The Gazette – November 29, 1990
After a postal career of more than 42 years, Billy R. O’Bannon has retired as Rural Carrier for Route 1 of the Bernice Post Office.
O’Bannon was recently honored for his many years of service with a retirement banquet hosted by former and present fellow postal employees at the Holiday Inn in Ruston.
During his tenure, O’Bannon saw his route grow to more than 100 miles and his roads improve from mostly dirt and gravel to predominately hard surface. He recalls that the establishment of Lake D’Arbonne was a factor in this increase and noted that he had served under four postmasters, present Postmaster Ray Husher, and Minnie, Jack and Winnie Baldwin, all of whom were present.
O’Bannon will be succeeded by Rural Carrier Associate Joe Bennett, who has served as his replacement for the past seven and one/half years.
Guest speaker for the banquet, Shreveport Postmaster/MSC Manager John W. Poole, congratulated O’Bannon for his many years of safe driving and his superb record as a rural carrier. O’Bannon was recently presented a Million Mile Award by the United States Postal Service for driving that distance without a preventable accident. Poole also noted O’Bannon’s service to the community as a member of the Bernice Volunteer Fire Department, as a deacon in the First Baptist Church and in other organizations. The MSC Manager was accompanied by his Director of Operations, Donnie Vercher.
Master of Ceremonies Husher expressed his appreciation to the retiring carrier for a job well done. Former Postmaster Winnie Baldwin amused guests with an “obituary” citing the departure of the “old carrier”.
O’Bannon’s friends, headed by Clerk Mary Simpson, presented him with an engraved gold pocket watch as a token of their esteem. Other gifts included a pen and two USPS coffee mugs featuring the “Love” stamp.
Sharing the occasion with O’Bannon and his wife Betty were Mr. Poole, Mr. Vercher, Mr. and Mrs. Husher, the Baldwins, Simpson and husband Jimmy, Bennett and wife Trudy, former Rural Carrier W. R. Lynn and wife, former Clerk Ervina; former Rural Carrier Watson Goss and wife Janice, Clerk Pat Jones and husband Brad; Route 2 Rural Carrier John Morrow and wife Dorothy, Rural Carrier Associate Diane Burnham and husband, James.