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Comment on Namibia: Part 2 South West Africa: 1914 - 1923

Please Reply with your comments on this display below. Thank you.

A senior South African collector emailed me to say that "I had a look at your site which seems to have gone rather quiet though some good articles on it - I liked your German SWA - just shows what one can produce with limited material and a bit of invention."

His comment is thought-provoking. It is true that I neglected the SAPC site for some time BUT Jamie has been contributing manfully with Trojan dedication everyday. I am quiet but Jamie is not. It is not just me but also you lot out there who are not contributing. I am moaning, for which I apologise, because websites need contributors and content. I was getting mighty tired of my own voice, as were some of you, no doubt. I apologise for putting you off but please, if this site sucks please say so and why on this Forum. Any comment is better than none at all.

I know that many collectors have more and better material than me. However, not all of us can afford to buy the crème de la crème in any collecting field, especially GSWA which is popular with rich Germans. Monied collectors who swank around with their high-powered displays deter a lot of ordinary people of from collecting. They also win all the prizes and competitions with stellar material that makes our hobby appear exclusively for those with a disposable income. It should not be. We should take pride in the displays we create with limited material and if we have to improve it by taking a slightly different way of looking at the subject, be it inventive or as social history, all the better.

Below is a cover I obtained recently for this 'Invasion of GSWA' display. I did not buy it for any of the typical philatelic display reasons one has - its value, the stamp, the postmark or the route. I bought it for a purely historical reason, the addressee, 'The Permit Officer, Windhoek.' This cover suggests how South African Military Magistrates had by mid-1916 taken control of  SWA up to the point where they were issuing permits. It heralds 70 years of South African administrative control over the lives of the people of SWA.

The postmark declares Walvis Bay is South African territory. Its postage rate of 1d is the South African domestic rate. Despite SWA being a ‘foreign’ country, it enjoys the benefit of the SA rate, perhaps an indication of the annexation plans that South Africa had for the territory. The cover's reverse reveals that the sender is Parry, Leon & Hayhoe (C.T.) Ltd of Walvis Bay, international freight forwarders. Its addressee, ‘The Permit Officer’, reveals the degree of control that Military Magistrates now had within the ‘SWA Protectorate’. While this may be a request for native labour, (Walvis Bay as a port had great need of labour), it more likely deals with the shipment of precious stones, etc.

1917. Cover. Marginal Pair ½d green cancelled WALVIS BAY '23 MAR 16' to WINDHUK ‘27. 3.16’.
Posted WALVIS BAY at the SA 1d Domestic Letter rate.
Cancelled with the bilingual ‘S.AFRICA Z.AFRIKA’ (Small Letters) Datestamp.

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