1980 – Opening of the First Parliament of Zimbabwe

Opening of the First Parliament of Zimbabwe

14 May 1980

On 14 May 1980, the first Zimbabwe Parliament was opened by President Cannan S Banana with Prime Minister Robert Mugabe.

The President outlined the objectives of the new government, the scrapping of laws based on racial discrimination and plans to improve the life of the country’s poor. The country would be non-aligned and seek friendly co-existence with its neighbours.

He also addressed the assurance that European farmers would not be chased off their lands but maintained that a land resettlement programme would be launched.

Commemorative Covers


Rhodesian Study Circle: 2021 Annual Conference

Rhodesian Study Circle 2021 Annual Conference and AGM

Due to the ongoing restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been decided to hold a Virtual Conference in 2021. The success of our many virtual meetings in 2020 has provided us with the encouragement to plan and deliver such a venture. The programme will be designed to flow across various time zones to allow as wide a participation as possible from our membership spread across the world.  

  • The Conference is open to all and we hope that as many members as possible will be able to join some or all of the sessions.
  • Running concurrently with the Conference will be our Livermore and Postcard Exhibit competitions along with a Single Sheet Competition. These, as in 2020, will be Virtual competitions and all entries will be up on the website prior to the start of the Conference. The results will be announced at the Conference.
  • At the start of the Conference we will hold our annual AGM. Reports will be available beforehand.


News from the AGM and Conference


Announced at the AGM: Rhodesian Study Circle Awards 2021

At the AGM held on 23 April, 2021, the Chairman of the RSC, Patrick Flanagan, announced that the Council, after receiving advice from the Awards Committee and further deliberations, was delighted to announce the following awards:

  • H. C. Dann Trophy (for the best publication in the previous two years) to Sean Burke (Australia), Bob Gibbs (USA) and Arnie Brickman (USA) for Memoir 34: Postmarks on the 1910-1913 Double Head Issue – Paradise Revisited
  • Alan Drysdall Award (for the best article in the Journal over previous two years) to Ian Menzies (Switzerland) for Alfred Bertrand 1856-1924, Geneva explorer, adventurer and philanthropist; (RSCJ 280/278-82)
  • The Simpson Salver (for services to RSC) to Bob Gibbs (USA)
  • The Plato Mavros Trophy (for services to Rhodesia and Nyasaland philately) to Andrew Wilson (UK)
  • The Editor’s Prizes: Rob Burrett (Zimbabwe) and Peter Wingent (UK)
  • *The Chairman’s Awards for Virtual Presentations in 2020: Alan Rendle (UK), Dirk Kind (UK), Mark Thomas (UK), Adam Goulding (Australia), Narendhra Morar (UK), Colin Fraser (USA), Simon Hensman (USA).

The Council are delighted to announce the appointment of the following as Fellows of the Rhodesian Study Circle:

Mark Loomis (USA)

David Parsons (UK)

Walter Herdzik (Canada)

The Council are delighted to announce the appointment of the following as an Hon Life Member:

Jack Joyce (Canada)

*A new award flowing out of the COVID-19 conditions.


Session 1 – Friday 23 April


Over 110 members and guests  registered for the Conference. Members come and go according to interests and time zones.

For the first session, 71  members and guests joined the Conference.

Session 2 – Saturday 24 April

For the second session, 75  members and guests joined the Conference.

Session 3 – Saturday 24 April

For the third session, 70  members and guests joined the Conference.

Session 4 – Saturday 24 April

For the last session, 70 members and guests joined the Conference.

At the conclusion of the Conference the results of the Virtual Competitions were announced:

  • The Livermore Trophy to George Stewart from New Zealand.
  • The Postcard Competition to Sean Burke from Australia.
  • The Single Sheet Competition to Adrian de Bourbon from the UK.

The Judges also announce the winner of the Nodder and Hamilton Trophy for the best presentation at Conference to Brian Eyre from South Africa.


RSC Virtual AGM & Conference Programme


 Friday 23 April (Moderator: Sean Burke)

8.00-11.45pm London

9.00pm-12.45am (Cape Town/Paris/Harare)

12.00-3.45pm San Francisco (23 April)

3.00pm-6.45pm New York (23 April)

5.00-8.45am Melbourne (24 April)


8.00 – 8.45pm (London)

Welcome and address by the Chair (Patrick Flanagan {South Africa})

RSC 2021 AGM

  • Acceptances of 2020 Reports (Previously circulated)
  • Acceptance of 2020 Accounts (Previously circulated)
  • Office Bearers for 2021
  • Subscriptions for 2021/2022

Announcement of Awards

  • C. Dann Trophy (for the best publication in the previous two years)
  • Alan Drysdall Award (for the best article in the Journal over previous two years)
  • The Simpson Salver (for services to RSC)
  • The Plato Mavros Trophy (for services to Rhodesia and Nyasaland philately)
  • The Editor’s Prizes

Announcement of new Fellows of the RSC


The Journey of a Pioneer. (Dirk Kind {UK}) A presentation based upon two large photo albums in his possession from his great-great-uncle, William Harvey Brown, who became a Pioneer and wrote On the South African Frontier.


