Postmistress Thanks Local Community For BEM

Mrs. Joshi speaks about her 25 years living in Chiswick

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Mrs. Joshi in her post office

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Strand-on-the Green postmistress Mrs. Daksha Joshi has thanked the community for their good wishes and support following her New Year’s Honour award of the British Empire Medal.

Mrs. Joshi , who is originally from Gujarat, came to London from India in March 1980 with her husband and son Milan, who was then aged two.

They lived near Burnt Oak for a while where they had relatives and she worked at Dixons Head office while they looked for a school for Milan.

“We found Strand-on-the Green school for him and then noticed that the Post Office was up for sale. I was very keen on the idea of us having our own business which would be close to his school, and where we could live on the premises, so we took over the post office and shop,” she told

In 1990, her husband, Dilip, died of a brain haemorrhage and she was left to run the business alone and bring up her son.

“He was a lovely man, so friendly and he always helped the elderly. We had known each other a long time in India where we both worked for the Railway. After he died everything was on my shoulders, and it was hard work. But I had such amazing support from the community, it really helped me survive.”

Her son Milan, who was 12 when his father died, later studied at Latymer School and is now a qualified lawyer. He will be accompanying his mother when she attends the Buckingham Palace Garden Party at the end of May.

Mrs. Joshi, a Hindu, describes herself as a very spiritual person and prays outside the post office before it opens every morning.

“I don’t want anyone to come to any harm or be unhappy on the premises. You would be surprised how many people ask me to pray for them", she added.

She has also overcome the trauma of having two armed robberies in the post office in 2007, including watching the thief putting a gun to her customer’s head.

“After that I thought I would give up the job but the community persuaded me not to, and now there is much better security in post offices.”

When a letter from the Cabinet Office was delivered to her before Christmas she was at first concerned that there was something wrong.

“It was such a surprise. I was so delighted and so thankful to my supporters who put my name forward”.

Last week Mr. Robert Colvill , Chairman the Strand-on-the Green Residents Association, who was one of those who nominated Mrs. Joshi for inclusion in the Honour’s List, threw a party for her at his house. The gathering included others from the local community who supported her nomination, including actress Dame Eileen Atkins, Frank and Geraldine McBreaty of the Bell and Crown pub and artist Martha Armitage. She describes it as “a happy and precious moment.”

Mr. Colvill commented; "Mrs Daksha Joshi goes far beyond the call of duty and is a major pivotal figure in the neighbourhood. She is much loved and respected by all who know her and the little Post Office she runs is truly the centre of our community."

“I try to work my best for the community, I love children and I help the elderly. I love living here in Chiswick, it's a beautiful spot to be down near the river.”

She said she is looking forward to the Garden Party in May and will be dressing up in a new sari.

January 11, 2013

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