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The Journal of the Rhodesia Study Circle - Issue No. 76
When did they open?
Nodder records that 'an office was opened here in 1901/2, but date of closing unknown. An agency was opened here some years later and closed in 1917. The present office was opened in 1920/1. It is not known if a date-stamp was supplied to the office when it opened in 1901/2. The earliest date-stamp used at Monze appears to have belonged to Type 7, and this type presumably was issued after the amalgamation of North-East and North-West in 1911. Has anybody seen a postmark of an earlier type or of the 1901/2 period? The earliest date I have is 18 SEP 1913 on a 1d double head, and the postmark is type 7. Any earlier date known please?
Nodder records that Luwingu was opened in 1907 to replace Luena. Of Luena he says that it was opened in 1895/4 and that it was an office at the Mission station of that name near Lake Bangweulu. This is definitely incorrect; for the White Fathers Mission bought from the Government the old Boma site at Luena and made it into a Mission station. If Luena had a hand-stamp, it would have been a Type 3 (squared circle) and I think it very likely that it had. But Luwingu was opened in 1907 and the first recorded post-mark was type 8, and as this was NTHN Rhodesia it seems likely it dates from after 1911. Has anyone seen a postmark for Luwingu before 1911? And is ?????? station when I was posted to Northern Rhodesia in 1930 and the hand-stamp then was type 7 of which I have a number of copies on covers from my early letters home. My earliest date is Feb. 1919.
A similar problem to that of Luwingu. Opened says Nodder in 1908. The earliest recorded type is Type 8, Nthn Rhodesia. Any postmarks seen between 1908 and 1911? My earliest date is 28 ? 18 on a 2/- Admiral.
Again a similar problem. Opened in 1906, first recorded hand-stamp, Nthn Rhodesia' of presumably 1911 or later. Has anyone seen a postmark between 1907 and 1911? Earliest date I have is 10 DEC 19 on a 2/6 Admiral.
Can anyone suggest a solution of these similar problems? Luwingu and Mporokoso could well have had N.E.Rhodesia hand-stamps and Namwala one for N.W.Rhodesia. Why didn't they?
Mwinilunga – N. Rhodesia:
Under Type 4(a), Mwinilunga, Nodder (The Pre-Federation Posts of Northern Rhodesia, page 17) gives a note which reads 'The letter W of N.W.Rhodesia was erased from this hand-stamp. In this state the mark is (R). See note under Type 3 for the reason why this was done.' Under Type 3, the note referred to reads (referring to Lundazi), 'In 1911, following the amalgamation of the Barotseland - North Western portion of the territory and North Eastern Rhodesia under the designation of Northern Rhodesia, the postal authorities provided hand-stamps inscribed Northern (or as abbreviation of this) Rhodesia for new offices. As a temporary measure until a new hand-stamp was available, the postal agent at this office removed the letter E from the hand-stamp, thus impressions can be found with "N. Rhodesia" (VR). Two other offices in the North Western Territory defaced their hand-stamps, Sub-Type 4(a) by cutting out the letter W for a similar reason.'
We have all read these notes, but there are still some questions which demand answers. At page 13, Nodder states that Mwinilunga was opened in 1917. That is, it was opened six years after the amalgamation of North East and North West. Is it then certain that it was the postal agent who altered the hand-stamp? He always took the blame (I was one myself once), but is it really suggested by Nodder that the hand-stamp was issued from Headquarters with North-West on it when amalgamation had taken place six years before? A check through the list of post offices of Types 4 and 4(a) shows that there is another similar anomaly - Lusakas, opened in 1913/14, 2/3 years after amalgamation. Let us then look at the offices opened between 1911 and 1919, and the types of hand-stamps provided:‑
Opened between 1911 and 1915
Type 7. NTH Rhodesia
Opened 1916, closed 1919
Type IIg. N.Rhodesia
Between 1912 and 1914
Type 8. NTHN Rhodesia
Opened and closed 1916/7
Opened between 1911 and 1915
Type 4a N.Rhodesia
Opened in 1919/20 Closed 1922/3
Type 9. Northern Rhodesia
There seems to have been no particular reason for any of these, and certainly the two from Type 4(a) were not the first two to be issued after 1911, as one might have expected.
And one last question? Has anyone seen Mwinilunga, N.W. Rhodesia? I have got several N.Rhodesia, but have never seen an N.W.Rhodesia. I can't help feeling that while Nodder may well have been right that the postal agents at Lundazi and Solwezi defaced their hand-stamps, it is quite on the cards that someone at headquarters defaced Mwinilunga's hand-stamp?