13th December 2022 Postal History of Estonia + Formation of the Union of South Africa – Tim Harrison

On Tuesday December 13th, 2022, Banbury Stamp Society welcomed Tim Harrison who gave two presentations – ‘A Postal History of Estonia’ and ‘The Formation of the Union of South Africa’.  in 2002.  We started with Estonia, a country about the size of Wales with a population of 1.2 million.

In the 16th century it was part of the Russian Empire and serviced by their mail coach service.  The display started with pre-stamp covers, the first from 1808, followed by stamped mail with an 1858 cover from St. Petersburg into Estonia.  Germany occupied Estonia during the Great war during which Estonia fought both the Germans and the Bolshevik forces for independence.  We saw occupation mail followed by the first Estonian stamps in 1918, although the League of Nations didn’t recognise Estonia until 1921. Many post-offices had Russian, German and Estonian names on the cancellers – after independence, the Russian and German names were removed by hand until new cancellers were made. 1936 saw the last Estonian stamp issue before the Russian and German occupations of WWII, after which Estonia was part of the USSR until 1991.

The second half started with the well-known Cape of Good Hope triangular stamps and worked through stamps and covers from the other regions of southern Africa under various occupations (mainly Dutch and British), including Griqueland West, which held the Kimberley diamond fields, the Orange Free State, and Natal. This included mail and stamps from the Zulu war and from the two Boer wars, followed by the transition from separate states and regions to the Union of South Africa in 1910. 

The next meeting will on Tuesday January 3rd – New Year Social.  The next presentation evening will be a visit from Leamington Philatelic Society on Tuesday 17th January 2023 at 7:30pm at the Hanwell Fields Community Centre. The Banbury Stamp Society is on-line at ‘www.banburystampsociety.co.uk’, or contact John Davies on 01295 255831.