Heritage Photo: Postmaster for 26 years at Wilno

The above photo of Vincent Borutski appeared on Page 10 of The Eganville Leader on December 13, 1972. Here is The Leader’s accompanying report on his 26 year career at the Wilno Post Office:

“The worst thing was when the mail used to come on the bus,” remarked Vincent Borutski, Postmaster of the Post Office at Wilno.

Mr. Borutski has been postmaster at Wilno for the past 26 years and says he will stick it out until his retirement in ten years. Mr. Borutski owns a general store at Wilno and the post office is located in a section of the building.

He recalled the days when the mail arrived by train. “I had to meet the train at 11:20 a.m. on its way through to Barry’s Bay, sort it and meet it again on its way back from the Bay with the east mail.”

“There were a couple of exciting times when I missed the train on its way back,” he said. “Then I had to jump into the truck and catch it in Killaloe.”

The 55-year-old native of Wilno received $10.50 a month to perform these duties.

Then the mail started arriving and departing on the bus. Every night the postmaster had to meet the bus at 11 o’clock. “Sometimes during the winter I never knew when it was coming,” said Mr. Borutski. “It was a real pain in the neck.”

The bus service lasted for four or five years and then the mail began arriving by truck. So far, Mr. Borutski hasn’t any complaints about this delivery.

The postmaster’s job involves about 30 hours a week and though the pay was poor at one time, Mr. Borutski says it’s not bad now. “I still have to supplement it though,” he said.

Mr. Borutski says there is more mail arriving and departing from the Wilno Post Office than in previous years. He attributes this to the closing of smaller post offices in the area such as Letterkenny, Rosenthal and Rockingham which are now rural routes of the Wilno P.O.

“There’s not as many parcels as there used to be since the new Eaton’s order office opened in Barry’s Bay,” he said.

The assistant postmaster is Mrs. Borutski who took over the job from Martin Shulist who held that position for 13 years. Before Mr. Shulist, Ben Borutski, a brother to Vincent, was the assistant.

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Perhaps some reader might be able to fill us in on the history of the Wilno Post Office since the time of Vincent Borutski, or even tell us about the beginnings of the post office there. If so, please leave a reply in the Comments section below.

If you are interested in having a picture and story featured in The Madawaska Valley Current, please  email madvalleycurrent@gmail.com or submit the information to Bob Corrigan at The Current, PO Box 1097, Barry’s Bay, ON K0J 1B0. Originals will be returned.

 

One comment

  1. Pat Scott

    After Vince and janet retired the post office moved down to the general store, next to the tavern. The Sernoskie’s ran 8t for many years and then sold the store to Mike and Diane Whitehead. That was during the Mulroobey era in power and part of his initiative was closure of rural post offices, taking every attrition as an opportunity to open a franchise style postal outlet. It was during this time that Rural Dignity Canada jumped in to try and preserve our post office. If you are interested in those events, which incidentally put Wilno on the map for our fight, let’s get together as I was President of Rural Dignity Ontario.

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