Friday, May 1, 2009

Campbell Island

Image from Wikipedia.

I was going through my dormant collection of first day covers and "cinderellas" today, part of the period in my life from 1969 until c.1997 when I spent (possibly misspent) my early years being a stamp collector, or philatelic nut. (Now, I'm just the history variety). Mainly, I was looking for examples of old postmarks to put toward a publication I'm putting together right now. During the course of the nostalgia trip and trip down memory lane, visions of ecstatic finds among stamp dealers' cabinets over the many years, I found a cover I'd bought years and years ago which had originated from Campbell Island, one of New Zealand's sub-Antarctic territories.

Some of the history of the island is provided at the Wiki link above. I think I picked up the cover, which was posted in 1971, is because (a) the cartoon stamp in the middle of the envelope is quite cool (a bearded Kiwi in charge of his penguin and seal team of meteorologists), and (b) because there is just 3d and 1d stamps, totalling 4d, the old cost of domestic postage in NZ.

Trouble with that is -- we went decimal in 1967. It's a wonder the envelope made it back to the mainland. Probably via some very understanding postal workers who reckoned, why waste old stamps when postage was (then) still only 4 cents, anyway.

Growing up, I remember as a kiddy that back then (1960s to very early 1970s) our postage was 4 cents, a bottle of milk (1 pint) was 4 cents, and newspapers and bread were around the same. Now, domestic standard postage starts at 50 cents, a litre of milk is around $2, bread around $2.50 if you're lucky to find a sale, and a newspaper is around $1.50 or more.

Good on those folks at Campbell Island with their thruppeny and penny stamps, I say ...


  1. Gawd, they were being generous to let the mail through - but then again people were more generous and kinder back then, none of this rigid 'rules are rules' rubbish ;)

  2. have a first day cover from there dated about 1953 signed by officer in charge - CPB Sewell my Uncle deceased