Royal Reels: Gambling


Several covers all to the same person and address recently came available at a website and the 2 examples are representative of them. The first is on a printed addressed envelope to Mr. B.A. Hawmid, C.A.S.O.C., Bahrain, (Iranian Gulf) and it is stamped with 2d KGVI definitive, postmarked PERTH/ 2.30 P 3 AU 38/ WESTERN AUSTRALIA (Figure 1).

The second cover is hand written to Mr. Bashi A. Hawmid, Casoc, Bahrain Islands, Persian Gulf, and the same stamp with a roller cancel “SEND GREETINGS/ BY/ TELEGRAM” and a boxed BRISBANE QLD/ 12-PM/11 AUG/ 1938/ POSTED PILLARS (Figure 2).

The first cover uses the new term, Iranian Gulf, and the second uses the term Persian Gulf, together with Bahrain Islands. Bahrain comprises a n archipelago of 33 islands situated midway in the Persian Gulf close to the shore of the Arabian Peninsula. The islands are about 24 km from the east coast of Saudi Arabia and 28 km from Qatar. The total area of the islands is ca. 700 sq km (2 sources vary by 5%) and the largest island is Bahrain (Figure 3).

Around most of Bahrain is a relatively shallow inlet of the Persian Gulf known as the Gulf of Bahrain. The seabed around Bahrain is rocky and mainly off the northern part of the Island it is covered with extensive coral reefs. Most of the island is low-lying and barren desert. Most of the country’s oil wells are situated in the vicinity of Jabal ad Dukhan. Manama, the capital is located at the northern tip of the main island. The main port Mina Salman, is also located on the main island, as are the major petroleum refining facilities and commercial centres. Bridges connect Bahrain to adjacent islands and the causeway connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia.

In 1932 Standard Oil Company of California (Socal) discovered oil in commercial quantities in Bahrain. Socal obtained an oil in concession in Saudi Arabia in 1933 and found oil in commercial quantities in 1938. In 1933, Socal became California Arabian Standard Oil Company (C.A.S.O.C.) and in 1944 the name changed to Arabia American Oil Company or Aramco.

Bahrain’s yearly exports (of which 67% is derived from petroleum products and 15% from aluminum, in all forms) amounts to Bahrain dinars of 2,084,800,000, with one US$ = 0.38 Bahrain dinar. The population in 2003 was 667,000, with an estimated non-national’s component of ca. 35%.

Many attempts to identify who Mr. Basri A. Hawmid is, have been unsuccessful but because of his printed envelope it is a reasonably safe bet that he worked at C.A.S.O.C., and he dealt with Australian clients.

Saudi Arabia started by owning 52% of the company share which then increased to 60%, and then in 1976 the Saudi government owned the company completely.Aramco took care of of the operation and management of the oil fields until 1988 when the Saudi Aramco took charge of everything.

Categories: Business, Islands