This week is National Newspaper Week and to celebrate, we are speaking to a Black Press news carrier who delivers the Lacombe Express every week.
William Benson has been delivering the Express since 2011. He enjoys getting outside to deliver the fliers and also uses the money he earns to support his family.
“I help my mom who helps my sister who has a Stage IV brain tumour,” Benson said. “It helps us with money. If my mom or sister needs stuff, I can help them. Plus it gets me out of the house for a bit to do do the flyers.”
Currently, Benson delivers to 135 houses in Lacombe, which is equal to three routes.
“It is about 2-3 hours regularly and in the winter it is about 3-4 hours because of the snow,” he said. “It is pretty fun to do. I like meeting the customers and every once in awhile they come out and say thank you. I have a few seniors who really love their paper because it is the weekly news for them.”
Benson originally became a carrier after his home stopped receiving their Lacombe Express.
“The reason I got involved is that we were getting our flyer for a bit and then it stopped coming in,” he said. “I phoned the (Red Deer) Advocate and asked where is the fliers and they said they didn’t have a carrier. I sat there for a couple days thinking about how I was sitting around and other people weren’t getting it neither.
“I phoned the Advocate and told them I have time to deliver. I picked it up and have been doing it since 2011.”
Benson said his favourite part of the job is being able to interact with customers.
“They love it. I know a lot of them appreciate it and I have a lot of customers that meet me at the door,” he said.
Outside of delivering the Express, Benson cuts grass in the summer time and shovels snow in the winter, but he said delivering the paper is what he really enjoys — even in the winter.
“It was a couple years ago when we got that major snowstorm that gave us a couple feet,” he said. “It was a bit of pain but I don’t mind the weather. I actually enjoy the winter a lot more than I do the summer.”
Benson said he plans to continue to deliver the Express to the people of Lacombe.
“I love doing it. I love getting out in the outdoors and seeing the customers every week. It is the best part about it,” he said.