Stamp show re­veals rare trea­sures

Otago Daily Times - - DUNEDIN - ELENA MCPHEE elena.mcphee@odt.co.nz

FROM elab­o­rately em­broi­dered French and Bel­gian post­cards to stamps mark­ing the bat­tle of Gal­lipoli, hun­dreds of thou­sands of stamps and post­cards were on show ahead of Ar­mistice Day in Dunedin’s Edgar Cen­tre.

Ar­mistice Stamp Show chair­man Mark Gel­let said 509 boards of stamps and post­cards were en­tered to be judged, ar­ranged by theme.

They in­cluded postage stamps from small towns around New Zealand and other stamps rang­ing from flora and fauna to col­lec­tions fea­tur­ing the Royal Fam­ily, as well as sev­eral boards of elab­o­rately crafted em­broi­dered post­cards sent from troops in Western Europe back to their English­speak­ing rel­a­tives.

Mr Gel­let said the na­tional show was a twice­yearly event, and this was the first time it had been held in Dunedin and the first time it had been held on Ar­mistice Day.

It was sup­ported by New Zealand Post and the New Zealand Stamp Deal­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion and or­gan­ised by the Dunedin Philatelic So­ci­ety.

There were 20 judges, in­clud­ing David Loe, who said it was rel­a­tively rare for the em­broi­dered post­cards to be seen in New Zealand.

‘‘They found those things and sent them back to their sweet­hearts in the UK,’’ he said.

In the main, the en­tries were ‘‘awe­some’’.

‘I think there’s some en­tries here that re­ally tie into the flow of the ex­hi­bi­tion be­ing around Ar­mistice Day.’’

Mr Gel­let said the ex­hi­bi­tions in­cluded a charred en­ve­lope re­cov­ered from a plane crash in Sin­ga­pore in 1954.

A woman brows­ing the col­lec­tions said she had never seen any­thing like the post­cards be­fore, and did not know they ex­isted.

‘It’s amaz­ing,’’ she said. ‘‘There are so many dif­fer­ent facets of stamp col­lect­ing.’’

The show also in­cluded a sec­tion for deal­ers, with nine there buy­ing and sell­ing stamps.

PHOTO: CRAIG BAXTER

Elab­o­rate cards . . . Ar­mistice Stamp Show chair­man Mark Gel­let looks at post­cards sent back from Bel­gium and France.

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