Australian Stamps honour early Sailors, and Navigators, who put Australia on the Map
Over the years, Australia has designed and issued stamps that feature some of the early Sailors and Navigators who were instrumental in literally putting Australia on the map, or were involved in administration of the new found Colony at Sydney Cove. In this small piece, I remember 7 of these intrepid Sailors.
Abel Janszoon Tasman. 1603-1659.
In November of 1642 this Dutch Navigator reached the west coast of Van Dieman's Land, later to be named Tasmania after him. He explored part of that island's coastline, to sail on and find New Zealand.
Tasman is on the 4 shilling stamp issued over 1963-1964, in the Early Navigators in Australian Waters set, which was reissued in 1966 when Decimal currency was introduced in my country, here he is on the 40 cent stamp.
In 1999 a miniature set of stamps covered these 6 Navigators was again produced.
William Dampier. 1652-1715.
English explorer and Navigator, the first Englishman to explore and chart parts of New Holland ( the early name for Australia ) Dampier appears on the 5 shilling stamp in the Early Navigators issue of 1963-1964.
Then on the 50 cent Decimal reissue of 1966, and is part of the 1999 miniature set featuring the 6 Navigators.
James Cook. 1728-1799.
It was of course Captain James Cook who in 1770 discovered the East coast of Australia. I quote from his Journal entry of Wednesday the 22nd of August 1770:
" I now once more hoisted the English Coulers and in the name of His Majesty the King, George the Third, took possession of the whole of Eastern coast ( of New Holland ) from the above Latitude down to this place by the name of New South Wales."
In 1888, he appeared on the first ever stamp to carry his head, the 4 pence stamp issued in New South Wales to celebrate their Centenary. In 1960, when Decimal currency was introduced into Australia, Cook was featured on a 75 cent stamp, which had previously been issued as a seven and sixpence stamp, the equivalent value prior to Decimal currency. James Cook was one of the famous six Navigators on the 1999 mini sheet of stamps.
Governor Arthur Phillip. 1738-1814.
The first Governor of New South Wales and the founder of Sydney. He returned to the Royal Navy to be promoted to Rear Admiral in 1789, and was made Admiral of the Blue in 1814, the year of his death. He was pictured on a 33 cent stamp.
George Bass. 1771-1803?
A naval surgeon who loved the sea, and accompanied Matthew Flinders charting the southern coastline of Australia. Bass Strait was named in his honour by Flinders. Bass sailed from Sydney in 1803 to travel to South America, never to be heard of again.
In 1963 a stamp for 1 Pound was issued to remember Bass, to be reissued as a $2 stamp in Decimal currency. He also features as one of the 6 Navigators in the 1999 mini sheet stamp issue.
Matthew Flinders. 1774-1814.
Matthew Flinders, the Master Navigator, who became the first person to actually use the name AUSTRALIA on any chart or map. The 200th. anniversary of that act will take place in November 2004. He features on a 10 shilling stamp, which was reissued as a $1 stamp under Decimal currency in 1966, and is a member of the 6 Navigators on the 1999 mini sheet stamp set.
Admiral Phillip Parker King. 1791-1856.
Born on Norfolk Island, the eldest son of Governor King, and explored much of the Australian coastline. He joined the Royal Navy to eventually make it to Admiral, and become the first Australian to reach that rank. He is featured on the 2 Pound stamp over 1963-64, with the coming of Decimal currency, this stamp was reissued in the $4 denomination.
King was one of the 6 Navigators to be chosen for the 1991 mini sheet issue.
The medium of the postage stamp is an excellent method of honouring the 7 men I have covered here, with stamp collectors world wide seeking such issues, which will long reside in collections in many countries scattered across our globe.
Map showing Tasman's Voyage
The 1999 miniature set of the six Navigators.
The 50 cent Dampier stamp of 1966 issue
The James Cook seven and sixpence stamp of 1963-1964
Map showing George Bass' exploration
$1 stamp of Matthew Flinders and the $2 stamp depicting George Bass
Picture of Admiral Phillip Parker King
Map depicting King's voyages around Australia
Portrait of Governor Arthur Phillip
Cook's Cottage, transported from England and re erected in the Fitzroy Gardens at Melbourne
Governor Phillip on a 33 cent stamp
An 1888 stamp issued by New South Wales for their Centenary, this 4 pence stamp was the first ever stamp produced to feature James Cook