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Tokelau or Union Islands

FIRST STAMPS Gilbert and Ellice Islands from 1916, Western Samoa from 1925.



1948, Sterling.
1967, 100 cents = 1 New Zealand dollar.
1982, 100 sene = 1 Samoan tola.

Group of three islands between the Gilbert and Ellice Islands and Samoa. Discovered towards the end of the 18th century, they were declared a British protectorate in 1893 under the administration of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. They were incorporated into that colony in 1916, but in 1925 they became a New Zealand dependency and were administered from Western Samoa. The name of Tokelau was adopted on 7 May 1946.

Postal History
Early mail is very rare and was carried by local traders and stamped on arrival at the first port of call. When the group was incorporated into the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in 1916, the recently issued stamps of that colony were used until 1925 when the issues of Western Samoa were released.

There was a PO on each of the three islands, Atafu, Fakaofa, and Nukunono. The group was not occupied by the Japanese in World War II.

American or Eastern Samoa

When the three-power protectorate was established in 1889, the Americans formally started to exercise some control in the area. In 1900, following the agreement of the British and Germans over Western Samoa, the USA accepted control over the eastern islands. There were ten of these with a capital at Pago Pago.

It has continued as a US overseas territory since then and was one of the main American bases in the southern pacific during World War II.

No stamps have been issued. USA issues, without overprint, have been used since 1900. Mail from the islands can only be recognized by the post-marks. During World War II the civilian mail became much scarcer as most correspondents used the military mail service.

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