After more than two decades, visitors to the post office in Makwa are being met with a new yet still friendly face.

Charla Dyck officially took over the role of postmistress in Makwa last Tuesday (April 6), replacing Bev Regnier who, after 23 years, has decided to call it a career.

“I don’t really know Bev that well, but she was here a lot of years and I’m sure her efforts during that time were greatly appreciated,” Dyck remarked. “It’s wonderful a little community such as this is able to have a post office and I look forward to my time here.”

Prior to accepting the job in Makwa, Dyck worked at the Canada Post office in nearby Loon Lake.

“I was part-time, however, and even though this post office is only open 20 hours per week, I was only working five hours a week in Loon Lake,” she said. “So, this is a step up.”

As for Regnier, her last day on the job was April 1.

“I’ve been working long enough,” Regnier told Northern Pride when contacted on her last day of work. “I started in 1998. It worked out well because I was driving a school bus at the same time and (the part-time nature of the post office) allowed me to work in between my school bus runs. I enjoyed it.”

Regnier went on to say the various aspects of the job always kept it interesting.

“Whether it was sorting the mail, meeting the people, talking to the customers, and just being able to visit with people – I liked everything about it,” she said.

One memory that stands out the most, she added, was the quick move she had to make from one post office to another.

“I had to change post offices in a two-week period,” she said. “It probably happened about four or five years ago. We moved into the seniors’ centre here in Makwa. Before that, we were in someone’s home – Rolande Beaulieu who was the former postmaster here years ago. The place was for sale, it sold and I needed to get out right away.”

Although not as busy as the post office in Meadow Lake and other larger communities, Regnier said there was enough to do to “keep her going.”

“In recent years there’s been a lot less letter mail, but a lot more parcels – not only because people are ordering more things online now but also because of COVID-19,” she said.

As for the added free time she will now have, Regnier said she and her husband, Gerard, will focus on their family farm, while she also plans to do more yard work and possibly travel more once the pandemic is over.

“I grew up here in Makwa,” she said. “Gerard is from here too. We enjoy farming, and I enjoy small town life. It’s been a long time, so it’s time to retire. You eventually get to the point where you know it’s time.”

Dyck, meanwhile, said she is looking forward to the latest chapter in her career with Canada Post.

“I already know a lot of people here considering Loon Lake is not that far away, but I am looking forward to getting to know even more people and to being a part of the community here,” she said.

by Phil Ambroziak