stamps

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First Post Office

The first post office opened on the South Georgia on 22 December 1909, some two years after the first whaling station had been established at Grytviken. Up to 1944 stamps from the Falkland Islands were used, but stamped with a South Georgia stamp.







In 1944 postage stamps were issued for each of the United Kingdom Dependencies these included South Georgia. Initially Falkland Island stamps were over printed with "Dependency of South Georgia".


In 1946 a distinctive set of stamps was issued for use throughout the Falkland Islands Dependencies until 1963.


The Antarctic Treaty of 1962 resulted in a separation of the British Antarctic Territory from the UK Dependencies. South Georgia then received its first stamps.










In 1985 the Falkland Islands Dependencies ceased to exist and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands came into existence as a UK overseas territory. Stamps with this designation have been issued since.










The Whaling Industry

South Georgia was the capital of the southern ocean whaling industry for 60 years. The commercial industry and the whaling stations appear on a number of South Georgia's early stamps. The Norwegian prefabricated church at Grytviken, erected in December 1913 for the whalers by Larsen has been featured.





Sir Ernest Shackleton


Sir Ernest Shackleton's epic voyage in the James Caird from Elephant island to South Georgia and then his amazing crossing of the islands hostile interior is recorded.




Royal Visit

HRH Prince Philip's visit to the island on 12 January 1957 was remembered in a stamp issued to commemorate the Silver Jubilee in 1977.



British Antarctic Survey

The science achieved by British Antarctic Survey from the scientific stations at King Edward Point, on Bird Island and from Husvik (Summer only) has been recorded in a stamp issue.



Conflict

The liberation of the island from the illegal occupation by Argentine Military Forces in 1982 was recorded in a stamp issue featuring HMS ENDURANCE.



Whaling Museum

The South Georgia Museum established in 1991 in the refurbished Managers Villa in the Grytviken Whaling Station is a popular destination for many thousands of visitors. A stamp bearing the smart new museum has been issued.



Natural History

South Georgia is renown for its wild life and dramatic scenery. Many stamps have been issued recorded this aspect of the island.



How to Collect Stamps

Mint Stamps and First Day Covers are available from:


The Philatelic Bureau, The Post Office, Stanley, Falkland Islands (Fax +500-27160): link here


The Falklands Islands Philatelic Study Group established in 1970 promotes and studies philately in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. The membership secretary is Mr D W A Jeffery, 38 Bradstock Road, Stoneleigh, Epsom, Surrey, KT17 2LH.


Stefan Heijtz wrote a specialized stamp catalogue of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia in 1995 (ISBN 91-630-3676-2).

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