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Australia's longest serving postie honoured -

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(generated from captions) With the moon still high over the

Victorian town of Euroa, most of

Victorian town of Euroa, most of its senior citizens are tucked up in

bed, dreaming of golf or bowls or

bridge. But 72-year-old Bill

bridge. But 72-year-old Bill Cantlin is on his way to work.

Bill, it's 4.30am, it's 4 degrees

and you're 72. Why are you still

doing this? Oh I just like doing it.

I've been doing it for years and it's norm

it's normal. Aren't you sick of

these early start, though? No. I

rather like getting up early. I

rather like getting up early. I like getting up early in the morning. I

always have. 5am starts, five days

always have. 5am starts, five days a week for 53 years. He started

sorting and delivering the mail at

the age of 19. Although some in

the age of 19. Although some in town thought it a poor career choice.

I remember one of the old doctors

said "For God's sake get off that

flamin' old bike, pushin' that bike

around, what are you doin' pushing

an old bike?" I said "I don't mind.

I like it". Did you expect you'd be

a postman for 53 years? No, I

a postman for 53 years? No, I didn't but I never, ever thought of

actually doing anything else.

As the post office opens for

business, Bill Cantlin is on his

bike. He cycles 35 kilometres a

day, delivering mail to 600

addresses. How many miles do you

reckon you've done, Bill? A few

million? Oh ... I think it was

million? Oh ... I think it was about 365,000 kilometres or something, I

worked out one day. In the early

days, he used to compete in bike

races. So it was the exercise on

races. So it was the exercise on the job that he loved most. But in the

years since, it's been the

years since, it's been the residents on his round. Good morning, Bill.

Lovely day. It is! It's a beautiful

day. Oh thank you, very much, Bill.

As he's got to know every resident

in the neighbourhood, he as also

got to know every dog. (Barking)

Hello, boy. But there's one

particular four-legged friend he

remembers most fondly. Over in a

backstreet, they had a dog called

Bartlett, probably after Kevin

Bartlett, the footballer. It was in

the winter and I was really going

hard and the dog went straight in

front of me and I hit him

front of me and I hit him ... (laughs) .... Well,

front of me and I hit him ... (laughs) .... Well, I flew through

the air, here to there. I just hit

the ground. I went back to work and

I said "I got a short-front from

Bartlett." (Laughs)

In a town with a predominantly

In a town with a predominantly older population, reluctant retirees are

common. Working along said Bill at

the post office are 68-year-old

parcel delivery man Henry Billman

and 60-year-old postman Terry

Brodie. They've worked side by side

all their loves and most people in

the town, we're down to third

generation and most would only know

Terry and Bill as being the Euroa

posties. They've been so long in

service, they remember telegrams, posties. They've been so long in the

twice-daily and Saturday deliveries.

They prefer the bicycle over the

motorbike, but are glad to have

the back of the whistle. I reckon motorbike, but are glad to have seen

brought the dogs. Oh it did. I they the back of the whistle. I reckon it

used to wait. They would be waitin',

they'd hear it and they'd be wait

wait yoip for you. Through rain and

hail and heat, Bill and the others

have been dedicateed to getting the

mail through. But peddling over

nature strips without footpaths can

be a hazardous business.

While he's taken many a tumble over

the years, Bill is a firm believer

in simply getting back on the back

and on with the job, no matter what

the injury. Hit a bump! One

Christmas time, a stick went

the front wheel and lifted within a Christmas time, a stick went through

split second and I hit around here

and popped the bone out of there,

I got a big tight bandage, wound it and popped the bone out of there, so

round real tight, as tight as I

could, and I put it all back

together. You continued delivering

the mail with a broken wrist? Mmm.

Didn't think to go to the doctor?

No. Over Christmas was a bit busy

anyhow. We didn't have time! But

it's his willingness to go beyond

the call of duty that's endeared

Bill Cantlin to this community. Ist

last time I saw you had the broken

wrist. That's recovered very well.

Glad to hear that. Back into

croquet now. I found a person lying Glad to hear that. Back into playing

out in the lawn, in the gutter.

Well, she was really sick,

collapsed. And, yeah, it gave me a

fright, too. I thought she was dead.

But she was - but we got her to

hospital and that and she was

alright. Such dedication this year

earned Bill Cantlin an Order of

Australia medal for services to the

post. He was nominated a couple of

years ago, when resident Robin

Neville realised he'd reigned in

Euroa as long as the Queen had been

on the throne. They were raving on

about the Queen, what a good job

she's been doing and here passing

gate every day was someone else she's been doing and here passing my

who'd been on the job for 50 year

and he wasn't going to get anything

for it. I just thought "No, I have

to do something about that." You're

Australia's longest serving postman.

Are you proud of that achievement?

I probably am now. (Laughs) Gee

whiz! Who would ever think of that!

Do you think you will still be

delivering the mail when you're 80?

Oh no, no way! No way! (Laughs) I delivering the mail when you're 80?

wouldn't think so. (Laughs) But he

has an expensive hobby to support.

This eternal optimist started

breeding racehorses four years ago

at the age of 68. So until he

produces a champion, he'll just

pedalling along. Somebody's got to produces a champion, he'll just keep

be postman. We'll Geoff you an

update on gee whiz Bill Cantlin in

another decade or so. Natasha Johnson reporting there. That's the program for tonight. cricketers at the Oval tonight. And fingers crossed for Australia's they can get. They'll need all the help International. Captioning and Subtitling Captions by