Exhibits and Displays

The Western Australian Study Group has decided to create a record of Western Australian exhibits to assist others in forming their own collections in the future.
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World War 2 is the only period in which there has been a substantial military presence in WA requiring an extensive military postal system to augment the service provided by the Postmaster General’s Department. ‘Military’ excludes Naval and Air Force mail.  This exhibit is organised to show the use of military postal markings as they became required to support the Middle East campaign, to meet the deployment of 3 Australian Corps and other military forces to counter possible Japanese invasion of WA, and the redeployment of those forces when invasion was no longer considered a threat. This organisation differs from that in Haynes and Pope (1997) where postal markings are catalogued according to type. The postal markings are mainly military post marks, censor marks, and registration marks but others, such as POW mail and addressee’s cachets, are also shown. Military use of the PMG’s postal service is also included.
1930s : Inter-war
1939 – 41 : Middle East Campaign
1942 : 3 Australian Corps
1943 – 44 : Redeployment
1945 – 46 : Demobilization
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FRAME 5      FRAME 6      FRAME 7      FRAME 8


The Cocos Islands were discovered in 1609, settled in 1826 as a coconut plantation, annexed by Britain in 1857, and the site of a submarine cable relay station from 1901. The world paid brief attention to Cocos on 9 November 1914 when HMAS Sydney sank SMS Emden. A short-lived post office opened in 1933 but there was not much demand for postal services until 1945 when British forces constructed an airstrip. Cocos (Keeling) Islands 6799 is now the most remote Western Australian post office. Other than philatelic demand, there have been limited postal requirements of the 600 residents on Cocos. Cocos postal history is shown in roughly chronological order
SECTION A: 1907- 1945 Local postal service, Straits Agency, British forces
SECTION B: 1946- 1955 Singapore Postal Agency, RAAF post office
SECTION C: 1955- 1979 Australian PMG Department
SECTION D: 1979- 1993 Cocos Philatelic Bureau
SECTION E: 1994- 2022 Australia Post
Some heavily subscribed philatelic product at various times is readily available but mail to and from Cocos in all periods is scarce.
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Bruce Haynes has tabulated the seasonal movement of mail to and from Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands through Western Australian ports and via Singapore and Indonesia. The information is available here.



The island was incorporated into Straits Settlements in 1900 and the laws of Singapore applied. A post office was opened in 1900 but a building to house it was not available till 1904. Singapore achieved self-government in 1958 and Christmas Island was made a Crown Colony before being transferred to Australia as an external territory. Because of its isolation, limited commercial activity, and small literate population, Christmas Island has never generated much non-philatelic mail.
Christmas Island 6798 is an Australia Post (W.A.) office serving a population of 1700.
The display is arranged chronologically to illustrate the slow postal development from an isolated mining settlement to a small mining/tourist town.
SECTION A: 1906- 1942 British Phosphate Commission post office, Straits post office
SECTION B: 1945- 1957 Singapore post office
SECTION C: 1958- 1968 Crown Colony, British Phosphate Commission post office
SECTION D: 1968- 1993 Christmas Island Administration post office
SECTION E: 1993 – 2021 Australia Post office.
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One of the earliest multi-stage long haul scheduled airmail routes in the world commenced in 1921 as an intrastate route from Geraldton to Derby. Some interstate and international airmail, including transit airmail, became available to Western Australians in 1929 when the Perth to Adelaide and London to Karachi routes were opened. Extensions of the routes beyond Derby, Adelaide and Karachi in the 1930s made airmail more readily available but the new route from Perth to Wiluna had little use as most destinations had adequate rail service.
SECTION 1      SECTION 2       SECTION 3       SECTION 4      SECTION 5    SECTION 6     SECTION  7     SECTION 8 


BRUCE HAYNES: WESTERN AUSTRALIA: NAVAL MAIL 1942 – 1994   WA Naval Mail is any mail to, from, or related to naval personnel in or connected to WA. Such mail is scarce prior to 1939 as it is mainly related to visiting ships and no specific postal markings were used.
This collection contains the majority of recorded WA naval mail and is the reference collection for Haynes and Pope (1997).

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BRUCE HAYNES: WESTERN AUSTRALIA: HOLES IN STAMPS Western Australia has a long and varied history of official and officially sanctioned punctures in postage stamps. Official punctures have the same purpose and status of overprinted official stamps but lack the same philatelic collecting interest. They are also more prone to forgery. This display includes punctures for use by Commonwealth and State Departments and private businesses.
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A compilation of philately of Western Australia Postal History in brief.
Pre-postage stamp era 1827-1854, Postage stamps 1854-1861, Postage stamps 1863 – 1912,Forgeries,Perfins- official and private,Specimens,Postal Stationery,Travelling Post Offices,WA Postal markings to 1901,Commonwealth type postmarks of Western Australia,Local posts of the Eastern Goldfields 1894 – 1897,Airmails of Western Australia, Collecting the Revenue, Duty & Telegraph stamps of Western Australia,Dead Letter Office Perth. Authors are: Brian Pope, Ken Burley, Phil Thomas, Derek Pocock, Ross Duberal, Arnold Creaser, Ray Todd.


JOHN F DIBIASE MONTE BELLO ISLANDS – LOCAL POST STAMPS   Collectors first became aware of a set of 3 denominations, 1d., 3d., and 6d. of the Monte Bello Islands local post stamps were issued when an unknown London stamp dealer offered these for sale at the time of the first British atomic tests off the coast of Western Australia in 1951-52.
The exhibit focuses on proofs, sheets and varieties and a selection of reprints and phantom stamps produced in the 1990’s.