Royal Tour: 1934 Prince George – Commemorative Covers

Royal Tour

1934 – Commemorative Covers


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Central News Agency

Central News Agency



In 1896 two entrepreneurs, Michael Davis and Albert Lindbergh, paired up to sell newspapers in Johannesburg. By coordinating teams of newsboys who delivered papers by foot and on bicycles, the Central News Agency (CNA) was founded. The first newspapers sold were The Star, The Standard and Diggers News.

Davis and Lindbergh were continually trying to increase their shares of street sales. They soon moved into the sale of books, periodicals and stationery and began acting as advertising agents. Newspapers, however, were their greatest interest. By 1899, the business had outgrown the Harrison Street base. Bigger premises were needed and the choice was a large building on the Corner of Commissioner and Rissik Streets.

In 1901 the partners began opening bookstalls at railway stations across the Cape. In 1902 the business secured a huge deal with the Argus and the Cape Times who placed their entire publishing contracts with CNA. CNA experienced phenomenal growth and in 1903 was floated as a public company.

By 1904, the company was nationwide and the business signed a deal with Gordon & Gotch to become their sole agents in Great Britain while their branches in Cape Town and Natal would be taken over by CNA. It paved the way for Davis’ acquisition of the sole agency in South Africa, for a number of important and popular overseas newspapers and periodicals.

Around 1905, Geo C Brown was an agent for the CNA and managed his branch in Sauer’s Chambers on the corner of 8th Avenue and Abercorn Street, Bulawayo.

After WWI, a new range of “fancy goods” was introduced into the stores – toys, cutlery and leather goods and after WWII, CNA mirrored this phase and established itself in Rhodesia with one of their partially-owned subsidiaries, Kingstons Ltd.

In 1983 CNA merged with Gallo Africa and in 1990 CNA Gallo acquired 50% shares in Nu Metro. In 1992 the remaining 50% shares were bought out and Nu Metro became a wholly-owned subsidiary under Gallo Africa.

in 2002 it was bought by retail group Edcon.


  • James Gavin
  • Andrew Wilkie
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1947 – Princess Elizabeth’s 21st Birthday

Princess Elizabeth’s 21st Birthday

Cape Town

On 21st April 1947, Princess Elizabeth celebrated her 21st birthday while on tour with her parents and younger sister in South Africa. In a speech broadcast on the radio from Cape Town, the Princess dedicated her life to the service of the Commonwealth.

The speech was written by Dermot Morrah, a 50yr old journalist. Sent by the Times to report on it, the King and his heir presumptive realised that something ought to be done about her 21st birthday. She would make a broadcast speech to the Commonwealth and Dermot was tasked to write it. The speech contained one of the most quoted passages of the Queen:

I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.

Originally the draft letter was considered lost until it turned up in a bar.


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African Collector’s Exchange: First Day Covers – Southern Rhodesia

African Collector’s Exchange

First Day Covers – Southern Rhodesia


1947 – Royal Visit (with cachet)
1947 – Royal Visit
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Royal Tour: 1947 Royal Family – Stationery

Royal Tour

1947 – Stationery

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