Livelong, Saskatchewan skpic

Livelong, Sask, with a population of about 100, is located in west-central Saskatchewan, about 95 kilometres northwest of North Battleford. (Google Maps)

Faced with losing its post office, tiny Livelong, Sask., has vowed to not let it die.

People in the hamlet of 100 on the west side of the province are banding together to build their own mail facility.

Calvin Eaket, chairman of the local recreation board and a driving force behind the post office project, said things looked dire only a few weeks ago.

The community's postmaster had retired, the existing post office building was close to being condemned and Canada Post was preparing to move mail service to Glaslyn, 29 kilometres away.

"We just felt, 'If we lose this, it's going to be a pretty major breakdown to keeping our community alive at all,’"
 Eaket said.

A meeting was called and around 150 people turned out.

“One of the biggest meetings we’ve ever had, I think,” he said. “We just decided to go ahead and put up a small building.”

Some discussions with Canada Post followed, and the Crown corporation said if Livelong built the post office, it would stay.

A fundraising campaign was launched and within a week, they were halfway to their $20,000 goal.

“The cheques are coming in every day,” Eaket said.

The new building will be a modest affair, but everyone thinks it will do the job. Locals will help assemble a garage kit next to an existing building that has power, gas and plumbing.

A new postmaster or postmistress is expected to be hired by the end of the month. Canada Post has agreed to rent space in the hamlet-built facility.

Eaket said he’s not surprised at all that the people of Livelong and the surrounding areas have rallied to the cause.

"It's the way it is,” he said. “When the need is there, they’re there.”