Come for a day, stay for a lifetime and run the post office

ABOVE: Novia and James Lin at Kyogle Post Office.

Susanna Freymark

Almost a year ago, Novia and James Lin came to Kyogle.

It was during covid restrictions and because they couldn’t travel overseas they decided to explore the countryside.

They lived in Brisbane and had busy lives. Novia worked in a bank and James had a job with an airline.

“We were tired of city life,” Novia said.

They were on a search for a business in the country with a plan to run the business and be semi-retired. They wanted a business that was essential even during the pandemic.

They found Kyogle and a new way of life.

“The town is beautiful and people are so friendly,” Novia said.

They came for a second “inspection”.

“We walked down the street and people said hello, hello, hello,” Novia said.

It was an easy decision to become licensees of the Kyogle Post Office.

But they had a lot to learn about running a post office.

“It was tough at first but we were really lucky because the previous owner taught us a lot,” James said.

James laughed at his original plan to semi-retire.

“We work 12 hours a day five days a week,” he said.

Every morning at 6am, Novia and James sort the mail.

The biggest difference they’ve noticed is that at post offices in the city people become angry if they have to wait.

“Here they are patient,” Novia said.

“They know we are new,” James said.

“We feel spoiled by the people.”

They want to buy a house in Kyogle and are keen to explore the area.

James came from Taiwan to Australia with his family 30 years ago when he was 12 years old. On a trip back to Taiwan he met Novia.

Both of them love to travel and the first country they plan to explore is Australia.

Their new mission is to make sure Kyogle Post Office is a place with “a happy atmosphere”.

“We don’t want to make a fortune, we want to do something for the community,” James said.

Photos: Susanna Freymark

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