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The Journal of the Rhodesia Study Circle - Issue No. 81
The squared circle postmarks of Northern Rhodesia:
Members will remember that I circulated through the Journal a questionnaire listing these postmarks and asking members to fill in and return to me, so that we could have some idea of the numbers involved and the rarity of the different post‑ marks. I now attach a schedule which gives the result of the enquiry. Of the approximately 150 members of the circle only 36 replied and of these 15 were nil returns, some of whom were good enough to sign a form at a meeting. The schedule therefore represents only the postmarks in the possession of the remaining 21 members. 36 out of 150 is, in my view, a poor return from a membership of a study circle, and I find it very disappointing.
It will be noted that some of the postmarks recorded by Dann and Nodder have not been reported at all, and it must now be assumed that they have been lost to sight or have .been destroyed. These are Kasempa, Mirongo, Mkushi, Mpi a, and Satkontwi. On the other hand two postmarks unknown to Nodder have turned up - Kampanda and Kapopo. It will be noted that there is now apparently no evidence that Nodder's Type 3(b) exists.
In the schedule it will be noted that some offices put the day before the month, others put the month before the day, and the majority did it either way!!
I have made some suggested alterations in Nodder's list of rarities. All square circle postmarks are pretty rare, and even the commonest, Kasama, merits the designation scarce. Apart from that Feira is now designated rare rather than very rare, and Serenje rare rather than scarce. Two or three postmarks were actually found by members during the course of the enquiry, and no doubt there are others to be found. But in general it is fair to say that any square circle postmark is a rarity.
The earliest postmark recorded was AP 2 01, and the latest 6 SE 16. Some of the stations which had this postmark first were closed shortly afterwards, and it is therefore possible that the handstamp was then sent on to another office.
It is curious that a date with the O missing has been recorded from Kasama, similar to the single circle postmarks of Type 1 recorded by Nodder as varieties. During the course of the enquiry, it became clear from members' replies that the dots in the Kasama postmark were not always the same, Nodder records two dots, one each side, but postmarks have been recorded with the left hand dot only, and also with no dots. Sometime it may be worth exploring more fully this matter.
It is hoped that the attached schedule is of interest to members, and I would like to express my gratitude to members who took great pains to reply, especially to those in Rhodesia and South Africa.
SQUARED CIRCLE POSTMARKS
(Nodder, Type 3, 3a, and 3b)
Unfortunatley, this Table doesn't display very well.
You can download this WORD file
RSCJ GCRC 03e.doc
from the R.S.C.section of the Library.