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Her Excellency, President Aveline de Rais.  Click this photo to view a larger and clearer version of Our Great Leader's portrait.
Mistress Aveline

Absolute Ruler, President-for-Life,
and Supreme Commander.

The Chadpex Stamp Exhibition of 2000 - special report.

CHADPEX Stamp Exhibition --
an astounding display of Third World & Fifth World

By Kurt Höflich, ICIS News Agency.

CHADWICK, Occussi-Ambeno
November 20, 2000

The most impressive display of stamps to be seen in one location in the Fifth World for some time, CHADPEX, the international stamp exhibition at Chadwick, a coastal city in the sultanate of Occussi-Ambeno, is over. The show ran from 17th thru 19th November 2000, and included a large number of frames of mounted stamps, plus several dealers, and stalls from eight postal administrations of small Fifth World countries. Five of these (Upper Yafa, Kemp Land, Raoul, Bounty Island, and the host country, Occussi-Ambeno) issued a special stamp to mark the event, while the other countries, Sedang, Bokhara, and Port Maria, were selling their regular stamps but did not have a special issue for the show.

The Medal of Honor of the show was awarded to a Sedang collector, Martin Neurath, for his display of Tuva. Highlights of the exhibit were the locally-printed stamps during the second world war, which were printed on strips of newsprint trimmed off the edges of Kizil's local newspaper. As well as complete sets of the early issues and the well-known pictorials of the 1934-36 period, the display also featured many of the very recent attractive sets from Tuva, including such stamps as the 1995 Dalai Lama sheetlet of six with a centrepiece showing the Centre-of-Asia monument at Kizil, Cats, Orchids, Wild Animals, Dinosaurs, and the comedians Laurel and Hardy. To round off the display, the collector had over a period of several years in the 1990s posted airmail letters to imaginary people in various Tuva towns, and most of these were returned "unclaimed" to him, replete with town postmarks on the reverse: all quite fascinating stuff, and an interesting way to obtain current postmarks.

A lot of admiration was given to Kemp Land collector Matthew Campbell's exhibit of postally-used stamps of modern independent Africa. The colourful and attractive stamps of many of these modern lands are commonly regarded as fund raisers for the countries concerned, and not destined for postal use, so to see the nice postal cancellations on them was a true delight. Mr Campbell won a Large Silver medal for his unique exhibit.

The stamps of Cochin, in southwest India, were displayed in a very well done exhibit by an Occussi-Ambeno collector, Bruce Grenville, whose display included blocks of four of some of the 1930s era official overprints, and even a handwritten government department's letter (in Malayalam, translation not provided.) A number of actual letters from Cochin were shown: to save costs, many people avoided envelopes, and wrote their letter then folded it, sealed it with the stamp, and wrote the address on the outside of the letter. This practice almost certainly caused many Cochin stamps to become torn in the process of opening the letter, but the examples shown had the letters slit open at the edges, lucky for collectors indeed! With Cochin's final definitive set in 1948, featuring the Rajah commonly known as Blondie, a curious event happened when half the stock of all values was taken to the Government Printer to have the usual official overprint applied: "On C. G. S." (On Cochin Government Service), which was spaced so that the printing did not obscure the Rajah's face. This is a respectful attitude to the Sovereign, which did not alas prevail in other parts of the world at the time: a New Zealand stamp from the first world war period was shown as a comparison. This was New Zealand's regular stamp issue with sideface portrait of King George the fifth, overprinted in 14 point black capitals with the name of the island it was issued at.

New Zealand sixpence stamp overprinted for Penrhyn Island use (1917).  Click for more information on Penrhyn Island.   New Zealand 1 shilling stamp overprinted for Penrhyn Island use (1917).  Click for more information on Penrhyn Island.

