Farewell to the best Postie ever
Catch-up videos of Martin's retirement party below
On Saturday 13th October more than 450 villagers waved Goodbye to their long-serving postman, Martin Chapman, who for 23 years brought humour, good cheer and extraordinary kindness to all those he served in our community.
A vigorous and enthusiastic team, superbly led by Sam and Matt Dunlop of Chapel Road, organised a surprise party for Martin at The Bold Forester as a tribute to a public servant who had gone far above and beyond the scope of his duties, making himself a friend, ally and aid to all his customers.
An unsuspecting Martin arrived at the pub to view a display of photos and memories of his long career in the village, anticipating a small party to mark his retirement. He was then astonished to be greeted by the Sing & Tonic community choir singing “Hey Mr Postman. Later, on moving into the marquee he found hundreds of well-wishers eager to show their thanks and respect.
The Soberton Strummers ukulele band also played in Martin’s honour while Lord Clarendon, one of Martin’s most grateful customers, voiced the appreciation of the whole community, picking up on the many comments that Martin was simply “the best Postie ever.”
One of the highlights of the afternoon was the appearance of Eamonn Andrews (or was it his long-lost relative Damon, aka Ben Bracken of Chapel Road?) with an overview of Martin’s life from his early days in the military and his service as a paramedic. This culminated, in true “This is Your Life” style, with the sudden live appearance of two of Martin’s Airborne Brothers from his old regiment, The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment, Brian Dacey BEM and Lawrence Williams all the way from Newport in Wales – a reunion charged with such emotion that everyone on the stage was reduced to tears.
Soberton Brownies awarded Martin honorary membership for his outstanding service and the whole community joined in a rendition of the Abba hit, amusingly adapted by the Bracken family, “Mama Mia, Why, why, do we have to let you go?” in a moving finale to the official ceremony, which was of course, followed by several hours of private farewells accompanied by much laughter, reminiscences and music.
We miss you, Martin but wish you a very happy retirement
Did you miss the show? You can catch up here.
To listen to an interview with Martin by Julian Clegg on his Radio Solent show click here