Employment: From Denman to your doorstep, twice each week



Hal used to deliver the Times Colonist to highrises in the James Bay area.

Hal and Lorraine Holt have been “substitute” Record carriers for more than two years.

That’s been the twice-weekly routine for Comox Valley Record substitute carriers Hal and Lorraine Holt for the past two and a half years as they rise bright and early from their home on Denman to catch the ferry to Buckley Bay, pick up their papers at The Record, then deliver the news to hundreds of loyal readers.

As “sub carriers” the duo never knows until the day before publication how many routes they will be filling in on for regular carriers.

“Terry (Record circulation manager Terry Marshall) calls us ahead of time to let us know,” said Lorraine, adding they have sometimes filled in for as many as five routes.

“They’re real life savers,” Marshall said. “They’ve never refused to do a route.”

Newspaper delivery is nothing new to either 82-year-old Hal or 86-year-old Lorraine, who Hal notes were born in the same wing of Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria.

“I was a field rep for Black Press in Victoria and also delivered papers for routes we couldn’t fill,” says Lorraine.

Hal used to deliver the Times Colonist to highrises in the James Bay area.

“I had 500 to 700 customers all on my own,” he says, adding the then seven-times-a-week daily generated generous tips from subscribers at Christmas.

Lorraine notes that tips for substitute carriers are rare, but much appreciated. However, that is far from what keeps them travelling all the way from Denman Island to deliver The Record.

After she worked almost 29 years with the Ministry of Continuing Education in Victoria, Lorraine said she and Hal packed their bags and headed to Denman Island in 2011. It was a homecoming of sorts for Hal.

“Hal’s ancestors are all here,” said Lorraine. “His mother was a Harmston and Denman Island is loaded with his family, too.”

The couple has three children: a daughter in Calgary  one son on Denman and another son in Victoria.

The husband and wife team began their sub carriers role in 2014.

Why would the octogenarians not just relax and enjoy life on Denman?

“We’re getting older and we want the exercise,” says Lorraine. “It gets us off the island and gives us something to do. I like walking,” she added. “It’s very good physically and mentally. That’s why we do it.”

The Holts have never missed delivering The Record due to a ferry breakdown, although they were delayed once. In fact, the only time they were unable to make their rounds was when Lorraine fell and broke her knee.

“It was two weeks before I realized it was broken. I limped around. The doctor told me to stay away for three weeks, so I did. It healed,” she said.

Lorraine said they have thought about taking on a steady delivery route. “But then we think, ‘What if something should come up and we can’t do it?’ So we stuck with the sub carrier.”

“I think that’s the wisest thing to do when you start getting up there (in age),” Hal added with a chuckle.

A typical Tuesday/Thursday delivery day sees the Holts up at 5:30 or 6 a.m.

“We usually get the 7:20 ferry, or if the routes are short or there’s not too many, we get the 8 a.m.,” Lorraine says. Hal says they usually finish deliveries around 12 or 1 p.m., then go for lunch. White Spot is their favourite restaurant, with Ricky’s getting a thumbs up as well.

After doing any necessary chores in the Valley, they grab the 4:05 ferry and are home by 4:30 p.m.

They cheerfully note that delivering the paper is a labour of love, as they spend more money than they earn in order to do it.

Lorraine says the people on their routes are very friendly and their only encounter with unfriendly dogs was solved when she tossed some biscuits at a pair of barking Rottweilers. “They stopped (barking) right away,” she said.

The Holts say they are looking forward to continuing to work as a team to provide Record readers with the excellent delivery service to which they’ve become accustomed.

Just Posted

Crews begin cutting down 100-year-old Comox willow tree

The tree was determined to be unhealthy and is being cut down due to safety concerns

Best of World Community Film Fest screens Tuesday

The votes are in from the recent World Community Film Festival and… Continue reading

Merville resident looking for help to name original settler families

Janice Isenor is hoping to figure out which families settled where in Merville 100 years ago

Cultural sharing for Comox Valley School District song unveiling

After nearly a year in the making, a special gift was presented… Continue reading

Union Bay Improvement District board apologizes to trustee; deadline remains for other demands

UBID board complies with one of the demands of a letter threatening legal action

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Diver discovers possible historic anchor off Campbell River

“This is an anchor I believe to be from a Spanish galleon.”

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read