George Callis obituary: Postman who delivered magic moments to his family

Lives Lost to Covid-19: His children recall summer holidays filled with activity

George Callis with his grandson Zach

George Callis with his grandson Zach

 

This article is one of a series about people who have died with coronavirus in Ireland and among the diaspora. Read more at irishtimes.com/covid-19-lives-lost. If you would like a friend or family member included in the series, please email liveslost@irishtimes.com

George Callis
1946 - 2020

George Callis was born on July 29th, 1946 and grew up on Cathedral Road on the northside of Cork city. He met his future wife Margaret Aher when they were both in their teens. They were together until her death in 2004.

Daughter Deirdre Callis says her father first worked on the buses before getting a job as a postman. A keen trade union man, he worked hard negotiating for better pay and conditions for his colleagues.

Deirdre says their summer holidays were magical.

“I remember during the school holidays he would head off at five in the morning to put up his post delivery and he would swing back around home at about 6.30am. One of us kids would be waiting to go off to work with him for the day.

Every Friday we would be waiting and see the little Ford Fiesta come round the bend of the coast road

“He would have a small wooden box in the front of the van next to him that would be our seat. We would take up pride of place with the bundle of letters on our laps, handing him his next letter, shouting out the address of the next house.”

Deirdre recalls summer holidays at Red Strand in West Cork. “On the last day of school we would be collected and packed into the car, a car that would be filled to the brim with supplies.

“We would head off to our mobile home. Dad would have to leave on a Sunday night to go back to work. Every Friday we would be waiting and see the little Ford Fiesta come round the bend of the coast road.

“Our summers were filled with diving from the pier, playing on the beach till the sun went down and getting a bag of crisp and glass of Tanora in the local pub where dad always belted out the songs by Neil Diamond and Willie Nelson. We didn’t have much but we had everything we needed.”

Covid-19 can’t take away those memories, Deirdre adds. “The one thing it hasn’t robbed us is the life we had as kids, the memories we hold in our hearts and courage we have to move forward as best we can.”

Covid-19: Lives Lost

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