By Tamas Mondovics

Just in time for the busy holiday delivery season, friends and family, along with workmates and a handful of Brandon area residents, gathered last month to celebrate the installation of Brandon’s newest Postmaster, Tina Ann Cochrane.

The Oath of Office ceremony was held in a spacious, brand new meeting room inside the Bloomingdale Regional Library, which recently opened its 10,000 sq. ft. addition as part of a long-awaited renovation project.

“I am delighted to be the Postmaster in my hometown where I have lived all my life and raised my children,” Cochrane said. “I have seen Brandon grow from a small cattle town to what it is today and I am proud to be part of that growth and success and look forward to being part of its future.”

Cochrane is Brandon’s 14th Postmaster since the first appointment of Victoria M. Brandon, which took place on September, 15 1890, launching a list of individuals that were deemed worthy to fill the position.

The longest post was held by Ralph A. McIntosh who served the Brandon community as Postmaster for 38 years.

During a brief ceremony led by Leroy Middleton, Officer in Charge, Ft. Myers, Florida, Cochrane took her oath to serve her post and the Brandon community.

“I have always told Tina to stick with it and keep working hard,” Middleton said. “I can only congratulate her on this festive but historic occasion.”

Long-time friend and retired Postmaster of Tampa, Nancy Fryrear, told Cochrane and the audience how proud she is of her friend whom she said possesses all the qualities that is necessary to successfully fill the post.

“Tina, you are one of the nicest people I know and I wish you the very best,” Fryrear said. “Welcome home and enjoy the journey.”

Cochrane was 20 years old when she began her career as a letter sorter operator for the Postal Service. She worked nights for 13 years while raising her children. She was later promoted to Supervisor of Customer Service in Plant City where she remained for four years.

She started her first Postmaster position in Dundee in 2005 and Postmaster of Wauchula in 2007 and later promoted to be Postmaster of Dunedin.

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