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Polar Philatelic Items for Sale on Behalf of
The Mawson's Huts Foundation

1. SPECIAL ANTARCTIC COMMEMORATIVE COVER & POSTMARK Mawson's Huts Foundation Conservation Expedition, Cape Denison Antarctica 2008-9

Covers are still available from PD Cranwell

To celebrate the 97th Anniversary of the arrival at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay on the 8th January 1911 of the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) led by Sir Douglas Mawson, the Mawson's Huts Foundation, in conjunction with Australia Post, has designed a commemorative cover and postmark. The covers, to be cancelled at Cape Denison on 8th January 2009, will be sold by the Foundation to raise money to help fund the conservation programme for the Huts.

The special commemorative postmark (Figure 1), which was designed by Lena-Maree Stocks from Australia Post in Hobart, is based on a photograph of the Main Hut taken by Geoff Ashley in January 1997 (Figure 2). This same photograph can be found on the front cover of the book “Mawson's Huts - The Birthplace of Australia's Antarctic Heritage” which can be ordered from the Foundation's website: http://www.mawsons-huts.org.au/cms/

The cover was designed by the Foundation in conjunction with Pete Cranwell from Melbourne, who is assisting with the marketing of the covers. The printed cachet, which is on the left side of the cover, features a headshot of Mawson in corporate green above the Foundation's logo, which includes an acknowledgement to the Patron, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. At the base of the cover are the words “CONSERVATION EXPEDITION /CAPE DENISON 2008-9. The cover numbers are in the bottom right hand corner of the covers (Figure 3). The covers were printed by the New Zealand Printing Co., Hamilton, NZ.

Five hundred numbered commemorative covers will be cancelled at Cape Denison on 8th January 2009 by the designated “postmaster” Dr Chris Henderson (Figure 4), who is one of the Foundation's eight person team, which will spend six weeks at the site conserving the huts and artefacts.

The covers, which are serviced with se-tenant horizontal pairs of 55c and/or $1.10 AAT IPY 2008 stamps, have had cachets applied at Macquarie Island and on board the Marina Svetaeva, the Aurora Expeditions cruise ship which took the team south (Figure 5). On the return voyage onboard the French Antarctic supply vessel L'Astrolabe (Figure 6), a selected number of the covers will be serviced with a French Antarctic Territory (TAAF) stamp, cancelled with a TAAF postmark and marked with a cachet from the ship. All covers will contain a personally signed insert from the eight expeditioners.

brochure cover
Figure 1
Commemorative postmark.
(click to download order form)

figure 2
Figure 2
Photograph of the Main Hut,
taken by Geoff Ashley.
(click for larger view)

figure 3
Figure 3
(click for larger view)

figure 4
Figure 4
Dr Chris Henderson.
(click for larger view)

figure 5
Figure 5
Marina Svetaeva
in pack ice (photograph taken during an earlier voyage to Antarctica).
(click for larger view)


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