Thursday, 26 June 2014

Some Kudat cancellations

Kudat is rather unusual in having 2 different star type cancellations.

The more common type has the star unusually below the date part of the cancellation. This is listed in Proud's book as been used between 1955 and 1963. Somehow it was felt necessary to revert back to convention with the star above the date in the subsequent cds canceller as shown above. It is strange that it was not listed in Proud's book but it can be found in the Sarawak Journal with a LDS of 17 June 1964.

A cover with the Type1 star cancel from Kudat.

I show these two but they are not really good examples of the Kudat Linotype cancellations which were used almost immediately post war on the BMA issue. That is why a good clear cancellation carries a substantial premium. 

It is rather unusual that this Kudat Australian type cancel D22 is in violet. I wonder whether it was used as a fiscal chop but certainly not that common a finding. I do have a soft spot for those cancellations other than black.
Update This is another example.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Bandau cancellation and a Sembulan cover

They are probably not that common a cancellation from the early days of Sabah, Malaysia. Both these names are no longer present in current postmarks of Sabah

Quoting from the Sarawak Journal: "Bandau, a  town situated a few miles inland from the shores of Marudu Bay, on the north coast of Sabah. The name was changed to Kota Marudu in the early 1970's. A Post office, opening date unknown at present."
The initial cancellation was a 2nd Australian type cancellation. Latest date seen (LDS) was 3 Sept. 1963. The subsequent cancellation as shown above was with the change in name from North Borneo to Sabah. This was a Type A cancellation with a EDS of 23 DEC 1964 and a  LDS of 19 OCT 1971.

Though faint, we have here a full Sembulan KK star cancel with a date of 8 JU 73 on a stampless Government Service envelope from the assistant director of  the department of Trade and Industries to researchers in the forestry department in Sandakan.
Sembulam is situated about 5 km to the south west from the centre of KK. The post office opened on 9 April 1973. The above so called skeletal came in 3 variations and then followed by another 3 from after 1980 without the letters for "KK". Sembulan PO was re-named Rumah Persekutuan KK on 1 July 1989.

Friday, 13 June 2014

4 Old Postcards

These cards are all around a hundred years old. The top three are unused and in surprisingly pristine condition.

This is number 38 from the series published by Phillipe & Sons aka Funk & Sons. The caption says "Borneo children" and the photo was not necessarily taken in North Borneo. The enclosure kept out crocodiles which posed a real danger by the river and even on the coast.
That lone tall tree reminds me of somewhere on the east coast.

This is number 50 from the series by Funk & Sons and almost certainly taken somewhere on the west coast.

It is difficult to know whether this was taken in North Borneo but the houses of coastal folk should be fairly similar. It was card number 1980 by C Piens of Kowloon, Hong Kong but printed in Germany where quality was the best.

This is card number 58 by Funk & Sons which was taken by Ha Buey Hon of Kuching, Sarawak. It depicted the native Dyak women of Sarawak. There would have been very few Dyaks in North Borneo.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Some anomalies of the 1893 1c overprint

The local rate for post cards as well as those to Labuan and Brunei was fixed at 1c in the middle of 1891. But by 1892, the 1888 1c stamps were running out. So in 1892, the 4c stamps surcharged with "1 cent" and by 1893, the 5c stamps were similarly surcharged.

There were 4 settings recorded for this surcharge on the 5c adhesive in part 1 of The Stamps and Postal History of North Borneo. In the above setting as seen on this complete sheet of 5x10, there is a noticeable difference in the position of "1" in relationship to "cent".

In the adhesive on R1/7, the "1" in the surcharge is directly above "n" as shown above. It is the only one in this setting but it is not rare as it is more common in at least one of the other 3 settings.

This is stamp R1/1 in the above sheet with a "hallow stop" and also missing a chunk from the right side of "1".

This is just to show the constant short slash just next to the bottom Chinese character which is constant on this sheet of stamps.

Stamp R5/2 has a partial stop in the surcharge which looks as if it is raised.

Update: A used sheet of 50 with a different setting as seen by the position of "1" in relationship to "cent" below. It was cancelled by favour at the Sandakan post office with the concurrent 19 bar cancel.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Two Postmaster letters and a return card

Horace Dabell and Gilbert Fenton both had long and distinguished service in the postal department of North Borneo. They both eventually became Post Master General.

