Mundaring's Earliest Post Offices
The important role that women played in the dealing with the mail and other postal duties
The first Mundaring Post Office was a corrugated iron building on the corner of Hodgson and Jacoby Streets. The building consisted of a Post Office section with a living room, bedroom and a partly enclosed back veranda. This back section was also used for sleeping and had a bathroom and kitchen on opposite ends.
In 1898 Miss McPhee was the first non-official Post Mistress. Since then Miss Margaret Ann Smith held the position from December 1899 to November 1900, Ruby Louise Faulkner was Post Mistress from June 1909 to May 1910 followed by Mrs Elsie Stribling who held the position until December 1912.
In 1918 Mrs Elizabeth Parsons, a war widow, took the position after her husband was killed in France in 1917 and it was necessary for her to find work to support herself and her daughter Elsie. She had been a book-keeper and had knowledge of Morse Code. The Morse Code instrument sat beside the telephone in the Hodgson Street Post Office. Mrs Parsons was still the non-official Post Mistress until approximately 1926. It was at this time the new Post Office was completed. With no living quarters available, Mrs Parsons acquired the house next door for herself and her daughter, Elsie.
She ran the Post Office on her own, selling stamps and holding mail for locals to pick up. The Post Office was also a Commonwealth Bank Agency. A telephone switchboard also operated during business hours and on closing, was switched to Mrs Hart’s store in Jacoby Street.
In the mid 1930’s the hours for the telephone exchange were extended to 9pm. However, by this time Elsie Parsons, Miss Ghita Pepper and Miss Doris Selkirk were employed to assist. Doris’s sister Nelly helped out when Mrs Parsons took some time to visit her daughter who had married and moved to China.