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Fiji File


Following on from John Ray’s correction of our typos in the “Fragmented Fiji” article, he kindly supplied additional details of the colony’s issue.



1½d Scratches


John indicated that the topic of Silver Jubilees was raised recently among members of the Pacific Islands Study Circle following the discovery of a scratch on the frame of the Fiji 1½d value.


Fortunately another member has a large block which includes the scratch which has made it possible to determine the position. It is also clear that the scratch extends to the stamp immediately below as well.


It is most noticeable as it crosses the sword on stamp 7/5.

At the time of John’s message, another 1½d frame scratch appeared on eBay. This one was a heavy line in the left hand margin but without an indication of position.

3d shades


John also sent a scan of plate blocks illustrating the difference of what we usually refer to as the indigo frame shade but which also shows considerable difference in the rendering of the vignettes.

Print quantities


With his researches in the De La Rue Day Books, John was able to provide this table which, besides print quantities, (including part sheets), gives dates and requisition numbers. From late August, it appears further demand came exclusively from dealers.

External mails


John added the following notes.


Direct mails to/from Fiji in 1935 were all by surface.

The Canadian-Australian Royal Mail Line operated a four-weekly service: Sydney-Auckland-Suva-Honolulu-Vancouver.

The Matson Line had a three-weekly service linking Fiji with Sydney, Auckland, Honolulu and San Francisco.

Fiji had access to the Sydney-Singapore-London airmail service which began in December 1934 but mail between Suva and Sydney was carried by sea.


The airmail postage rate from Fiji to the UK was 1/10½d per half ounce initially, reducing to 1/7½d in 1936.


An example of the earlier airmail rate


Set + further 3d and, on reverse, 2d x2, (total: 2/1½d, being 3d registration and 1/10½d the ½ oz airmail rate to UK via Australia) on registered airmail cover to Liverpool, tied by Suva Reg cds for 29 No 35 with ms "….flown Sydney - London".



AJA – January 2021


Some previous articles are available as PDF's by clicking their titles below:


    "New Zealand Pacific Islands Dependencies" - The notes of Neil Donen

    "Copper-bottomed Protectorate" - The postmarks of Northern Rhodesia

    "K.U.T. Permutations" - A look at the numerous postage rates of Kenya, Uganda & Tanganyika

    "Beware Old Certificates" - A question of backdating by Ralph Riddell-Carre

    "Cards with wings" - The cost of prioritising the humble postcard

    "Land of Springs" - Some postmarks of Jamaica

    "The Great 1935 Quetta earthquake disaster" - The effect on postal services by Neil Donen

    "Silver Jubilee Myths - Morocco Agencies first day cover" - An examination by Nick Levinge

    "Flight from Malta" - A look at the airmail rates and routes from the island

    "Bridging Barbados" - The postmarks of Barbados

    "Madame Joseph Forgeries - an Update" - A follow-up to Chris Georgallis's article on Cyprus forgeries

    "Argentinian interference with mail from the Falkland Islands" - by Ralph Riddell-Carre

    “Ceylon Circuit" - Some postmarks of Ceylon

    "Variety Values" - Bruce Davies's campaign to secure values for used examples of varieties

    "Fragmented Fiji" - Some postmarks of Fiji

    "Absentee Rupee" - The Mauritius 1 rupee as a stranger to postal rates

    "Postal Usage of the Egypt Seal" - Nick Levinge looks at the Crowned Circles of the forces bases

    "Over Fifty Shades" - Something wrong with the colour?

    "Ghana Guide" - Some postmarks of Gold Coast

    "Vanuatu Voyage?- A look at Hong Kong used in New Hebrides

    Surfing the Solomon Sea” - The few operating post offices in the Solomon Islands

    “Security Punch” - A look at the Jubilee’s perfins by Jeff Turnbull

    “Morocco Now and Then” - A tour of the British post offices in Morocco

    “Fault lines of the Falklands” - Part two of Ralph Riddell-Carre’s analysis

    “Straddling the Straits” - Some postmarks of the Straits Settlements

    “Set and Match” - Can full set covers be non-philatelic?

    “Boating around The Bahamas” - Some postmarks of The Bahamas

    “Serial Salutes” - Some of the Silver Jubilee’s own anniversaries

    “Mauritius Meanderings” - Some postmarks of Mauritius

    “A Cat among the Penguins” - A suspect Falklands cancel

    “Cycling Cyprus” - Some postmarks of Cyprus

    “Scars of Conflict” - How the Jubilees were affected by war

    “Bech Trek” - Some postmarks of Bechuanaland Protectorate

    “Specimen Specifics” - A look at the various uses of the word SPECIMEN

    “Hong Kong Hike” - Some postmarks of Hong Kong

    “Aden Funnel” - Covers from and through Aden

    “Grenada Guide” - Some postmarks of Grenada

    “In The Frame” - A look at some frame plate flaws

    “Basuto Byways” - Some postmarks of Basutoland

    “Cyprus Cypher” - Chris Georgallis examines the colony’s Madame Joseph forged postmarks

    “Trinidad Tour” - Some postmarks of Trinidad & Tobago

    “Commercial Ceylon” - A look at the perfins of the colony

    “Guiana Panorama” - Some less common British Guiana postmarks

    “Where were they then?” - From the more recent stamp-issuing territories

    “Cautious Mauritius” - A variety of Mauritius perfins

    “Madame Joseph’s Masquerades” - Some examples of forged first day covers

    “Tag Wrestling” - A look at the higher postal rates through parcel labels

    “AR” - An article on Avis de Reception by David Handelman

    “The Fleury Flair” - Hugo Fleury’s designs for the Jubilee

    “Split the Difference” - Some occurrences of bisects among the Jubilees

    “Specimen Fundamentals” - Notes on U.P.U. requirements & some forged examples

    “Windsor Spoofs” - Gerald King’s alternative Jubilees

    “Puncturing Oz” - Some speculations about Australian perfins

    “Perforating the Silver Jubilee Stamps”- An article on GB by Harvey Russell

    “Nauru’s Split Personality”  - Split “B” variety on the 2d value?

    “In Camel’s Clothing” - The Egyptian seal’s booklet

    “Rural Disservice” - The Cyprus low value forgeries

    “Canadian Precancels” - The only precancel involvement with the Jubilee

    “Phoenix-like Sphinx” - Some notes about the Egyptian seal

    “Fag Tax” - Observations on South West Africa’s cigarette duty overprints

    “From the collection of...” - Jubilee items from some illustrious collectors

    “Prize-less Specimens” - Beware of forged specimen stamps

    “Dubious Jubilees” - Spoofs, parodies and bogus overprints