Thursday, 24 April 2014

Jesselton/Kota Kinabalu Paquebots

There is no information on this paquebot cds. It is very similar to SL7 but  has a star and the year. At least we have a date on record of 23 JA 67. Jesselton became Kota Kinabalu towards the end of that year.

This Kota Kinabalu paquebot is recorded in the Sarawak Journal as having a EDS of  30 December 1974 and a LDS of  9 April 1976.

I would say that this paquebot cds is exactly the same as the one just above except the change in placing of the words. It is not recorded in our journal. The date was 31 JA i83 but I do not know what the "i" stands for.

It is surprising to find a boxed paquebot cancellation in 1991 as these were superseded years ago. It should be from Kota Kinabalu as a faint cds with a clear year of 1991 can be seen. This is definitely unrecorded and readers might deduce that this card was sent to a prominent late member of the Sarawak Society who was living in Huddersfield.
Update 10-12-2015 Thanks to Captain Peter Schulz, I now know that this is the ship own paquebot cancellation on board the cruise ship SS Canberra. The Canberra has a celebrated history which can be googled. This cancellation is listed as H4215 on page 262 in the latest edition of Paquebots Cancellations of the World  by Mike Dovey & Keith Morris

Friday, 18 April 2014

Labuan Paquebots

Just a couple of philatelic covers from Labuan. Commercial mail must be really uncommon.

This is SL7 in Proud's text confirmed by a back stamp of a Labuan cds of 5 Jun 56. Proud only recorded a solitary date of  27.8.54.

This is very much like SL8 except the numerals used were smaller in size. This date of 23 JU 75 is earlier than the one recorded in the Sarawak Journal by a month. It was probably used for a long time until as late as 1987.
The one line paquebot cancellations were largely superseded in North Borneo between 1956 and 1958 by the advent of the star cds type cancellations such as this.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Some recent postcards

Saying recent, these postcards are from the 60s, 70s and 80s which makes them 40 or more years old. Some of these cards are getting uncommon as few people were keen to collect them.

The back of this card used from Singapore dated 1987 described this scene as Sunday Market Kota Kinabalu. I am not sure which part of town this was but possibly near Gaya Street which traditionally has a Sunday market regularly.
The message also mentions attending another Sunday market probably at Kota Belud where water buffalos were for sale. Apparently they were needed by prospective husbands who would need 1 or 2 to barter for a wife!
This card was published by S W Singapore.

This was from a photo by Victor Wah published by Lee Man Printing Sdn Bhd. This was a scene of children going home past padi fields in the Penampang district. No date given as unused. I have doubts whether this sort of view exist anymore in that area. It is probably all built up with houses and so forth. The price of so called "progress".

This Sandakan card was also published by S W Singapore and signed with a date in 1971 but the scene probably dated from a few years earlier judging from the background buildings. This was indeed a very idyllic scene when the pace of life was much slower. There was no lack of time for doing what needed to be done.
The fountain was situated in the middle of a large roundabout in the business part of town. On the left was the start of Leila Rd which was named after the wife of the first Governor, Treacher. Beyond the fountain is the Town Padang with the stand for spectators. Behind that is Singapore Road, an area of important historical interest where further research should be carried out and the knowledge preserved.
A post card by S W Singapore described as Street Scene and main thoroughfare of Jesselton. It was posted in 1973 to Switzerland but probably dated from the 1960s. I am not familiar enough with Jesselton/Kota Kinabalu to place this at its present location.

Yet another postcard by S W Singapore but of Kampong Ayer in Jesselton from the 1960s. It was posted in 1967, also to Switzerland. This is one of the nicest and detailed view of this area which is no longer in existence in this form. In the distance are Mamutik and Manukan Islands

This view would have been ideal if it were Jesselton /Kota Kinabalu. But this was actually a riverside view of Kuching in neighbouring Sarawak, so picturesque! But I doubt whether this same scene is still available due to high rise buildings, air pollution etc. In the back ground is Mt Santubong, 35 km to the north of Kuching.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The earliest known postally used item from North Borneo

This is a new find of a previously unrecorded item which is of historical and philatelic importance. It is quite heartening in this day and age that such material can still be found. Earlier items may still await discovery. The last word in philately is definitely not written!

Bearing in mind that the first stamp of North Borneo was issued sometime in March 1883, this is a very early item indeed. The earliest date for this "Eight Cents" surcharge is given as June 1883 in the Stanley Gibbons Catalogue which now can be updated to 21 April 1883 or earlier. 
This is a pen cancel as the first postal canceller for Sandakan did not appear until January 1884. The scrawl "skan" at the top was for Sandakan. More importantly, there is a clear dumb cancel from Singapore to confirm postal use as pen cancels were also used fiscally. Eight cents was the rate to the Straits Settlements.
The writing has some similarities to the first postmaster Captain Edward Richard Connor who was also harbour master. A sample of his signature is given above. A very detailed write up in 3 pages is now in the current issue of The Sarawak Journal. But you can see the picture of this very important item much much better here.
Captain Connor spent two years in the service of the British North Borneo Company. He was probably the postmaster for a short while before the post was passed to T W Allen. His love was the sea. He had command of the company launches especially with the governor, William Hood Treacher on board.
Prior to North Borneo, he served in the Royal Navy, being an Englishman who was born in Kent in 1848.
After leaving North Borneo in 1885, he joined the Naval Brigade in New South Wales, Australia. He died unexpectedly shortly after retirement at the age of  57.

This is the very similar stamp which was in an auction in Hong Kong some years ago. It has the month of April and year of 1883 but no day. So it may be earlier than the one at the top but it does not have a clear Singapore postmark to indicate postal use. We have the same writing here which really reassured me as to the authenticity of the initial item.