Zimbabwe Post Offices and Postmarks, the First Decades
(Detailed listing, status of offices, name changes, spelling changes, opening and closing of offices, full information – maps – notes, profusely illustrated with new Zimbabwe postmarks, 48 pages A4, squareback and limp cover.)
Derrick Byrom of Harare was the pioneering student of modern Zimbabwe postal history. This publication bears witness to his endeavours in meticulously recording the changes of names and of spelling of place-names and the opening and closing of postal offices during Zimbabwe’s first two decades.
In 1982 he became the exchange packet superintendent of the Mashonaland Philatelic Society, and served collectors in this capacity until his untimely passing in 2000. He won every trophy awarded by the society, and in 1986 was elected to honorary membership. Derrick Alan Byrom was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia, as it then was, on 12 June 1938. After passing the Cambridge School Certificate at Prince Edward High School in 1955, he joined the then Native Affairs Department as a clerk and worked in rural areas for seven years, later moving to other government departments. He retired as Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Department of Home Affairs in 1981, having served 25 years as civil servant.
A highlight in Derrick’s philatelic career was the 30th anniversary celebration in 1998 in Harare of the Rhodesia Study Circle, of which he was made a Fellow in that year. Meanwhile he in 1997 showed “Seldom seen post offices of Zimbabwe” at the South African national philatelic exhibition, Cape Town. His exhibit “Post Offices of Rhodesia and Zimbabwe 1924-1999” in which he traced various changes, achieved a large silver award at the South African national philatelic exhibition Jopex in Johannesburg, 1999. He died in Harare on 8 November 2000, the 60th anniversary day of the founding of the Mashonaland Philatelic Society.
Derrick Byrom collected the range of postal and philatelic material from Zimbabwe independence on 18 April 1980 onwards, including the postmarks, rubber handstamps, registration labels, official post cards, examples of postal slogan cancellations and special event postmarks, first day covers featuring new stamp issues, RAPT charity seals (Rehabilitation and Prevention of Tuberculosis), and notices of postal rate changes, name changes, opening and closing of postal offices – just about everything. In 2004, Mrs Barbara Byrom presented the complete collection, already known as the Byrom legacy, to the Philatelic Federation of South Africa.
Safely kept by the Federation’s Heritage Committee, but unable to do justice to the further classification and suitable handling of the material, the Federation, in 2018, handed the Byrom material to the relevant interest group, the Rhodesia Study Circle, which is a specialist society affiliated to the Federation. On behalf of the Rhodesia Study Circle Patrick, Flanagan RDPSA, made a variety of the postal marks available for illustration in this listing.
This book will be published by the Philatelic Federation of South Africa. (Subscribers will be included in the book.)
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