Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


Dr J. Cunningham




Retired professor of Greek James Cunningham gave society a superb display of Greek material at this meeting.

Starting with some pre-stamp covers he then introduced the "Large Hermes Heads" which, he explained, were "very complicated". Inflation stamps from the late 19th/early 20th Centuries followed with stamps of overseas countries used within Greece (overprinted AM). There followed a Balkan War (with Turkey) postcard from Salonika (which was in Turkey prior to capture), along with a "Greek Administration" overprint issue on Turkish stamps. Other (now) Greek islands issued their own stamps some printed in red, others in black. Stamps of the Dodecanese Islands, which became independent of Turkey in 1912 and which were then invaded, and occupied, by Italy until the end of WW2 then featured as did Cretan "provisional" stamps. Further Cretan administration stamps from 1908, which were later overprinted HELLAS to signify the union with Greece then followed. To conclude the first round various issues featured including the 1916 Royalist Issue; the 1922 Revolution (subsequently re-valued due to hyper inflation); the August 1923 Italian invasion of Corfu issue (which only lasted 1 month) which saw Italian stamps overprinted Corfu & a set of Corfu Queen Victoria stamps (1859) as that island was then under British rule.

James started his second round with a display of flight covers of Greek origin, most of which were carried by an Italian company. The various destinations featured including Egypt; Germany; USA; Sudan; South Africa; France; Canada & the UK. The remainder of James' display showed many, & various, issues and covers which illustrated the history of Greece post WW1. These included a "democracy" issue (1933, with democracy equalling republic); 1935, end of "democracy and restoration of monarchy; 1938 posthumous rehabilitation of late King; 1939, Pan Balkan Games, Athens; a 1940 German Consular Mail cover; material relating to the Greek Youth Movement (similar to Hitler Youth); 1941 Italian Overprints for the Ionian islands along with German & Italian Military Mails; German Occupation Mail; and a 1944 overprint issue for disaster relief. Post WW2 issues included the 1946 "Chains" definitive and Monarchy plebiscite issues; 1947 Recovery of Dodecanese issue & covers along with a Victory issue and, finally, a 1951 issue celebrating the 1900th Anniversary of St Paul's visit to Athens. 

Alan Wishart gave the vote of thanks.