Kimberley’s Canada Post Office is undergoing a makeover, with its Bavarian facade being removed to restore the building to its original brick exterior.
Mayor Don McCormick said that advocating for the facade removal started about seven years ago. He said that back in 2014 when he was a City Counsellor, then Mayor Ron McRae took the MP at the time, David Wilks, from the Farmers’ Market down to the Post Office to show him and explain that the Bavarian theme was transitioning from current to history.
McCormick said he’s been working on this since shortly after that when he was elected Mayor, but it wasn’t until this past year that he started to get some traction.
“Canada Post is a Crown Corporation, it’s a government organization, they have layers and layers and layers of people, none of which are in a decision making capacity anywhere near Kimberley,” McCormick explained.
So though it’s taken a while, McCormick said there were two key people who helped get it done, Benjamin Berman, the manager of governmental and community relations for Canada Post, and MP Rob Morrison.
“About six months ago I got MP Morrison involved and Rob was like a dog with a bone on this one,” McCormick said. “And I can honestly say that without his help, and without the advocacy of Ben from the inside, none of this would have happened.
“I really want to say a sincere thanks to MP Morrison and Ben Berman for all the help they put into this.”
The goal with this project is simply to restore the Post Office to its former splendour as a brick building.
The Post Office also has a new Superintendent. Chris Petryk had his first day on May 3 and comes to Kimberley from Edmonton.
Petryk said he has an uncle in the area, so he’s been familiar with Kimberley for a long time, coming for July Fest and to enjoy the summers here.
“I love it,” he said of living in Kimberley so far. “I told all my friends back in Edmonton, if you could have a soul place I think I found mine here.”
He said that transferring anywhere in the company wasn’t an option throughout COVID, and he just said that he happened to check if there was anything available after work one day and saw that there was a spot open in Kimberley.
He thought it would be a perfect place to go and live and work into his retirement, so he decided to put his name in and just two days later he did an interview and was hired two days after that.
Petryk said that when he first got here he was approached by a group with the idea of potentially putting in a community art gallery in the upper floor of the building.
“I thought that was a fantastic idea, we’ve got a huge upstairs here, so I’ve been pushing that up the chain to try to utilize that space to get us more involved in the community,” Petryk said. “I think it’s a great idea if we could get something that the community could be involved in upstairs in the building here.”
He added he thinks the exterior renovations look fantastic so far.
“I think it’s a nice change,” he said. “The Bavarian theme I think it’s kind of ran its course, it was good while it was here, but a nice clean look at the brick will be fantastic. It’s such a nice classic building, I think it’s a nice sort of retro upgrade.”