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Bras d’Or's postmaster retires after 43 years

William (Billy) Brennick, centre, shows off his retirement cake on his last day at Bras d'Or Post Office on May 29. Over his 43-year career, Brennick has witnessed many changes and said he'll miss the customers and co-workers. From left, Tyler Leyte, Kathy Edwards, Nancy LeBlanc and Mabel Ivey. CONTRIBUTED
William (Billy) Brennick, centre, shows off his retirement cake on his last day at Bras d'Or Post Office on May 29. Over his 43-year career, Brennick has witnessed many changes and said he'll miss the customers and co-workers. From left, Tyler Leyte, Kathy Edwards, Nancy LeBlanc and Mabel Ivey. CONTRIBUTED

Billy Brennick was the 'go-to guy' at the local post office

BRAS D'OR, N.S. —

Over the past 43 years, many children in Bras d’Or might not have gotten their letters from Santa if it wasn’t for William (BIlly) Brennick.

“When I first started I was on Santa letters,” explained Nancy LeBlanc, an employee at the Bras d’Or Canada Post outlet who has worked with Brennick for more than 10 years.

“We’d get them, with only the first name. No last name. No address. By the end of the day, we’d have all the names because of him … he’d call the school and stuff.”

Brennick, who is often simply called 'Billy from Bras d’Or,' retired from Canada Post on May 29, after working for the organization since graduating in 1977 from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, where he received a bachelor of arts in literature and mathematics.

Working his way up from casual employee to postmaster, Brennick said he’s met many great people and praised many of the people he’s worked with including Kathy Edwards, who also sang Brennick’s praises.

“Billy was the kind of guy you could take all your problems to and he’d help you find a solution,” said Edwards, who first started working with Brennick 1984.

“He’s known for his loyalty, his great customer service. He was greatly respected by his peers. He was the go to guy.”


BIO BOX
William Brennick

  • Known as Billy from Bras d’Or
  • Age: 64
  • Born and raised: Bras d’Or
  • Education: Local schools, St. Francis Xavier University
  • Started at Canada Post: June 11, 1977
  • Retired: May 29, 2020 
  • Loves: Hiking, dancing

Over his career, Brennick has seen Canada Post stop being a department of the government, become a Crown corporation (1981) and centralize its processing centres. One of the biggest challenges he faced as postmaster was the changes from rural route to civic addresses for all communities in 2000.

“We were one of the first areas of the province to do that,” he said. “It was overwhelming, at the time, when we started to change things. From this office we have over 2,000 points of call.”

Born and raised in Bras d’Or, where he still lives, Brennick’s job gave him the opportunity to see people in the community grow up, something he really enjoyed.

“If you can brighten up their day a little bit, just by having a little conversation with them while they are doing their business, that’s the most rewarding part of the job,” he said.

“You get to see the people in your community grow up."

Edwards, who is the superintendent for Cape Breton, said her retiring friend was as good with staff relations when he was the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Breton Local 117 president as he’s always been with customer service.

“He certainly represented his members very fairly,” Edwards said. “He was an advocate for them and they probably didn’t even realize how much.”

Now Brennick plans to do some travelling around Cape Breton with his partner of 14 years, but doesn’t have specific plans as of yet. He just wants to relax and enjoy some down time.

Along with missing him at the Bras d’Or Canada Post location, Edwards will miss seeing him on the dance floor at events.

“Look out after hours,” she said, smiling at her friend. “He was the first one on the dance floor and the last one off.”

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