Royal Reels: Gambling


The following item appeared on Ebay Australia and was withdrawn by the vendor prematurely:“Advertisement Cover produced by The Royal Horticultural Society of NSW to promote the World’s Buckjumping Championship held in Sydney during the Royal Easter Show from the 6th to 15th April 1936. Contestant countries were USA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA. The Cover is addressed to distinguished philatelist Ernest A Kehr (1911-86) franked with 2 x Blue 3d Tasmanian Telephone Cable stamps (issued 1 April 1936) and registered postmarked 2 April 1936 affixed with an R6 Registration Label No 5400 issued at Sydney D” (Figure 1).

“Cover is also backstamped Registered at Sydney on 2 April, received at New York Registry (2 postmarks) on 8 May, arriving at Richmond Hill on 9 May 1936. See picture below of the back of the cover” (Figure 2).

“This cover is extremely rare, perhaps one of a kind; intact and in good condition. Buy it now for a BARGAIN (AUD) 3,000” The reason for the cover’s premature withdrawal by the vendor prior to the end of the sale, may well have been that he had been informed that the cover was not rare, nor worth anything near as much as the asking price.

Ernest Anthony Kehr (September 10, 1911 – November 13, 1986) New York City. Kehr was one of philately’s most distinguished spokesmen. He became hobby news editor of the New York World-Telegram in 1935, and then stamp news editor of the New York Herald Tribune from 1939 until the newspaper closed in 1966. He continued as stamp columnist for Newsday (Long Island, NY) until his death.

Over a forty year period, Kehr presented more than 2,000 radio and television programs promoting philately. He wrote several popular books of which The Romance of Stamp Collecting (1947) was a philatelic bestseller, and was the hobby’s standard for new collectors for decades. In 1964 he founded the Philatelic Press Club (later known as the International Philatelic Press Club), and was chairman emeritus when he died.

“Ernie” frequently wrote on the current state of philately in the Collectors Club Philatelist. Kehr received numerous honors: He was an Honorary Fellow of the Collectors Club of New York and was awarded its Lichtenstein medal in 1974; he signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1975; and, he received the Luff Award in 1976 for Exceptional Contributions to Philately. In 1991, the APS established the Ernest A. Kehr award for excellence in the promotion of Youth Philately, and it is presented to one living philatelist each year who, for a period of at least five years, has demonstrated one or more of the following: making philately attractive as a hobby to newcomers; working directly with newcomers, especially young people; and, developing and administering programs aimed at recruiting newcomers.

Kehr distributed tons of philatelic materials to Veterans’ hospitals as head of Stamps for the Wounded and, as a newspaperman, probably wrote more words in support of philately than any other person in history.

Allan Jackson was a newscaster on CBS News. He participated in a popular 50’s radio show, “Youth Takes A Stand” (1953-55). The format of this show had a panel of young people questioning a newscaster concerning current events. Supporting these interests, Jackson traveled as an airline passenger round the world. He documented this circumnavigation by having an airmail cover canceled at the various stops. The airmail cover was addressed to his stamp collecting friend, Ernest Kehr. Jackson’s Itinerary was that he departed Pound Ridge, NY 03/19/54; New York City Airport 03/19/54; Beirut, Lebanon 03/21/54; Karachi, Pakistan 03/23/54; New Delhi, India 03/27/54; Rangoon, Burma 03/31/54; Bangkok, Thailand 04/01/54; Singapore 04/05/54; Saigon, South Viet Nam 04/07/54; Manila, Philippines 04/14/54; Hong Kong 04/16/54; Taipei, Taiwan 04/19/54; Seoul, Korea 04/23/54; Tokyo, Japan 04/26/54; Honolulu, HI 04/27/54; and arrived back at Pound Ridge, NY 05/03/54 (Figure 3).

Addendum (April 2008): This paper has been published at the Philatelic Database website:, a website I can highly recommend to postal history lovers.

Addendum (December 2010):  An unusual undated and autographed cover by Ernest A. Kehr, his address 127-10-103rd Avenue, Richmond Hill N.Y. has printed ‘ England to Australia Flight’ is addressed to a Mrs. Patterson in Melbourne.  It has 2 non-postmarked, the red 1½d Opening of Caberra Federal Parliament, as well as a 2 cents American stamp.  The vendor had included an iteresting text as follows:  Ernest Anthony Kerr (September 10, 1911-November 13, 1986) New York City.  Kehr was one of philately’s most distinguished spokesmen.  He became hobby news editor of the New York World- Telegram in 1935, and then stamp news editor of the New York Herald Tribune from 1939 until the newspaper closed in 1966.  Nothing on reverse (Figure 4).

Categories: Philatelists