Long-time mailman does his duty for the people

By Sun Ruisheng in Taiyuan and Li Yang in Beijing (China Daily)

Updated: 2021-11-22


Wang Shouqiu hands a pack of newspaper to his son, Wang Yuntian, as he prepares to leave the Dahugou post office in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, to make a delivery. [Photo/China Daily]

Wang Shouqiu, who was born in Wangfeng village in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, started working as a postman at the Dahugou post office back in 1985.

Given the rugged terrain, he delivered letters and parcels on foot until August 2017, when the post office gave him a car after the roads to the 25 hamlets and two coal mines he served in a mountainous area of 138 square kilometers were finally improved.

But people are still used to calling him the "walking messenger of the mountains".

These days, Wang speaks softly. A serious illness last year took a heavy toll on his health, and after falling ill, he was transferred to a position at the post office that is less physically demanding.

His 20-year-old son followed in his footsteps. The young man works at the same post office as his father and has been making deliveries to the villagers and miners since last year.

After years of trudging along mountain paths, walking about 40 km a day on average, Wang does not really like his new position, which he thinks of as "too idle". The day before he fell ill, he was still delivering 25 kilograms of newspapers, letters and parcels to the villages and mines.


Wang Shouqiu delivers letters and parcels on foot. [Photo/China Daily]

Over the past 36 years, he has made more than 600,000 deliveries, an average of 50 per day.

For his commitment, Wang has won a number of honorary titles at national and provincial levels.

"I am a member of the Communist Party of China, and serving the people is the pledge I made when joining the Party. I am ready to live up to my oath," Wang said.

"Now, our country is developing very well. Without the Party, today's China would not exist. We have no reason not to work hard and do our part for a brighter future for the motherland."

Wang still remembers the day when his father, who was a farmer, encouraged him to leave the mountains after he graduated from middle school, telling him that he should not till fields during his "next life". So at the age of 19, he started working as a postman instead.

Before he fell ill, he worked 12 hours day, six days a week.

"Wang took his duty extremely seriously. As long as the customers required it, he delivered mail, even at night," co-worker He Chunrui said.

Wang said that he knew how important some mail was and didn't want to trouble recipients through a dereliction of duty.

He insisted on delivering mail as soon as possible, and anything he received had to be sent on the same day, no matter how tired he was, because putting off deliveries until the next day made him feel uncomfortable. Wang's motto is "Don't put off till tomorrow what should be done today".


Wang Shouqiu at work [Photo/China Daily]

He said that his most frightening moments were walking in mountains alone at night, when all he could hear was the sound of the wind and his own footsteps.

Wang's wife, Gao Runfan, said that her husband worked too hard and went through many pairs of shoes and socks during the course of his career.

Over the past three decades or so, Wang has walked more than 300,000 km. His son, Wang Yuntian, remembers that he rarely saw his father, who left home early and came back late.

"If the post bag was at home, my father was at home. That was the easiest way to find him," he said.

The young man studied computer science at college. But at his father's insistence, he also became a postman after graduation.

Now, he handles more e-commerce parcels.

Wang Yuntian applied to join the Party in May. He said his father told him that if a person can do one job well all his life, he is a good man. And if that job can serve others, he is a great man.