Lanarkshire Philatelic Society




Mr. George Henshilwood



A magnificent display was viewed by members at Friday evening’s meeting of the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society. The subject was "Greenland" and was presented by George Henshilwood, President of the Caledonian Philatelic Society.


Greenland is an autonomous country of the Kingdom of Denmark and in 1875 unstamped mail was freely delivered from Denmark 2 times a year – this rose to 5 times in 1900 and 11 times in 1930. It was in 1905 that stamps appeared – Parcel stamps (Pakke – Porto). Letters were free until, in 1938, definitive Danish/Greenland postage stamps were printed. These showed the Coat of Arms of Greenland – (with image of standing Polar bear) – and also an issue with a portrait of King Christian X. In 1950 two new definitives with a portrait of King Frederik IX and also a Ship with an Iceberg were issued. In 1963 two further definitives appeared– with large polar bear – and the Northern Lights.


There were many issues of these stamps on view – with all the differing colours and values printed through the years.


During WW2 when Denmark was under occupation, the American Bank Note Company issued stamps for Greenland and Denmark – King Christian X on horseback; Polar Bear; Seal on an Ice Floe; Dog Sledge & Eskimo in Kayak. In 1945 – for Denmark's liberation - the stamps were overprinted with "DANMARK BEFRIET - 5 MAJ 1945".


The 25th anniversary of the founding of the Thule Trading Station – in remote north west Greenland - was marked, in 1935, by an issue of 4 stamps to enable mail to be sent from Thule to Copenhagen. They showed Knud Rasmussen (the Founder); the Danish Flag; Walruses & Local Scenery.


Also shown was a rare stamp from Ivigtut (in south west of country) – issued in 1922 by the local mining company to provide mail delivery. This settlement is now abandoned.


There were many cancellations, miniature sheets, registration labels, booklets, saving stamps on view – and many modern stamps commemorating Christmas; animals; ships; fish; birds; mining etc were displayed – many of these stamps designed by Jens Christian Rosing – Greenlandic writer and visual artist. The final stamps were issued at Christmas 2018 – the first "scented" stamps!  Illustrations of gingerbread and the scent of Cinnamon and Pine was enjoyed!


Dr. Ken Liddell, led members in giving warm thanks to George Henshilwood for giving a truly wonderful presentation about a country few members knew much about.


Our next meeting in the Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is on Friday, 29th March, 2019, at 7:30pm when members will display "8 sheets or pay the fine of 50p!".


Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc is very welcome to attend.