Patriotic Covers of New Zealand

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At the time of his death in 2010, Life Member Allan P. Berry FRPSNZ, FRPSL, was working on a new monograph The Patriotic Covers of New Zealand.

It was based largely on his collection and display which he had shown to various philatelic societies in the preceding few years, but it remained in an incomplete and unedited state.

A draft copy had been presented to the RPSNZ for consideration as to publication, but fate intervened. After Allan's death, the executors of his estate were approached to see if they would agree to placing Allan's draft manuscript on the RPSNZ website in its final form. This permission was granted.

The collection itself was sold in two lots at Auckland City Stamps' inaugural public auction on March 19th 2011. Estimated at $1,250, it was knocked down at $2,325.

Allan's Introduction is reproduced below:

"My specialised interest in New Zealand Stamps and Postal History was until recently concentrated on the Stamps and Postal History of the Government Life Insurance Department, and the Official Mail of other Government Departments up to the end of 1906, definitive stamps overprinted OFFICIAL having to be used from 1st January 1907, thus introducing a whole new era of the Philately and Postal History of New Zealand.

It proved difficult to make additions to the two collections, so I sought another field of study. I decided to concentrate on the usage of the stamps issued to celebrate 100 years of British Sovereignty of New Zealand. Most of these stamps were issued on 2nd January 1940, with the 8d value issued on 8th March 1940, and the 10d surcharge on 1½d on 1st May 1944. The stamps were not demonetised until 1950, so cover an interesting period of New Zealand’s Postal History.

It was not long before I started coming across illustrated covers, or covers with cachets, on which stamps of the issue were used. Some of these were clearly Patriotic Covers, and these as a subject on their own took my interest, and I started to collect them in their own right.

Patriotic Covers are those with printed cachets and/or slogans promoting the efforts of the country in which they were published to win a war or other conflict, and to help maintain morale. It can be difficult to decide if such a cover is Patriotic. Many had the letter 'V' or the word 'Victory' or the Morse code for 'V' •••– incorporated in their design. However, the same symbols were used to publish Victory Covers, some hastily prepared, some carefully prepared in anticipation of the event. The distinction can be somewhat blurred, and some have been included that may not be classified strictly as Patriotic Covers. Nevertheless, I would rather be criticised for including an item than for excluding one. Of course, some Patriotic Covers were used as Victory Covers, many so endorsed. To be considered as Patriotic Covers, usage has to be shown before the final end of all hostilities. Victory in Europe Day was 8th May 1945, and Victory in Japan was 14th August 1945. Therefore, any covers used before the latter date must be considered Patriotic Covers. As will be seen, Patriotic Covers continued to be used after the end of the Second World War for various purposes – ordinary correspondence, to collect special date stamps, as First Day Covers, and so on. "

Patriotic Covers of New Zealand / Allan P. Berry.pdf

This manuscript is made available solely for private use and research, and may not be reproduced for financial gain, or without attribution to the Author, and to the Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand Inc.