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Oceania/Australia : The Birth of the A.C.T.

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Member ACCC (Australian Commonwealth Collectors Club of NSW)
09 Aug 2016
The Opening of Parliament House, Canberra 1½d stamp was issued on May 9, 1927. Colour Carmine-Red and the perforation 11. The Designer was R. A. Harrison, and the Designer J. A. C. Harrison (Waterlow & Son, London). All stamps shown are mint never hinged and full gum. C.T.O (Cancelled–To-Order).

There were various types of printings available to the public prepared prior to the official opening for that special day in history, and by the neat presentation of each cancellation delicate care was taken for this very historic event; they were the large and small CDS, two different post marks, and regular and O.S. stamp issues.

I cannot say if these particular stamps were bought on the day of the opening (and no evidence to say they were not), they may have been purchased a few days after the event, what is known is the stamps shown can only be purchased at Parliament House making the set scarce and of course an integral part of Australia’s early political life.

And as it was illegal for the public to purchase O.S. Stamps, the O.S issues would have belonged to a parliamentary staff member or a politician.

The inscription of the small postmark is “CANBERRA FCT” 9th May 1927”. On January 1, 1911 the Federal Capital Territory came into being with NSW ceding 2,360 square kilometers of land including the seaport of Jervis Bay. The name “Federal Capital Territory” (FCT) was renamed the “Australian Capital Territory” (ACT) in 1938.

The commercially printed Commemorative (Printing: 32,213,680 (including made up into booklets)), and Official Service stamps that were distributed to Parliamentary staff only, (Printing: 18,800) both stamps are superb mint unhinged.

Sheet of 10: Large cancellation “PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA FCT - 9 MAY 1927” with 10 full superb circular date cancellations (also known as “socked-on-the-nose” cancellations).

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O.S. Large cancellation PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA FCT - 9 MAY 1927 & “CANBERRA FCT“ 9 MAY 1927
There is speculation that an O.S. with a small CDS exists.

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Block of 4: Small cancellation CANBERRA FCT“ 9 MAY 1927

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Block of 4: Large cancellation CANBERRA FCT“ 9 MAY 1927

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Link to view stamps in a larger scale.

An old newsreel showing the Duke of York officially opening Parliament House.

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