Over in Rindge: Taylor Ratcliffe – Meeting the new postmaster

  • New Rindge Postmaster, Matt Moto Rodrigues. TAYLOR RATCLIFFE

  • An old post office in Rindge. PHOTO COURTESY SHELLEY BURT MUZIO

  • The home, left of the station, where Helen R. Burt lived. PHOTO COURTESY SHELLEY BURT MUZIO

  • Taylor Ratcliffe

Published: 1/19/2023 12:04:38 PM

I must admit, when I first saw his post on a town Facebook page, I was a little nervous about what the response may be.

See, postal service over in Rindge hasn’t been exactly smooth over the past year or so, with packages going to the wrong addresses, wonky hours and mail delivery late into the night (if at all.) I had referenced the postal turbulence our town has been experiencing in a column last winter, though still in the throes of COVID and its aftermath it was somewhat expected, if not understandable. Staffing shortages made the post office’s work a serious challenge. And it was certainly not for a lack of effort; every time I step foot into our town’s post office, the staff is going full-throttle.

But despite all of this, it can be difficult and disruptive when the mail isn’t running smoothly. That’s why, when Matt Mota Rodrigues stepped forward in a social media post to introduce himself to the town as the new Rindge postmaster, I waited with bated breath as to what the response may be.

It was all love, and I couldn’t have felt prouder of this community for their welcome and support, although admittedly I felt a bit ashamed that I thought it would have been anything less.

Facebook user Shelley Burt Muzio took the opportunity to not only introduce herself to Rodrigues and welcome him to our town, but to reflect on her family’s history with the Rindge Post Office. Muzio’s own grandmother, Helen R. Burt, was one of our town’s early postmistresses. According to historical documents Muzio shared with me, the post office was even once run out of Burt’s home in West Rindge. Muzio says her grandmother would have been pleased with Rodrigues’s efforts to connect with Rindge residents.

So, doing my due diligence as Rindge community correspondent for the Ledger-Transcript, I took my little purple notebook right on down to our post office to introduce myself to Rodrigues and learn a bit more about him to share with readers.

“There are a lot of packages that come through this town,” Rodrigues emphasized to me with a kind smile. We talked about how sometimes packages in Rindge don’t get to their intended destination, and that can be a point of frustration for some. He believes that his leadership and the staff that now fills the mailroom and delivers our mail will be key to resolving that issue.

“Two new staff have been hired and are being trained,” he said.

Quality training, Rodrigues tells me, is crucial. Rodrigues has previous acting postmaster experience down in Massachusetts at the post office in Sherborn, and also was a supervisor in Brookline. Both of those jobs, I imagine, were challenging and have left him up to handling mail in the much smaller-town of Rindge.

With staffing issues seemingly resolved, the Rindge Post Office does not anticipate anymore late-evening deliveries, especially since delivering mail at that time of day is a safety issue. Safety is a priority for Rodrigues.

When asked what else he’d like residents to know, Rodrigues shared that it is important to communicate directly with the post office if there are any issues or concerns. Come by during business hours to share any concerns with the new postmaster, or call (603) 899-3372. Or just stop in to welcome him to Rindge!

Thank you to Rodrigues, to Burt and to all the Rindge postmaster and postmistresses in between.

Send me your Rindge stories at rindgecommcorr@yahoo.com.


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