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1983 Commemorative - Anniversaries

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The 1983 Commemorative Stamp Issue consisted of five stamps, commemorating anniversaries and special subjects. The stamps featured the Salvation Army, the University of Auckland, rainbow trout, World Communications Year and Closer Economic Relations.

Issue information

Salvation Army

The centenary of the Salvation Army is recognised on the 24 cent stamp, which shows a logo designed specially for the occasion by Bro. Ivan Preston of the Wellington Corps. Salvationism was bought to New Zealand by Captain George Pollard and his Lieutenant, Edward Wright, who arrived in Dunedin on April 1, 1883. By the end of that year it had been established in over 25 centres from Auckland to Invercargill, and by the end of the decade, the Salvation Army was working in every town with a population of more than 1,500. This rapid growth occured in spite of strong opposition from the then Prime Minister, Richard John Seddon and from much of the public. The Otago Daily Times published an editorial on March 27, 1883, which read "Bringing the Salvationists to New Zealand will be another of the many mistakes of acclimatisation. It is the thistles, the sparrows, the rabbits all over again. The Army will prove to be a nuisance as troublesome as these pests and as ineradicable.

Nevertheless, the philosophy of "Soup, soap and Salvation" in that order, brought help to the poor, to prisoners and ex-prisoners, prostitutes, the homeless and alcoholics. During the early days many Army members were injured in riots and even imprisoned for their beliefs. In 1983 The Salvation Army maintained more than 100 Corps (church) centres and 50 social service and community programme centres. Their work helped alcoholics through the bridge programme and unemployed youths through a work skill development programme. The Salvation Army also had hostels for homeless people, full-care and day-care centres for children, court and prison visitors and homes for the elderly. Centenary celebrations were held all over the country, with three major events. A celebration was held in Dunedin to commemorate the first work of the Army in New Zealand and one in Auckland where salvationism began. An International Centenary Congress with 5,000 delegates from all over the world was held in Wellington.

University of Auckland

The University of Auckland's old Arts building and Coat of Arms featured on the 30 cent stamp. Its centenary marked one hundred years since the Auckland University College was opened on May 21, 1883. At that time the college was affliiated to the University of New Zealand. Faculties of study were classics and english, mathematics, chemisty, physics, biology and geology. During the next 35 years, courses in music, mines, engineering, history, economics and architecture also became available. By the time the university became an independant institution in 1961 botany, geography, anthrology, psychology and town planning departments had also been established. In the past 20 years, Auckland University has been able to offer an extensive range of courses from nuclear physics to Asian languages and literature and has established a medical school. The University of Auckland Coat of Arms bears the motto "Ingenio et Labore" freely translated as "by natural ability and hard work". The three stars express the idea of learning pursued under the sky of the Southern Hemisphere. Beneath the three kiwis is a wavy line, emphasing that Auckland is on the sea coast.

Closer Economic Relations

The 35c stamp commemorated the signing of the  Closer Economic Relationship (CER) agreement between Australia and New Zealand. Both countries released a stamp simultaneously on 25 February 1983, to commemorate this agreement. CER initially provided for the establishment of free trade in goods, between both countries and was New Zealand's first comprehensive bi-lateral agreement. CER built upon the earlier New Zealand Australia Free Trade Agreement implemented in 1966.

World Communications Year

World Communications Year was recognised on the 45 cent commemorative stamp. New Zealand was depicted receiving and sending out signals to the rest of the world via satellite and radio signals. The blue lines represented the role that the post played in communications. World Communiation Year was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly and programmes were co-ordinated by the International Telecommunications Union. The UN resolution stated that the purpose of the Year was the "development of communications infrastructures" and focused on communications development at a national level. The proclamation of World Communications Year was the culmination of four years of negotiations at intergovernment level and sought to promote the harmonius development - economic, social and cultural - of mankind as a whole.

Rainbow Trout

The 40c stamp commemorated the rainbow trout (salmo california) and showed a rainbow trout spanning the ocean from California to New Zealand. The trout were introduced into Auckland in 1883, the same year that the brown trout were introduced from Europe. From ova that were raised successfully in ponds in the Auckland domain, the rainbow trout was eventually released throughout New Zealand and today is found in neary all rivers, lakes and streams. Ova and fry have been carried by horseback to isolated areas, and fingerlings have been dropped into remote lakes from aircraft. The rainbow variety is the most sought after trout in the world because of its renowned fighting qualities.

Trout fishing attracts tourists to Lake Taupo and Lake Tarawera. Most rainbow trout in New Zealand live in lakes and run up tributary streams to spawn from July until October. The fish are steel-green along the back, turning silver on the belly with black or brown spots along the back. Along the lateral line, they are pink, a colouring which inflames during spawning. 

Product Listing for 1983 Commemoratives - Anniversaries

Image Title Description Price
  Single Stamp

Single 24c 'Centenary of the Salvation Army' gummed stamp.

This stamp incorporates the special centenary logo designed by a Salvationist of the Wellington Citadel Corps especially for the occasion. The logo depicts the traditional symbols of Salvationism in modern style. The Māori koru design on the cross is representative of new life arising out of that which has gone before. In the upper right of the stamp is the international crest of the Salvation Army.

  Single Stamp

Single 30c 'Centenary of the University of Auckland' gummed stamp.

Depicted on this stamp is the University of Auckland 's old arts building with the coat of arms featured on the upper right. The coat of arms bears the motto "ingenio et labore" freely translated as "by natural ability and hard work".

  Single Stamp

Single 35c 'Closer Economic Relationship' gummed stamp.

This stamp design, depicting a kangaroo and kiwi in stylised form, commemorates the signing of the Closer Economic Relationship (CER) agreement with Australia. The Australian Post Office issued a stamp with the same design to commemorate the agreement.

  Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Centenary of the Introduction of Rainbow Trout to New Zealand' gummed stamp.

In 1883, rainbow trout 'salmo gairdneri' were introduced from Sonoma Creek in California, United States of America. Commemorating the centenary of this event is the stamp design showing a map of New Zealand and part of the state of California. Rainbow trout are the most sought-after trout in the world because of their renowned fighting qualities.

  Single Stamp

Single 45c 'World Communications Year' gummed stamp.

This stamp recognised the importance of communications infrastructures as an essential element in the economic and social development of all countries. The stamp design illustrates the encompassing power of satellite communication over the Pacific region. The logo of the World Communications Year is included in the top panel of the design, radiating lines represent the different communications associated with Intelsat IV satellite whilst airmail lines are also shown.

  First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $1.83

Stamp Bulletin

This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 28 in October 1982.

Acknowledgments: Bulletin scanned and provided by John Biddlecombe of the New Zealand Society of Great Britain. Their web site offers further information useful to those interested in the stamps and postal history of New Zealand. Link:

Technical information

Date of issue:  2 February 1983
Number of stamps: Five gummed stamps
Denominations: 24c, 30c, 35c, 40c and 45c
Stamps and first day covers designed: P Durrant, Christchurch, New Zealand (24c, 30c, 40c and 45c) and G Emery, Hawthorn, Australia (35c)
Printer and process: Waddington Security Print, England (24c, 30c, 40c and 45c) and Cambec Press, Australia (35c) by lithography
Stamp size and format: 24c, 30c, 40c and 45c: 25mm x 41mm; 35c: 26.5mm x 38mm (vertical)
Paper type: Unwatermarked
Number of stamps per sheet:  100 stamps
Perforation gauge: 24c, 30c, 40c and 45c: 14.25 x 13.75; 35c: 13.8 x 13.3
Special blocks: Plate/imprint positional or value blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least 6 stamps of each denomination
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 30 April 1984. 
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