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Dolly McLean Pioneer Postie 1908 - 1984

This is the amazing story of Dolly Ledwich who of the age of 13 took on Berriwillock's local mail contract and held the contract for 63 years....

Dolly held the Mail Contract from 1921 -1984

 

 

Dolly as she was affectionately known to all, was the daughter of the late John and Frances Ledwich, who were  amongst the early settlers and farmed at "Suttons Tank."


 

 

 

DOLLY LEDWICH

At the age of 13 years, Dolly undertook a contract to deliver mail from Berriwillock to Willangie, a distance of twenty miles. The mail was delivered twice weekly on horseback to the receiving office. •She received the grand sum of 3 pounds and 15 shillings per month..

 

 

A YOUNG DOLLY

Dolly was reared in times of depression and great hardships. Following the death of her father 1917,

•Dolly moved with her mother to reside in Tunstall now called Forest Hill where Dolly attended Vermont State School, returning to reside in Morris St Berriwillock in 1921.

•Dolly cared for her mother Frances in her aging years..

•In 1931 Dolly married Ivor McLean, a local farmer's son.

 

 

IVOR & DOLLY

Dolly continued the mail run combining it with the roles of motherhood, housewife, helping out on the farm and at the same time ran the local dairy, supplying the township and district with milk, cream and butter. She had milked cows from an early age, having milked by hand up to 30 cows each day.

 

Photo provided by Max Nunn.  A young Max collecting milk at Dolly's Approx 1963

 

Milking machines were installed in the mid fifties.

Dolly was a talented and experienced horse woman and over the years broke into harness many a pony, for use on the mail run.

After twenty five years the mail run was extended to farm houses further out. Dolly had worn out many ponies and vehicles due to the elements, unmade roads and rough tracks that she had to negotiate.

Regardless the conditions though the mail always got through.

 

OFFICIAL NOTIFICATIION GRANTING DOLLY PERMISSION TO DELIVER THE MAIL BY CAR 1943.

 

 

  •After a time Dolly purchased a Chevrolet tourer car, the mail run was extended further out and increased to three days a week.

 •As well as delivering mail she also delivered papers, bread, groceries, machinery parts etc.

 

 

A NORMAL DAY FOR DOLLY...

 •In 1981 Australia Day Honours Dolly was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (O.A.M.) for sixty years of Community Service. •Dolly pioneered the mail run in the North West Mallee and held the contract for a record 63 years..

  

 

 

 •Beatrice Dorothy McLean (Dolly) passed away suddenly at her home in Berriwillock on the 18th August 1984 aged 76 years. •Dolly was a popular and well respected citizen who took part in community activities, she excelled at tennis in her younger days and still played golf at the time of her death and was a life member of the Berriwillock Golf Club...

 

 

 

Dolly's original family home in Berriwillock is still owned by the family in 2011..

   

 

THANK YOU YVONNE RYAN & BESSIE BISH FOR THE PICTURES AND INFORMATION FOR DOLLY'S STORY....