Golden Jubilee Great Barrier Island
Cover franked with Children's Health semi-postal of October 1, 1948 bearing
a label duplicating New Zealand's first airmail stamp used on mail carried by
pigeon from Okupu (Great Barrier Island) to Auckland on November 19, 1898.
Inscription on back of cover.
The Great Barrier Island is located 65 miles to the northeast of the city of Auckland, New Zealand. W. Fricker began experimenting with a carrier pigeon service to Auckland in 1896. The service was made available to the public in 1897 with the first stamps being issued the following year. The service continued until 1908 when telegraph service was introduced (Mackay 39). The blue shilling stamp of the "Original Great Barrier Pigeongram Service" was subsequently overprinted for use on the pigeon post to Marotiri Island. Two triangular stamps were subsequently issued for use from 1899-1901(134). They are depicted on New Zealand's 1997 stamps commemorating the Centenary of the Great Barrier Island Pigeon Post Service.
Detail from commemorative label with reproduction
of original pigeon post stamp of 1898.
New Zealand Commemorative of 1997 based on issues of 1899-1901