V for Vandalism...


Message to the Peoples of the Colony of North Borneo
From His Majesty King George VI,
Monday, 15th July, 1946

This interesting document of His Majesty King George VI speech post-war to the people in North Borneo appeared in ebay on 24 Jan 2011 and ended on 31st. The document presents a multi-lingual translation of the king's speech, also available in Malay and Chinese, apart from the main message in English. Ended at US$305.00 after 9 bids. Similar document appeared in ebay in July 2011 which ended at US$355.50.

This particular document is affixed with several BMA stamps of North Borneo. It is addressed to John B. Dusing in Jesselton, a well-known North Borneo post-war philatelic collector at that time. The letter is affixed with several North Borneo BMA stamps from 1c. to $1.

The annoying part, however, is that the stamps are affixed right in the middle of the letter! The letter bearing the English message got a V shaped franking, perhaps to have that additional posh effects. This however, defeat the very purpose of sending such a letter as it obliterates the message to a nonsensical extent. Surely the reason for sending the letter is to appreciate the king's message, emphaty, vision and important proclamation about Labuan after the war. Similar irresponsible franking is also replicated in the Malay translation - making it hopelessly illegible.

As can be seen, there are plenty of spaces at the sides for a better franking. With this silly franking idea, the great document is reduced to a purely philatelic collection, with little aesthetic value. I'm glad however that the portrait of their majesties are left undisturbed, which otherwise would make it a totally crippled document.

And by the way...the message in English is as follows:

On this memorable occasion of the inauguration of the Colonial Government in North Borneo, it gives me the greatest pleasure to send this message of greeting and warm welcome to all who thus come to owe allegiance to the Crown.
Since the British N. Borneo Company first established in the reign of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, its administration has been wise and just. Today its place is taken by the new Colonial Government which will maintain the best traditions of that administration and will constantly endeavour to promote your welfare and to advance your economic and social progress, building on foundation so well laid by the company but so rudely shaken by the war.
I know of your loyalty and courage under Japanese oppression and, with sorrow, how much you have suffered from the losses and destruction of war, and, although immediate tasks of reconstruction and repair must be long and difficult, I look forward, with confidence, to the restoration, in even greater measure, of that prosperity and happiness which you all so richly deserve.
To this inhabitants of Labuan also, which today becomes part of the Colony of North Borneo, I extend my greeting and with it, my earnest wish that this closer relationship with the mainland will be greatly to your benefit.


ryan3888 said...

very sad lose this item ...

Marcel said...

That's too bad man...but I'm sure you'll get a better luck next time.. :)

GE-KK said...

The stamps were arranged in the shape of a V for Victory - a rally symbol of the allied forces at the end of the Japanese occupation.

As for the document per se, there are 2 stamps missing, most likely the top values, which is rather unfortunate.

Marcel said...

Thanks GE, it makes more sense now although I still feel that the franking style disrupts the whole document itself. The $2 and $5 are missing which is rather unfortunate...

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