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Commonwealth Pacific Cable Opening

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The Commonwealth Pacific Cable System connected Canada with New Zealand and Australia. It was completed on October 16, 1963.

Issue information

The Overseas Telecommunication Commission in Australia approached the Australian Post Office with the suggestion that a special stamp be issued to mark the opening of the Commonwealth Pacific Cable. The cable linked Australia and New Zealand with Canada and Great Britain.

The matter was raised at a meeting of the Pacific Cable Management Committee where it was agreed "that each partner be encouraged in achieving this object in his own country".

In view of the short time available it was decided that a common design could be used to advantage. An Australian stamp had already been designed and it was decided to use the same design and printing arrangements for the New Zealand issue. A slightly modified version was adopted by Great Britain.

Stamp Bulletin

This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 29 on 1 November 1963.

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:

Product Listing for Commonwealth Pacific Cable Opening

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 8d '1963 Commonwealth Pacific Cable' gummed stamp.

The stamp depicted the cable encircling a globe and continuing through symbolic ocean waves.


Technical information

Date of issue: 3 December 1963
Designers: P Gauld, Australia
Printers: Australian Bank Note and Stamp Printer, Australia
Stamp size: 37.5mm x 25mm
Sheet size: 48 stamps per sheet
Process: Photogravure
Perforation gauge: 13.25 x 13.5
Paper type: Chalk surfaced, no watermark
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