Phi­lately can take you any­where

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

1915 – an aus­pi­cious year in his­tory. New Zealan­ders found them­selves fight­ing at Gal­lipoli. By Septem­ber lo­cal pa­tri­otic so­ci­eties were set up to fundraise for the wounded sol­diers.

Philatelist Bruce Graves says among th­ese ef­forts was the is­sue of spe­cial stamps or seals known in the trade as ‘cin­derel­las’.

‘‘That’s be­cause, al­though they have per­fo­ra­tions and look like stamps, they’re not real stamps. They’re char­i­ta­ble la­bels to raise money for the wounded.’’

Postage at the time fol­lowed the Bri­tish Penny Post model. A half­penny or ha’penny war tax (roughly the equiv­a­lent of 50 cents) was added to stamps, and the seals were ‘‘most likely’’ an ad­di­tional ha’penny.

‘‘It’s hard to tell be­cause the records just don’t ex­ist.’’

Bruce has a sam­ple of the Manawatu Wounded Sol­diers Fund seal de­signed and pro­duced by a Mrs Ack­hurst of Palmer­ston North, spon­sored by a Cap­tain Gold­ing­ham and is­sued on Oc­to­ber 23, 1915. He reck­ons, de­pend­ing on how many of them are still around, it could be worth as much as $500.

He wants to find out more about Mrs Ack­hurst and Cap­tain Gold­ing­ham and if any­one has that sort of in­for­ma­tion, to see him at this Satur­day’s Cen­tral Dis­tricts Stamps, Coins & Post­card Expo in the Fer­gu­son St Com­mu­nity Leisure Cen­tre.

Postage of­fers an in­ter­est­ing in­sight into so­cial his­tory.

‘‘There were as many as five postage de­liv­er­ies a day in the Palmer­ston North CBD dur­ing the early 20th cen­tury. It was the equiv­a­lent of tex­ting. The penny post would send a let­ter any­where in the world – ex­cept Aus­tralia.’’

News­pa­pers could be sent any­where for a ha’penny. Bruce says there was a pro­lif­er­a­tion of post of­fices dur­ing this great age of let­ter-writ­ing – the Po­hang­ina Val­ley for in­stance, had a whop­ping 23 post of­fices, and he can name most of them.

He also of­fers ad­vice for peo­ple with let­ters and post­cards from any era not to sep­a­rate the stamps or seals from them.

‘‘It’s the ca­chet of stamp, post­mark and en­ve­lope,’’ he says. ‘‘The frank­ing – where it was posted and when, is all part of the story.’’

Soak off the stamp, and you soak off the value along with di­min­ish­ing the whole item.

There’s free en­try to the expo which runs from 9.30am – 4pm.

PHOTO: DAVID UN­WIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Philatelist Bruce Graves with a WWI pa­tri­otic seal is­sued by the Manawatu Wounded Sol­diers Fund in 1915. Bruce will be avail­able to talk about the seal and postage of the era at this Satur­day’s Cen­tral Dis­tricts Stamps, Coins & Post­card Expo.

From Oc­to­ber 1915, this Manawatu Wounded Sol­diers fund seal was de­signed by a Mrs Ack­land in Palmer­ston North. Philatelist Bruce Graves wants to know more about her and the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the lo­cal pa­tri­otic fund that is­sued it. The seal will be on dis­play along with other postage, post­card and coin col­lectibles at this Satur­day’s Cen­tral Dis­tricts Stamps, Coins & Post­card Expo.

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