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PARLIAMENT HOUSE (SYDNEY) to HALF WAY TREE, JAMAICA

This airmail cover is philatelically contrived with a gutter block of eight red 3d KGVI stamps, the right hand block of four with the By Authority Imprint, and both blocks with the small circle in the selvedge (so-called 'perforation pip') plus a single blue 7½d KGVI stamp, a total of 2/7½d paying the 2/6d airmail rate to the West Indies in 1952. There is added interest as there are 3 postmarks of PARLIAMENT HOUSE/ -3 DE 52/ N.S.W . The cover is addressed to J.M. Nethersole, Chelsea Rd, Halfway Tree, Jamaica, B.W.I., and it was re-addressed in pencil to another (unknown) address (Figure 1).

The reverse shows two postmarks, the first being HALF-WAY-TREE/ DE 9/ (52)/ JAMAICA and CROSS ROADS/ DE 10/ 52/ JAMAICA (Figure 2).

Half-Way-Tree has had a series of postmarks first recorded in June 1878, and this single ring type was said to have an early recorded date of 1.12.56, later than this DE 9/52 example.

Kingston is the capital of Jamaica. Half Way Tree (with and without hyphens) is a northern suburb of Kingston, St. Andrew Parish, and it is a small agricultural region (mangoes, vegetables, coffee), with cattle and dairying, and is involved in the manufacture of cigarettes and cigars. In its northern outskirts is King's House, which since 1872 has been the official residence of the Governors, and beginning 1996, the home of the Governor-General of Jamaica. The historical St. Andrew Parish church is the burial place of Governors. The King's House was totally destroyed in a fire in 1925, so that the present building must have been rebuilt. Cross Roads is also a northern suburb of Kingston and is noted for the manufacturing of borax. The town of Kingston is shown in a map of Jamaica Figure 3)..

I was not surprised to find that J.M. Nethersole was a Jamaican philatelist and I was able to find three publications of his in the British West Indian Philatelist, the first in Vol 1 No. 1, September 1949, another in Vol 1 No 2, December 1949, and the last in Vol 1 No. 3, March 1950. The articles were described as a 'Philatravelogue' combining the philately of Jamaica, a description of its towns and its post offices, as well as its postmarks (the latter unfortunately can not be viewed on the internet). Of interest the Nethersole name is associated with Nethersole Place, Kingston which has some of the financial institutions, particularly the Bank of Jamaica, as their address.

Being a total novice concerning Jamaican postmarks, I was concerned that this postmark was the earliest recorded date for its type, and I wondered if the postmark might be better classified as a double ring type with 2 hyphens in the name. A verified copy of such is seen in Figure 4, but I am not convinced for the postmark on this cover may have had a double strike, thus simulating a part double ring. Any assistance would be gratefully accepted! (Figure 4).


 
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