Ded­i­cated pa­per de­liv­ery man moves on

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By CHE BAKER

Fend­ing off dog at­tacks, fall­ing off bi­cy­cles and work­ing in fierce weather have all been a part of ev­ery­day life for Alexan­dra man Ste­fan van Welie. But af­ter 30 years of de­liv­er­ing news­pa­pers in Alexan­dra, he is park­ing his bike. Next week will be Mr van Welie’s last week on the job af­ter he de­cided to move to Tau­ranga to be closer to his fam­ily. ‘‘I’ll miss the pa­per. I’ll miss the town, but it’s time to move on,’’ Mr van Welie said. He be­gan as a pa­per boy at the age of 10. Since then he has watched the town de­velop day by day and has seen count­less new houses built. Six days a week he would start his day at 4.30am to de­liver The South­land Times and The Otago Daily Times and once a week he de­liv­ers The Mir­ror and The Cen­tral Otago News. ‘‘I’ll miss talk­ing to the peo­ple who wait at their drive­way ev­ery morn­ing for their news­pa­pers.’’ Mr van Welie said he en­joyed ‘‘plough­ing through the snow’’ to get pa­pers de­liv­ered, has fought off ‘‘plenty of dogs’’ and had sev­eral se­ri­ous bi­cy­cle crashes. One crash hap­pened as he was trav­el­ling too fast down Bridge Hill and went fly­ing over the han­dle­bars, ‘‘pa­pers and all’’, af­ter brak­ing too hard. ‘‘I’m lucky I was wear­ing my hel­met, my bike fell apart,’’ he said. Wayne Soper, Mr van Welie’s em­ployer for the past 15 years, said he was a ‘‘very ded­i­cated and re­li­able worker’’. Not ev­ery­one would get up early ev­ery day to start work, and he was al­ways on time and never late, Mr Soper said.


Fi­nal de­liv­ery: Alexan­dra man Ste­fan van Welie de­liv­ers a news­pa­per in Alexan­dra. Next week Mr van Welie is re­tir­ing from de­liv­er­ing news­pa­pers in Alexan­dra af­ter 30 years on the job.

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