2½d on 2d Provisional Surcharge

8/03/2012     Falkland Islands

South Georgia is the largest of a group of remote and inhospitable islands, midway between the tip of South America and the South Pole. Captain Cook made the first landing in 1775 and claimed it for Great Britain, naming it the Isle of Georgia in honour of King George III.

During the 19th and early 20th Century, the island was used extensively as a base for 'Sealing' and later 'Whaling' Industries, including the re-provisioning of ships and the processing of oil. A Norwegian, Carl Anton Larsen, established the first land-based whaling station and first permanent habitation at Grytviken in 1904, which operated until 1965. In total there were 7 stations in the sheltered north coast harbours, all administered by the Governor of the Falkland Islands. But with the end of commercial whaling in the 1960s, all the stations were abandoned.

In 1909 an administrative centre and residence were established at King Edward Point on South Georgia, near the whaling station of Grytviken. A permanent local British administration, including a deputy post-master and resident Magistrate, exercised the enforcement of British law, and regulation of all economic, scientific and other activities in the territory, which was then governed as the Falkland Islands Dependencies.

At several times between 1920 and 1930, a shortage of lower value denomination stamps occurred, and was usually dealt with by the Magistrate authorising the bisecting of other values (2½d to make the 1d rate, 6d to make the 2½d rate). In 1928 however, because the stock of ½d and 2½d stamps was exhausted, authority was given by Port Stanley to surcharge the current 2d stamp to 2½d to meet demand for overseas postage. Very few covers to overseas destinations are known.

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