In conjunction with the 1957 New Zealand Antarctic Expedition, led by Sir Edmund Hillary - which formed part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, it was decided to open a special Post Office in the Ross Dependency and issue a special set of stamps.
The stamps were for use by members of the expedition but also helped support New Zealand's claim to sovereignty over the Dependency.
The two higher value stamps in the set were included for use by the British members of the party in sending letters back to the United Kingdom. It had been an Antarctic expedition custom that Post Offices be opened as soon as a base site on the ice was chosen, but finding a location for the site of Scott Base proved difficult.
Once a decision had been made to locate the base at Pram Point on Ross Island, no time was lost in opening a tent post office. Sir Edmund Hillary had been appointed postmaster on 23 November 1956, he in turn had appointed A S Helm as assistant postmaster to attend to all postal matters during the first summer Scott Base was open.
Ross Dependency Postage in New Zealand
|Ross Dependency stamps are not valid for postage in New Zealand. Click here to find out more.|
Product Listing for 1957 Ross Dependency - Pictorials
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||11 January 1957|
|Stamps designed by:||3d: E M Taylor; 4d: L C Mitchell; 8d: M R Smith; 1s6d: J Berry|
|Printer and process:||Thomas De La Rue, England; Recess printed - Intaglio|
|Stamp size:||3d and 4d: 40mm x 25mm; 8d: 25mm x 40mm; 1s 6d: 25mm x 28mm|
|Sheet size:||120 stamps per sheet|
|Perforation gauge:||3d, 4d and 8d: 14; 1s 6d: 13|
|Paper type:||Wiggins Teape 'Royal Cypher', multiple NZ and star watermark.|