But back to the Cochin 1948 issue. When the sheets had all been overprinted and released, it was found that one stamp in each sheet had a "C" instead of "G" in the overprint, so the slogan read "On C.C.S." ! This error was shown in blocks of four and many singles, and the error even has catalog status in the widely-used Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue, Part One.

Cochin official stamp with C for G error (1948).Cochin official stamp with flat back on G (1948).

Two stamps in each sheet of 48 had another error: a flat back on the letter "G" (caused by the piece of hand-set type having been dropped and the impact squashing down the rim), and again, we saw some of those, and much else. Cochin is altogether a fascinating land, and one we can hope to see more stamps from in the future.

Five participating countries issued special stamps to mark the exhibition. And the stamps of each are most attractive.
Occussi-Ambeno, the host country, overprinted its recent 60 cents Heroes of Ecology stamp (showing the noted Ogoni poet, Ken Saro-Wiwa) with appropriate text and date in crimson on a 45 degree angle (which sadly obscures much of Ken's face.)
Bounty Island did similar, with its 45 cents definitive stamp (showing a color photo of the Cousteau Lighthouse at the Bounty Island village, Mooring) being overprinted in black. One curiosity is that the small text down the right margin which names the lighthouse on the 45 cents definitive stamp has been omitted in this special printing.   Bounty Island, a small country near the Antarctic, gives an important proclamation along the base of its stamp: STOP SEA POLLUTION! Let's hope the message is heeded!
Upper Yafa, a small Arab sultanate in south Arabia, has applied a white text overprint on its 250 baiza stamp showing the Sultan. The overprint carefully avoids the Sultan's face, and begins just below his chin, so it covers his neck and shoulders. The white 9 point text is rather hard to read over the pale colors of the Sultan's robe.
Kemp Land, on the coast of Antarctica, also used an overprint: black text on a 45 degree angle on its 45 cents Anti-Sandfly stamp. The overprint almost smothers the body of the hated insect, but Kemp Land officials told me that this was an intentional insult to sandflies. Indeed a contrast to the other overprints at the exhibition.
Raoul produced the most stunning item of all: its regular $2 definitive stamp showing a beautiful close-up photo of several yellow roses on a black background, with a photo of Madam President Aveline inserted in the top right corner. Rather than an overprint as the other countries did, Raoul has added white text down the left margin which does not obscure the photo at all.

Many visitors to the show visited the sales tables of each of these five post offices, as well as three other countries, Sedang, Port Maria, and Bokhara, which did not have special stamp issues. Visit these countries websites for more details about them.* People were able to take an envelope and get a datestamp from each of the Post Offices in the exhibition hall (on the appropriate land's stamp of course), and such envelopes with eight stamps attached, each cancelled at its correct Post Office, became the favorite souvenir for all. A few extras were arranged by the Occussi-Ambeno High Commission for Refugees, which is now selling them at $10 each, to fundraise for refugee relief.**

All up, Chadpex was awesome. Stamp exhibitions are always wonderful places to be at, not only to view the fascinating exhibits, but also to chat with other collectors, discuss the exhibits, visit dealers to hunt for elusive items, and attend lectures. Let's hope there will always be collectors of exotica willing to display their collections to the planet! (ends)

* Visit these lands online:
Kemp Land:
Upper Yafa:
Port Maria:


** Contact the Occussi-Ambeno High Commission for Refugees, P.O. Box 876, Auckland, New Zealand, for service.
Envelope with all eight stamps and cancels 17th November 2000: A$10.
Mint single of the eight different land's stamps
(one mint stamp from each land that was the standard for use on these souvenir envelopes): A$10. Prices include free postage to collector anywhere in the world. Make checks and cheques payable to Occussi-Ambeno High Commission for Refugees.

This report released by ICIS News Agency, P.O. Box 15-116, New Lynn, New Zealand
An operation of the INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF INDEPENDENT STATES Author: Kurt Höflich, ICIS News Agency.
© Copyright 2000, ICIS. Reproduce freely as long as sourc
e is quoted.