley Gate.