Southern Africa Philatelic Conference 2009
13th-15th November

Approximately 45 members and 5 dealers attended. On the Saturday the invited displays were presented. These would form the subjects to be considered for the award of the Tony Chilton Memorial Trophy. Other members gave smaller displays on Sunday morning. The auction of about 300 lots brought the afternoon and a successful conference to a close.

Richard Stock gave the first display with the aid of a Powerpoint presentation, which concerned the Boer invasion of northern Natal. The Boer forces commandeered postal stationery, hand-stamps etc. from captured British post offices and adapted them for re-use. Some items showing this re-use were displayed, together with correspondence from junior army personnel, from Parry and from Bowen, who was later killed in action. Richard gave much historical background information and described how Redvers Buller did not see eye to eye with his superior officer, Lord Roberts. An enlightening display that was eventually judged the winner of the Chilton Memorial Trophy.

The next display was of the early mails in Rhodesia and was given by Colin Hoffmann, also with the aid of Powerpoint. 1860 correspondence from Dr. David Livingstone, together with his map of 1863 showing his routes and discoveries in Southern and Central Africa. Other mail from Frank Oates and Emil Holub was also shown. Mail displayed from the Bechuanaland Exhibition 1884-5 included modified cancellers with “British Bechuanaland” deleted.   We also saw ship letters despatched via Durban and Umbali in 1892 and a combination cover with both Bechuanaland and S. A. Company stamps affixed. The Matabele War erupted in 1893 after an uneasy peace and in 1895 a further Matabele Rebellion occurred. These skirmishes and the subsequent Anglo- Boer War caused mail delays. Colin also displayed revenue items from this period.

Otto Peetoom produced something slightly more modern and certainly different, a colourful selection of World War labels. He explained how the Governor General’s War Fund of WWI became the War Fund in WWII and subsequently the National War Fund. These labels were either issued for charity or for patriotic or propaganda reasons. The display was divided into sections for W.W. II Red Cross; The Gifts and Comforts Fund; Naval; Fifth Column awareness; Nations overseas; Rebuild British Cities; Medical Help for Russians; Help the Victory, including eight liberty cavalcades and finally, the 1945 Springbok Legion War Fund. An entertaining display filled with material not often seen, even by collectors of War Labels.

After lunch, King George V, S.W.A. postal stationery was presented by Francis Kiddle who confessed that this was a new subject for him and that he had not yet researched the subject thoroughly enough. All German S.W.A. stationery had been destroyed by 1917 when the territory was mandated to South Africa. S.A. postal stationery was used there until 1923 when specially overprinted stationery was produced. Overprinting was done on an individual item basis because much had already been cut. First capital letters were used, then lower case lettering followed in 1927 by bilingual English and Afrikaans overprinting. Francis showed examples of all of this material.

The name Zimbabwe derived from the 11th century city built by the Lemba tribe in that country. Richard Barnett showed some pictures of the ruins, but then concentrated on the inflation philately of the modern state from 1979. In 2009 the Zimbabwe currency was tied to the S.A. Rand.

Paul van Zeyl's display was of material from the S.A. Homelands. The first, Transkei, was established in 1976 and three other states were established soon after. They each had a degree of autonomy. Paul discussed the reality of that autonomy and showed that although stamps were printed in Pretoria, the Homelands intended to use them to attract tourists. Gambling was not permitted in South Africa, except in Bophutatswana where Sol Kerzner established a casino. Paul showed preliminary studies for material which was never issued in the Homelands but was later adopted for use by the South African Post Office. A very thought provoking display, as often happens when Paul gives it.

Amongst the general displays by attendees on Sunday we saw:
John Sussex's mail censorship in S.W.A. during W.W.I when separate South African forces advanced into the south, central and northern parts of the German territory.

Otto Peetoom reported on the 10/- Table Mountain inverted centre, with reference to an edition of “The Stamp Collector” (Australian). He also displayed pre 1931 airmails of Nyasaland (1916/18) and Southern Rhodesia (1925/6).

Andrew Higson showed a magnificent eBay purchase of a £5 Transvaal stamp cancelled 17.1.1900. This had subsequently received a certificate of authenticity from the R.P.S.L.

Dr. Chris Board displayed S.A.R. cancellations using numerals in triple circles or triangles and explained how this system had been adopted and used. A Pietersburg newspaper provisional completed his display.

Godfrey Mellor showed the 1952 Van Riebeek Tercentenary issues of South Africa and the Netherlands, including commemorative combination covers.

The display by Nicholas Lindström was on a study of repetitive blade flaws on the Union 1d; 1/-; 2/6 & 5/- values of the London Pictorial issue.

Brian Hurst's display of G.B. used in Bechuanaland included almost every control letter known. He explained that De la Rue had introduced these controls as an accounting procedure and showed how these had been implemented.

We next saw Swaziland revenue stamps and Court Fee receipts, which were presented by Peter van der Molen.

Denis Firth displayed German S.W.A. where steel date stamps had been manufactured in Germany for use in over 100 new post offices in the colony. He included the introduction of the Wunderstempel.

Mike Berry included in his display, Natal covers overprinted P.O.A. (Post Office Emergency). This also occurred during the Anglo-Boer War. In 1890/1 cancellers moved from office to office.

Derek Lambert presented labels used in Nyasaland and Rhodesia promoting the World Council for Young Men’s Service Clubs.

Licenses recorded in the Government Gazette and a faked cover with incorrect rates, were some of the items included in Robert Johnson's display of Cape material.

Richard Weaver displayed the 1972 wool promotion stamps with cartoons on the selvedge and some items for which he required some explanation; namely 1925 airmails – which printing, and what was the reason for multi-use of postage due stamps. The latter was thought to be Customs Duty payment.

The next display, by Chris Oliver, was a miscellany of items from WWI including some Field Service Cards produced by different printers for the British government.

Tony Howgrave-Graham displayed Inter-provincials including perfins, late fees and high values on documents. Also shown was a card of a second return flight from Muizenburg.

Censor marking of the second Anglo-Boer War were displayed by Alan Harley.

Tony Stanford showed Rhodesian money order coupons and cancellations of rail letters.

Springbok and other essays for the Union definitives, including some produced in Holland were displayed by John Shaw.

Bob Hill displayed some FRAMA labels which included, initially, three types of paper at 34 locations and some later short-lived coloured examples.

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