Lanarkshire Philatelic Society
"Hong Kong" by Mr. Albert Tong
"Solomon Islands" by Mr. Bill Jardine
The Lanarkshire Philatelic Society was taken on a visit to 2 very different islands at their meeting on Friday, 5th November.
Albert Tong displayed postal material of Hong Kong from 1862 to 1997 – taking us through the reigns of five British monarchs. Having informed members that ‘Hong Kong’ means "Fragrant Harbour". He then began his display with the stamps issued for Queen Victoria – designed by Jean Ferdinand and printed by De La Rue & Co. In 1891,to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Colony, the 2c stamp (Queen Victoria) was overprinted with "1841 Hong Kong Jubilee 1891" and these stamps were sold out in 3 days!
In 1903 the design changed to King Edward VII and in 1912 changed again to King George V (designed by Emil Fuchs). During his reign the first commemorative stamps were issued – to mark his Silver Jubilee in 1935 – and depicted Windsor Castle. No stamps were issued for King Edward VIII and in 1936 the design changed to King George VI. For some 4 years the mails were disrupted following the Japanese invasion of 1940 when Japanese stamps with an overprint and surcharge were used. In 1946 a special Victory issue was printed. This was originally designed by a British POW in a Japanese Camp who drew it on a piece of toilet paper – being the only available paper to hand! It is believed to be best in the Colony’s luck!
Various commemoratives were displayed, including - 1937 Coronation of King George VI, 1949 Universal Postal Union & the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth. The display finished with a cover, issued in 1997, commemorating the last day of British rule.
After tea, Bill Jardine took members off to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. He began by giving some information about the rather turbulent history of the islands until, in 1884, the British and German Governments split the Islands between them. Britain, between 1893 and 1903 declared a series of Protectorates over the various Islands. (The Germans lost their jurisdiction during WW1) The Islands became self-governing in 1976 and gained independence in 1978.
The earliest letters were carried by trading vessels to Sydney where they were franked by NSW stamps. Later a rectangular postmark was used ‘British Solomon Islands Paid’. In 1907 the Islands issued their own stamps – depicting a War Canoe - and of rather variable sizes depending on which printing plate was used! In 1908, as members of the Universal Postal Union, the issue had to comply with postal law and a new issue was printed by De La Rue.
In 1913, the definitives displayed the Monarch’s head – King George V - and this continued through the following 3 Monarchs. Throughout the years many commemoratives have been issued – including, Guadalcanal (synonymous with WW2 in the Far East); Discovery of the Solomon Islands; Fish; Shipping and Navigation; World Cup; Christmas etc. One of a set of stamps issued in 1974 – ‘Navigators’ –shows a young J. F. Kennedy who served in these waters. Also in 1974, the word BRITISH was removed from the country’s name. After Independence in 1978 the Monarch’s head was no longer displayed. Further commemoratives were displayed – the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme; the 75th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts; and in 1986 a further stamp of JFK – older this time! – the Americas Cup Yachting Championships – and finishing with a beautiful miniature sheet of flowers.
Gary Cheyne led members in giving the Vote of Thanks for the two very informative and interesting displays.
Our next meeting in St Andrews Parish Church Hall, Avon Street, Hamilton, is on Friday, 26th November, 2010 at 7:30pm when the topic is ‘These I also collect’.
Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc – and other collectable items - is very welcome to attend.