Thursday, March 14, 2024


Bring back the Agat Post Office

On May 28, 2022, the Guam Daily Post reported that the Agat Post Office, which serves approximately 800 box holders, would be temporarily closed due to safety concerns.

Quoting the Guam Postmaster, the Post reported: “We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this temporary closure. We will provide an update on the status of this facility as soon as more information is available.”

I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned two years isn’t “temporary,” and I am unaware of any “updates” other than seeing what was the Agat Post Office demolished and hauled away.

I moved to Agat in the mid-90’s which was about the time the Post Office was built. It was a sturdy wooden structure and withstood Typhoons Paka and Pongsana. However, the post office, like so many government buildings in Guam, fell victim to “Typhoon No-Maintenance.”  

Maintenance would have been simple. The only real problem with the building, at least from what I could see, was the rain gutters. Over the years, the gutters filled with dirt and debris, backing up the rainfall onto the roof, eventually destroying the building beneath it.

Anyone with a home with a roof knows that clogged rain gutters and drains are the usual cause of roof leaks and that roof leaks lead to lots of other problems.

I didn’t personally conduct an inspection, but the jungle growing out of the rain gutters was easy for all of us 800 box holders to see every time we checked our mail.

After the Agat Post Office was “temporarily” closed, we box holders were instructed to pick up our mail “over the counter” at the Hagatna Post Office.

Thinking that this was just temporary, I put aside the fact that now instead of a ten-minute, two mile round trip to check my mail, it was now a 35 mile journey. But more than the miles - and since I had to get in line to check my mail “over the counter” - checking the mail morphed from a mere ten minutes into at least a two hour ordeal.

At first, it wasn’t so bad because the Hagatna Post Office gave us southerners an “Agat line,” an express line to bypass the regular Hagatna line. However, there is no longer an “Agat line,” and we Agat box holders must fall into what are normally very long lines just to see if we have mail or not.

An Hagatna box holder can check for mail by just opening his or her box, and then if necessary, line up to do business at the counter. Not so for us southerners. We must get in line just to check to see if we even have mail.

And maybe it’s just my luck, but I’ve rarely been in a Hagatna Post Office line that didn’t take at least a half an hour to get to “the counter;” and, a few days ago, I was in line for an hour and a half only to find that I had two pieces of “junk mail.”

Perhaps the Guam Postmaster believes we Agat box holders are being compensated for our troubles by not being charged for our “boxes.” However, I, and I’m sure many others, would gladly pay the full box fee just to have our Agat line back.

But of course, what we really want back is our post office. Maybe one of those faces on all the new campaign signs in Hagat will be smart enough to see how to pick up an easy eight hundred votes. I can guarantee at least one.

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