Bulletin October 2003 (Vol. 5 No. 1) - page 22-23

From left:
Tony Ferguson, David Carthy, Peter Cunich and Mike Wilkinson look at the rare stamps
issued and re-purchased by the University.
22
23
I
t’s taken more than 90 years to deliver but a humble six cent
stamp has finally found its way back to The University of Hong
Kong after an incredible round the world journey.
This forms part of a rare 1912 collection that was recently
purchased by the University.
The stamps were bought and franked at the University’s
special post office set up by the Hong Kong Post Office during the
fund-raising bazaar held from March 11–16, 1912 to mark the
opening of the University.
Peter Cunich, who advised on the purchase, said: “The
University post office was only open for five days or so.
“Some of the denominations are quite large so they are very
valuable and rare. They are the only examples that we know of.
These stamps are an interesting part of the University’s history
and represents quite a find.”
Eagle-eyed Professor Mike Wilkinson noticed that the stamps
were coming up for sale from Stanley Gibbons – the world’s top
stamp auction house.
David Carthy, a retired member of staff who has expertise in
late Victorian and early Edwardian stamps was consulted and the
Registry helped to secure the collection as part of the legacy of
the University.
Bought as an historical momento, the collection also
represents a healthy investment. But it is the history of the stamps
that draws the attention first and foremost.
Many of them came attached to envelopes addressed to a
man called Graca, who is believed to have been a Macanese
stamp dealer.
His nephew was one of the first five
graduates from the University
in 1914. They eventually turned
up in the possession of
George C. Dyer, a Vice-Admiral
known for his controversial
books on World War II and the
attack on Pearl Harbour, in
particular.
The US officer was also well known for his formidable
collection of stamps.
In 1980 they were bought by Richard Chan Cheuk Kin a Chiu
Chow-born shipping magnate who made his fortune in Hong
Kong’s post war boom years.
Experts believe that 81-year-old Chan has one of the most
complete collections of Hong Kong stamps in the world and one
that stretches back to 1840.
Chan said: “I decided that it was time to sell part of my
collection because I am getting on a bit and I thought the money
would come in handy. I was a bit sorry to lose them but they have
now gone the full circle.”
The Registrar, Henry Wai said: “I became interested in stamps
when I saw The University of Hong Kong golden jubilee stamp of
1962. “When my attention was drawn to the availability of these
stamps from 1912 I realized these came from the post office set
up for the opening bazaar.
“I was really excited and very keen to acquire them and return
them to where they came from. Now I look forward to seeing
them on public display at the University library.”
Although no date has been set it is hoped they will go on
display later this year.
Rare Stamps Find Their Way Home
Stamps from the collection.
Cover...,2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9,10-11,12-13,14-15,16-17,18-19,20-21 24-25,Back cover
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