Travelling Post Office: 1924 South Africa Parliamentary Tour

Travelling Post Office

1924 South Africa Parliamentary Tour


A special train was provided to the delegates of the 1924 South Africa Parliamentary Tour to act as their headquarters throughout the tour. The train also had a post office on board for use by the delegates.

Of note, the Australian delegation included the Postmaster-General of Australia.


A special postmark was available for the tour. The postmark was inscribed in both English and Afrikaans and coloured purple/violet.

5th October (Victoria Falls)
6th October (Victoria Falls)
7th October (Victoria Falls)

1924 – South Africa Parliamentary Tour

South Africa Parliamentary Tour


In 1924, for the first time in history, delegates from five parliaments of the British Empire met together to promote a more cordial understanding between Britain and the dominions in a country other than Britain (previous meetings were held only in London).

The tour also provided an opportunity for the representatives of the Parliamentary Association to study the problems and possibilities of the host country for discussion at future Parliamentary or Inter-Empire discussions.

Eight representatives sailed from Melbourne, Australia on the 29th July. New Zealand sent four delegates. Delegates from Britain and Canada arrived on the Saxonia on 8th August (Some of the British delegates had to return to Britain during the tour due to the Irish Boundary dispute). Newfoundland were unable to send a delegation. All visitors were treated as guests of the Union of South Africa with sea fares were paid by the South African Government.

A special train was provided to the delegates to act as their headquarters throughout the tour. The train also had a post office on board for use by the delegates.

Although the tour started in Durban, South Africa, the first meeting was actually held in the afternoon of 10th September at Maseru, Basutoland. The meeting was opened by South Africa’s Governor-General, Lord Althone while the Secretary of State for the Colonies, J.H. Thomas, presided over the meeting. Delegates debated the present methods of the exchange of information (both inter-parliamentary and in relation to foreign affairs) and ways this could be improved.

In the newly formed Southern Rhodesia, representatives from each delegate met the Cabinet and Leader of the Opposition to extend an invitation for Southern Rhodesia to participate in future schemes of the Empire Parliamentary Association.

In South Africa at the start of the tour in Cape Town, guests were entered to a Luncheon held by Prime Minister Hertzog. At the end of the tour, the Prime Minister also held a dinner at Pretoria. Delegates praised the Prime Minister not only for the arrangements but also for the individual talks afforded to the guests.

The tour was seen as highly beneficial with delegates proposing a representative of each parliament in the Empire visit each other’s country for an informal conference at least once every two years.


  • Date: 1st September – 31st October, 1924
  • Location: Southern Africa

Post Office & Postmarks


  • 1924.09.01 – South Africa (Durban)
  • 1924.09.02 – Zululand
  • 1924.09.05 – Natal
  • 1924.09.08 – Orange Free State
  • 1924.09.10 – Basutoland (Maseru)
  • 1924.09.12 – Orange Free State
  • 1924.09.13 – South Africa (Cape Province)
  • 1924.09.29 – Southern Rhodesia (Bulawayo)
  • 1924.10.03 – Southern Rhodesia (Fort Victoria)
  • 1924.10.04 – Southern Rhodesia (Victoria Falls)
  • 1924.10.10 – Transvaal
  • 1924.10.18 – Portuguese East Africa (Delagoa Bay)
  • 1924.10.23 – South Africa (Cape Province)


J & M Lazarus

J & M Lazarus

Lourenço Marques

Joseph Lazarus and Maurice Lazarus were brothers of Jewish decent from the Britain. It is believed that they first arrived in Barberton, South Africa during the gold boom. They appear to have arrived in Lourenço Marques, Portuguese East Africa in 1899.

Two business locations are known in the city, one at No. 39 Araujo Street and the other at Avenida Aguiar. For a while, they kept a studio in Beira. They first advertised as photographers in the 1901 directory and in the same year they published A Souvenir of Lourenço Marques: an album of views of the town.

As part of their photography business, they also produced a range of postcards. One of their photographs of Chief Makwira and his wives (Malawi) appears on a postcard published by G. Budricks & Co.

Their last advertisement appears in 1907, although their box number is still listed in the 1909 edition. They sold their studio to Sidney Hocking.



Rhodesian and Nyasaland Airways: 1935 – From Salisbury to Beira

Rhodesian and Nyasaland Airways

1935 From Salisbury to Beira
Rhodesian & Nyasaland Airways Ltd
Commercial Covers

Rhodesian and Nyasaland Airways: 1935 – From Blantyre to Beira

Rhodesian and Nyasaland Airways

1935 From Blantyre to Beira


Blantyre Printing & Publishing Company
Rhodesian & Nyasaland Airways Ltd
Commercial Covers

Rhodesian and Nyasaland Airways: 1935 – Salisbury – Blantyre – Beira

Rhodesian and Nyasaland Airways

1935 – Salisbury – Blantyre – Beira

In 1935, the Manica Trading Company of Beira obtained a concession from the Mocambique Company to carry mails between Beira and Salisbury and Beira and Blantyre. Rhodesia and Nyasaland Airways agreed to be the carrier.

Unofficial covers depicting the leopard and rising run were printed by the Blantyre Printing and Publishing Company and were used by the post offices to fulfil the requirements of collectors.

First Flights


American Board Mission: Gogoi Mission

Gogoi Mission

Portuguese East Africa


The Gogoi (Gogoya) Mission was founded by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (the “American Board Mission” – or “American Board”) in 1920.  Although located 35 miles across the boarder in Mozambique (formerly Portuguese East Africa), it was an outstation of Mount Selinda and mail was posted there (and can therefore be considered a Southern Rhodesian mission).

Even after the founding of the Mount Silinda and Chikore missions, the American Board continued looking east towards Portuguese East Africa.  Repeated efforts to establish a mission in Biera were unsuccessful. The American Board next turned its attention to using Mt. Silinda as a springboard for opening a sub-mission station across the boarder – an area “full of people speaking practically the same language as that used at Mt. Silinda.”

After several years of planning, the American Board finally received permission from The Mozambique Company (“Companhia de Moçambique”) in 1916 to rent a farm at Gogoi (Gogoya), about 35 miles across the boarder.  A year later, J.P. Dysart  and Dr. Lawrence settled on the land and began the process of developing the farm to secure a farming claim, which they were able to do in Dysart’s name by 1920.

Nurse Gertrude Merrill joined Dr. Lawrence at the mission beginning in 1922.  But the American Board’s efforts continued to meet with resistance from the Portuguese, which actively opposed Protestant mission development in the Catholic country.

By 1934, it was clear that “Gogoi was not the answer to the evangelization of the territory.” It was largely inaccessible, not recognized as a mission and too closely connected to the Mt. Silinda mission in Southern Rhodesia.  Even with the partnership of the Catholic Swiss Mission and assistance of Fr. Pierre Loze, a retired prominent Swiss missionary, the station at Gogoi all but shut down in 1935 and was finally closed in 1942 by the Portuguese in response to the Ross report of 1925 and in an attempt to reduce the number of American backed missions in Mozambique.



Postcards: SAPSCO – Series O.700 – Real Photo Type IVEA


Series O.700 – Real Photo Type IVEA

No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
O.775Hotel Cecil, Umtali.
1 2 3