Fife postmaster organises coronation day celebrations for community
Irfan Ashgar, who runs Falkland Post office, and staff member June Allan decorated the shop with coronation flags, bunting and balloons to mark the historic occasion at the weekend.
Falkland Post Office is located across the road from Falkland Palace, which is a royal residence, and the village has seen many members of the royal family visit over the years.
Following the coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, Irfan and June hosted a celebration for the local community at the shop with tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits on offer.
Irfan’s wife Tanzeela made homemade samosas, pakoras and spring rolls for the occasion. A special coronation cake was made by Helen’s Bakery, which is next door to the post office, and owner Helen McBain also made sausage rolls.
A hamper was also raffled on the day, and Mr Ashgar’s daughter Malhia did henna art. A total of £660 was raised on the day for two cancer charities.
Irfan said: “It was really good to celebrate the Coronation with my customers. There are lots of elderly people in Falkland and it is great for them to come together for a community celebration for a very special occasion. We are a tight-knit community and the event also raised money for charity. Living opposite Falkland Palace, this is a very patriotic community.”
During the Covid-19 pandemic, in a letter from Charles and Camilla – then the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall – Irfan was thanked for the support he was providing to the local community.
Loyal customer Brenda Graham had written a card to the royal, who visited Falkland prior to the pandemic, to thank him for visiting and telling him about her amazing postmaster and everything he had done for his rural community.
In a reply to her card, Mrs Graham received a letter from Clarence House which said: “Their Royal Highnesses are grateful for you taking the trouble to let them know of the wonderful service your postmaster and village stores have been providing during this challenging time.”
Mrs Graham gave Irfan the letter to keep and it is on display at Falkland Post Office.
The post office and village shop remained open throughout the pandemic as people did not want to travel. The community-minded postmaster organised free delivery of groceries to customers who were shielding, delivered by his staff and volunteers from the local cricket club. He also offered free groceries, at his own expense, for those suffering hardship.