Horace Abalone Dabell was the assistant Postmaster General. The letter is self explanatory. The PMG at the time was Cecil Forrester Newton Wade and I think the initials within the green GPO cachet might be his as such stampless official covers, by regulation, should be endorsed by a superior officer.
Dabell went on to be PMG at Jesselton from 1932 to 1934 and also from 1935 to 1938.

CFN Wade          National Archives
I can not find an image of Dabell yet. CFN Wade who was PMG at the time was more well known. He did some very important work for North Borneo philately in the pre and post war periods. 

This is a more grotty specimen even though it was written 20 years later by Gilbert Corelli Fenton who was acting PMG. This time the GPO seal is in black and we also have the Official Paid cancellation. Proud has only one date recorded in his book. This is the other date but other similar covers do exist.
GC Fenton born 1893 was initially appointed as a wireless assistant in January 1921.

This is a rare and very seldom seen reply GB postal stationary card which was returned by Fenton in answer to an enquiry. The stamps referred to were the King George V Silver Jubilee issue of 1935. His signature is abbreviated on this occasion. 

GC Fenton    National Archives

What follows is an attempt to compile a  list of known postmasters and PMGs working in North Borneo. There will be omissions. The district officers in outstations were a jack of all trades which also included acting as lead postman for the area.

Edward Richard Connor
Edward Richard Connor first postmaster of Sandakan in 1883 and probably only for a few months.

TW Allen  postmaster Sandakan 1883.

WR Flint        National Archives
William Raffles Flint  first postmaster Kudat 1883, Sandakan 1884-87. PMG Sandakan GPO 1888, 1900. He was put in temporary charge of the BNB Constabulary in June 1885, also March 1887 and appointed second in command of the constabulary in January 1888 to Captain R D Beeston. That eventually would be his professional preference. 

H B Dunlop  Acting PMG at Sandakan September 1887 while Raffles Flint was on leave. He was employed at the Treasury Department for 3 years before joining Abrahamson & Co as assistant manager in 1888. Came back to take charge of the post office for the second half of 1893.

Henry King Sturdee  PMG and Harbour Master appointed November 1889 to ?December 1892.

P F Wise  Acting PMG July-December 1891.

E F Skertchly Acting PMG  from ?December 1892 to August 1893. Some years later he was the editor of the Hong Kong Telegraph before becoming the editor of the Pinang Gazette.

EP Gueritz     National Archives
Edward Peregrine Gueritz   PMG February 1894 to ?1895. He was more famous for being the Governor of BNB between 1904 to 1911.

WH Penney      National Archives
William Hughes Penney PMG January 1895, 1898, 1900. Acting PMG 1906.

Walter Henry Hastings  Acting PMG March 1899

Richard Scott Atkinson  PMG 1902, 1907, 1914, 1916.

Benjamin Scott Keasberry postmaster Jesselton 1904. previously sub treasurer of Gaya, Gantian and Jesselton and later on the treasurer of Jesselton.

Quee Boon Seah  postmaster Kudat 1905. A chief government clerk and magistrate for many years, he was one of the most prominent Chinese citizens in Kudat.

William Charles Weedon  acting postmaster Jesselton 1905, acting PMG 1917.

P Van Langenberg  postmaster Sandakan January 1903.

George Clerk Irving  Acting Postmaster General Jesselton GPO 1912-13.

Frederick James Moysey acting PMG 1918.

Cecil Forrester Newton Wade PMG 1920, 1924-27, 1929-1931. PMG postwar including 1949.

Horace Abalone Dabell  Ass PMG 1920, 1922-2, 1926, 1928-29, 1931
                                          Acting PMG 1928
                                          PMG 1932, 1935-40

Gilbert Corelli Fenton   Acting Ass PMG 1921, 1923, 1925, 1929, 1931
                                          Acting PMG 1934
                                         PMG from 1940. Letter above says he was Acting PMG in 1939.
Charles Fenton  PMG 1954

It was difficult to find out the exact terms of office. The above dates are the times that they were mentioned as PMG in announcements in the Herald.

References: The BNB Herald & Official Gazette
                      BNB Civil Servants List by Colin Chew