Cameroon’s first post office: becoming a post museum soon

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The old German Post Office, created in 1902 is still located beside the Bismarck Fountain in Buea. 

The first Post Office of Cameroon created in 1902, under the German rule and taken over by the British in 1956 is reminisces of the country’s colonial masters for those visiting the city of Buea in the South West Region. This prefabricated building assembled in Cameroon in 1895 was a thick board hidden under zinc walls. But today, it is being transformed into a museum for Posts and Telecommunications items.

Before now, the First Post Office of Cameroon was a two-room building used by the British until independence in 1960.The Director of Infrastructure, Equipment and Post Network at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, shiywong Austin Sevidzem says although the building is being transformed into Post and Telecommunications Museum, it still maintains the typical British red mailbox seen in front of the Post office. Even though the red mailbox is no longer in operation, the red iron structure which was instituted after the coronation of Queen Elisabeth II in 1956 still has the crown of the queen engraved on it.

For some time now the First Post Office of Cameroon was closed. But celebrations to mark the 50th Anniversary of the reunification of Cameroon seem to have brought the post office back to live on a different platform-Post and Telecommunications Museum. Today, next to the First Post Office of Cameroon lays a historic structure, the Independence and Reunification monument of Cameroon. The building, which still maintains its nature, has been given a near coat of paint to match with the beauty of celebrating the 50thanniversary of the Reunification. While the General Manager of Cameroon Postal Service (Campost) Herve Beril says the process to redeem the First Post Office into a museum is on-going, those who are opportune to enter the first Post Office of Cameroon will see that a Philatelic exhibition of all postage stamps used in Cameroon is in the making as well as old telephone equipment which started as far back as 1876.

Currently at the First Post Office of Cameroon is found a series of stamps which trace the independence and Reunification of the country. Inside the Post Office, one can see the first stamp used during the proclamation of the independence of the country carrying the effigy of the former President, Amadou Ahidjo as well as the stamp to commemorate the first anniversary of the reunification of the Federal Republic of Cameroon. On display in another room of the Post Office are telephone receivers which date back to 1876 with the first ever telephone invented called Bell Telephone.

The Post Office today also displays the evolution of Telegrapher equipment in the world from a Morse Key invented in 1837 to a Telephone Fax machine which started in 1979. In two years, the First Post Office of Cameroon will become a full-fledged museum for Posts and Telecommunications items.


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