11 July 2020

Request for Blue Diamond’s song, postage paid for by UNTEA stamps

The last part of the former Dutch East Indies to be “lost” (as many older Dutch people thought at the time) was Dutch/Netherlands New Guinea (NNG), the western half of the island of New Guinea, in 1962. From October 1962 the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) took over control, after which in May 1963 power for governing the area was transferred to Indonesia. During the short period of UNTEA control the Netherlands New Guinea stamps were overprinted with “UNTEA”. Overprinting was also done for NNG postal cards.

The postal cards shown here are both from the May 1957 series produced for NNG. In the Geuzendam catalogue (8th edition) the original version of these cards is listed as G2 on page 244, while the overprinted version is shown on page 249. The stamp imprint/indices shows the 7 cents Juliana stamp. The 1962-1963 overprinting comes in 3 forms. Discussing the overprints is not the story I’d like to tell in this article. What is interesting about these postal cards is something else: their usage.

Fig 1a: Card sent in April 1963 with an extra 55 cents UNTEA stamp requesting the song “Little Ship” by the Blue Diamonds.
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At first it seemed the song “My Girl” by The Temptations was requested, but it turns out that is impossible as this song was released in December 1964 while the card is dated 8 April 1963. Which song was requested? I have no idea what is the requested song. If someone can translate the handwritten text, perhaps we would know what the message was and also which song was requested? Please leave your answer in the comments field below.

Fig 2b: The back of this card showing the handwritten text in Bahasa Indonesia, the Indonesian standardized version of the Malay language.

For more information on Netherlands New Guinea see the article by Hugo Brieffies on the Netherlands+Philately website.

Ivo Spanjersberg

Ivo Spanjersberg

Webmaster. Collecting Korean revenue stamps (see http://www.spanjersberg.net/). Also member of Korea Stamp Society (https://www.koreastampsociety.org/) & Nederlandse Vereniging voor Fiscale Filatelie (http://www.belastingzegels.nl/).

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