Monday, 18 June 2012
New Zealand & Samoa Anniversaries.
Samoa had been an independent state from 1860 but came under German, American and British rule and although the Powers confirmed Samoan independence in 1889 an administration by the Joint Powers remained in place until 1899 when Great Britain ceded its interests in the islands and in 1900 the Germans and Americans carved the territory up between them. Western Samoa was made a German protectorate on 1 March 1900 and this status was retained until 30 August 1914 when troops from New Zealand occupied the island at the start of the First World War. In 1920, the territory became a League Of Nations Mandated Territory under New Zealand administration and the territory was named Western Samoa from 1935. Western Samoa remained a New Zealand territory until 1 January 1962 when independence was granted as The State Of Western Samoa. It was later renamed Samoa. The Samoa Post Office has released very few stamps in recent years but it seems wholly reasonable for it to commemorate the 50th anniversary of independence which it has done with the issue of a set of 4 stamps and a miniature sheet (depicted above on first day cover). Meanwhile, I see that some interesting stamps have emanated from New Zealand, the news appearing on the blog of the US ambassador in New Zealand. Although the Ambassador says "This week New Zealand Post issued a set of stamps commemorating the 70th anniversary of the arrival of American servicemen and women to defend Aotearoa and the South Pacific during World War II", the illustrated items appear to actually be personalised stamps produced privately by New Zealand Post on behalf of the US Embassy in New Zealand (or Aotearoa as the US Ambassador prefers to call the country). There appears to be 2 booklets - one containing 2 circular designs, as depicted here. The designs depict two US-produced "commemorative coins" produced with the intention of giving them to guests at the US Independence Day celebrations in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. The ambassador writes "Of course, the coins are not legal tender, but they do look great". In his blog of 13 June 2012, he writes about the circular stamps:- "In addition to the coins...we also designed two commemorative stamps as part of our celebration of this year's significant United States/New Zealand 70th anniversaries. We've been using the stamps on our outgoing mail at the Embassy and Consulate general for the last couple of weeks" (thus producing some interesting covers for philatelists to track down). In addition to the circular stamps a second personalised booklet for the US Embassy seems to have been produced by New Zealand Post. The second booklet contains 10 different stamps and the ambassador comments "By using vintage photographs drawn from the national archives, the stamps convey a sense of the charm and spirit of local interactions during the 1940's, even as war raged just to the north and west". The Ambassador's blog describes each picture featured on the stamps including the 4 shown above which depict:- Sergeant Nathan E. Cook of the 37th Infantry Division disembarking in Auckland as the first US soldier to step on to New Zealand soil (13 June 1942); the US camp in Central Park, Brooklyn in Wellington; US Marines playing rugby at Athletic Park in Wellington (the New Zealanders won 22-13) (28 August 1943) and Frank Zalot, survivor of a landing craft capsize disaster which occurred on 20 June 1943). The large number of personalised stamps produced by New Zealand Post for their clients are very interesting and well worth collecting. This US-centred issue balances out the rather embarrassing Viet Cong personalised stamp which I have previously reported about.