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Fragmented Fiji


Fiji became a British colony in 1874. It is an archipelago of more than 330 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited. Thus many more cancels than that of its capital, Suva, can be found. Thanks to the collection of John Cooper, scans of several examples are given below.



The site of Fiji’s first post office is in its former capital, Levuka, which lies on the east coast of the isle of Ovalau. The 3d foreign rate on this cover to Pago Pago in American Samoa is cancelled P.O. Levuka for 13 Aug, and the cover carries a further such strike.



On the west coast of Viti Levu lies Fiji’s second largest city. The name means “Spear hit”, deriving from a duel between two chiefs. It is also known as “Sugar City”, lying as it does in the heart of a sugar cane belt. The sender of this cover to Oklahoma perhaps forgot that the U.S. had long since ceased to be part of the empire – hence the postage due.



This is the administrative centre of the third largest island, Taveuni. On this cover to the U.S., the 2d is supplemented with a 1d definitive for the foreign rate and they are each cancelled by Waiyevo cds for 15 Nov 35.



Situated on the delta of three rivers is the largest town in Vanua Levu. A 3d stamp, cancelled Labasa for 14 Nov 35, pays this cover’s foreign rate to France.


Suva Suva East

Also on Vanua Levu is the “hidden paradise of Fiji” – famous for its hot springs and also as a trading centre for copra. The empire rate of 2d, here on a cover to New Zealand, is cancelled Suva Suva East for 29 Jul 35.


Buca Bay

Again on Vanua Levu is this isolated area, but one which serves as a terminus for ferries to Taveuni.

Again at empire rate, this time to Australia, the cancellation is Buca Bay for the first day of issue, 6 May 35.



Back in Ovalau, a settlement in the tea growing area is the origin of this cover to New Zealand. The 2d stamp is cancelled with a P.O. Levuka cds, struck through with a straight line Davuka hand stamp, and the cover carries a further such strike.



Coconut farming is the main activity on this volcanic island in the Moala group. The 2d here, (the inland rate also being 2d), bears a straight line Totoya hand stamp. The cover to the Rabi Estate on Vanua Levu would have gone via the main island, judging by the Suva back-stamp (9 Jl 35).



This is a small settlement on the island of Kadavu. The 2d Jubilee stamp being the subject matter of this post card to U.K. might explain the sender’s overpaying the post card rate of 1½d. The stamp is cancelled with a straight line Richmond in violet.

Some other postmarks…


AJA December 2016


Some previous articles are available as PDF's by clicking their titles below:



    “Absentee Rupee" - The Mauritius 1 rupee as a stranger to postal rates

    "Postal Usage of the Egypt Seal" - Nick Levinge looks at the Crowned Circles of the forces bases

    "Over Fifty Shades" - Something wrong with the colour?

    "Ghana Guide" - Some postmarks of Gold Coast

    "Vanuatu Voyage?- A look at Hong Kong used in New Hebrides

    Surfing the Solomon Sea” - The few operating post offices in the Solomon Islands

    “Security Punch” - A look at the Jubilee’s perfins by Jeff Turnbull

    “Morocco Now and Then” - A tour of the British post offices in Morocco

    “Fault lines of the Falklands” - Part two of Ralph Riddell-Carre’s analysis

    “Straddling the Straits” - Some postmarks of the Straits Settlements

    “Set and Match” - Can full set covers be non-philatelic?

    “Boating around The Bahamas” - Some postmarks of The Bahamas

    “Serial Salutes” - Some of the Silver Jubilee’s own anniversaries

    “Mauritius Meanderings” - Some postmarks of Mauritius

    “A Cat among the Penguins” - A suspect Falklands cancel

    “Cycling Cyprus” - Some postmarks of Cyprus

    “Scars of Conflict” - How the Jubilees were affected by war

    “Bech Trek” - Some postmarks of Bechuanaland Protectorate

    “Specimen Specifics” - A look at the various uses of the word SPECIMEN

    “Hong Kong Hike” - Some postmarks of Hong Kong

    “Aden Funnel” - Covers from and through Aden

    “Grenada Guide” - Some postmarks of Grenada

    “In The Frame” - A look at some frame plate flaws

    “Basuto Byways” - Some postmarks of Basutoland

    “Cyprus Cypher” - Chris Georgallis examines the colony’s Madame Joseph forged postmarks

    “Trinidad Tour” - Some postmarks of Trinidad & Tobago

    “Commercial Ceylon” - A look at the perfins of the colony

    “Guiana Panorama” - Some less common British Guiana postmarks

    “Where were they then?” - From the more recent stamp-issuing territories

    “Cautious Mauritius” - A variety of Mauritius perfins

    “Madame Joseph’s Masquerades” - Some examples of forged first day covers

    “Tag Wrestling” - A look at the higher postal rates through parcel labels

    “AR” - An article on Avis de Reception by David Handelman

    “The Fleury Flair” - Hugo Fleury’s designs for the Jubilee

    “Split the Difference” - Some occurrences of bisects among the Jubilees

    “Specimen Fundamentals” - Notes on U.P.U. requirements & some forged examples

    “Windsor Spoofs” - Gerald King’s alternative Jubilees

    “Puncturing Oz” - Some speculations about Australian perfins

    “Perforating the Silver Jubilee Stamps”- An article on GB by Harvey Russell

    “Nauru’s Split Personality”  - Split “B” variety on the 2d value?

    “In Camel’s Clothing” - The Egyptian seal’s booklet

    “Rural Disservice” - The Cyprus low value forgeries

    “Canadian Precancels” - The only precancel involvement with the Jubilee

    “Phoenix-like Sphinx” - Some notes about the Egyptian seal

    “Fag Tax” - Observations on South West Africa’s cigarette duty overprints

    “From the collection of...” - Jubilee items from some illustrious collectors

    “Prize-less Specimens” - Beware of forged specimen stamps

    “Dubious Jubilees” - Spoofs, parodies and bogus overprints