Royal Reels: Gambling


This Australian 1911 KGV Coronation issue postal card portrait in an oval laurel frame was privately overprinted on the reverse with a message and it was sent to J. Forsyth, Strath Avon, Claremont, the 9rinted 1d stamp being cancelled in an indistinct Claremont 1911 postmark (Figure 1).

The reverse message was printed as follows:

Coronation Celebrations

Dear Sir,

At a Public Meeting, held at Glenorchy, a Committee of ladies and gentlemen was appointed to arrange and carry out suitable Celebrations to commemorate the Coronation of His Majesty King George V., it is the desire of the Committee to make the Celebrations worthy of the occasion. Your assistance and support is respectfully solicited. Contributions to the fund are requested, and will be thankfully received and acknowledged by

F.D. VALENTINE, Warden, Chairman,


MR. ALFRED SAWYER }Joint Hon. Secs

Council Chambers, Glenorchy,

June 10th, 1911

Claremont and Glenorchy, both in Hobart along the Derwent River, are less than 10 km apart, as the crow flies. The message is not grammatical, is nowadays politically incorrect (no solicitation of money from women), and the council warden is now known as the mayor (Figure 2).

Francis David Valentine rates a modest biography for he was a member of the Tasmanian parliament for a short time, but their website leaves the category of Qualifications blank. He was born in Hobart on 24 August 1863 and died in Hobart on the 22 May 1941. He was elected as a member to the House of Assembly (M.H.A.) for the electorate of Denison as a member of the Liberal party on 30 April 1912. Positions Held were not specified, and the Date of Departure from parliament was 23 January 1913. The reason for his departure was that he was defeated. Valentine’s parliamentary photo is shown in Figure 3.

The Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary took place in Westminster Abbey on 22 June 1911, so there was little time (12 days) for the Council Chambers, Glenorchy to plan the celebrations. There are a large amount of memorabilia, medals, coins and stamps associated with the event, and stamp collecting played a large role in KGV’s life. As a boy he began to collect stamps with the help of some of the servants at Buckingham Palace who handled the Royal household’s mail. It was to become one of the loves of his life and by adult life the future King was one of the world’s leading philatelists. He became a very active member of London’s Philatelic Society, was elected the Society’s president and when he became King he bestowed his patronage on the club, now known as The Royal Philatelic Society, London. All this while, the King assembled one of the world’s greatest stamp collections, which still exists as the Queen’s collection. Just one of the Coronation’ souvenirs is seen in Figure 4.

Categories: Philatelists, Political