Three new Rhodesia-related publications in 2021:

  • Rhodesian Philately to 1924 – The British South Africa Company Period by Brian Trotter, Colin Hoffman and Patrick Flanagan – a RPSL publication (Brian Trotter {UK})
  • The British South Africa Company King George V Admiral Stamps 1913-1924 by David Spivack and Stephen Reah-Johnson – a RPSL publication  (David Spivack {USA})
  • Memoir 30: The postal history of the Paris Missionary Society in Barotseland 1884-1924: the people, the place and the time by Sean Burke, Paul Peggie and Patrick Flanagan (Sean Burke {Australia})




Buying and selling at auction at a time of lockdown (Ian Shapiro {UK} from Spink)


Independence Forgeries: a mystery solved (Dave Trathen {UK})


The Cancellation Types of Zambia (Mark Thomas {UK})

Saturday 24 April

(Moderators Adrian de Bourbon {am} and Brian Trotter {pm})

9.30am-1.00pm & 8.00-11.00pm (London)

10.30am-2.00pm & 9.00pm-12.00am (Cape Town/Paris/Harare)

1.30-5.00am & 12.00noon-3.00pm (San Francisco)

4.30-8.00am & 3.00-6.00pm (New York)

6.30-10.00pm & 5.00-8.00am (Melbourne)


9.30am (London)

Early Rhodesian airmails (Keith Harrop {UK})


The BCA Provincials of 1898 (Mark Ladd {UK} and Brian Coop {UK})


On Postmarks:

  • Postmarks on pre-Double Head issues – (Huw Williams {UK},
  • Making the Dumb Speak: The-background to the Mutilated Cancels of Northern-Rhodesia (Adam Goulding {Australia})


A call to Arms (Colin Hoffman {UK})


Research & Social History:

  • Since Discovered (Anita McCullough {UK}),
  • Tracking them down: Exploring Zimbabwe in Search of Geographical Postal History (Rob Burrett {Zimbabwe}),
  • What’s in a Name” The background to name changes in NR and Zambian Post Offices (Adam Goulding {Australia}}


Malawi; keeping up with the neighbours (Stuart Ross {UK})


ForgeriesSimon Hensman {USA}


Members Ask



  • Large format Revenue Stamps of the BSAC (Adrian de Bourbon {UK}), 
  • Inspection Certificates (Christopher Cooksey {UK})


 The Nyasaland 1934 Leopard issue (SG 114-122) (Colin Fraser {USA})


From the Limpopo to the Zambezi: History, Politics and Ideology in 101 Stamps and Covers. (Narendhra Morar {UK}) This presentation will showcase excerpts of a much larger piece of work that he is undertaking on the history and politics of Zimbabwe, from earliest times to the present, as refracted through the prism of its stamps and postal history. 


Southern Rhodesia Postal Stationery – archival material, the issued material and usage (Patrick Flanagan {South Africa})


Mission Mail:

  • Some missionary postcards from Catholic Missions in Southern Rhodesia (Mark Loomis {USA}),
  • John and Helen Springer, Methodist missionaries in Central Africa (Paul Peggie {Australia}).

Sunday 25 April (Moderator David Spivack)

8.00-11.00pm (London)

9.00pm-12.00am (Cape Town/Paris/Harare)

12.00noon-3.00pm San Francisco

3.00pm-6.00pm New York

5.00-8.00am Melbourne (26 April)


8.00pm (London)

The Kariba Dam – 60 years on (Jono Waters {Zimbabwe})


Noel Brettell, ‘Poet who shied away from any sort of limelight’ (Ian Menzies {Switzerland}) See article here


Some philatelic aspects of what is now the University of Zimbabwe  (Hugh Amoore {South Africa})


To dream the impossible dream – updating the SG listing on the Double Head Issue (Sean Burke {Australia}, David Spivack {USA}, Colin Hoffman {UK})


Southern Rhodesia: The last two issues of coil stamps; the Harrison printings. (Brian Eyre {South Africa})

10.00 pm

Encyclopaedia of the Federation of Rhodesia & Nyasaland (Geoff Brakspear {UK}}


Postmark Cancel Errors on Cover – Northern Rhodesia & Zambia (Walter Herdzik {Canada})


  • The Judges of the Virtual Competitions for 2021.
  • The best presentation at Conference


Closing Address from Chairman


RSC Conference Q&A


There is a time set aside at the Conference for a short Question & Answer session. If you wish to participate, please forward your question with a relative scan to the Conference Organiser Adrian de Bourbon. His email address can be found in the Journal or

RSC Virtual Competitions 2021


As in 2020, we will hold a virtual competition for our annual Livermore and Postcard Competitions. The rules for these competitions are available on the RSC website.



1874 – Cape to Cairo Railway

Cape to Cairo Railway


The Cape to Cairo Railway is an uncompleted project to cross Africa from south to north by rail. The original proposal for a Cape to Cairo railway was made in 1874 by Edwin Arnold, which was joint sponsor of the expedition by H.M. Stanley to Africa to discover the course of the Congo River. The proposed route involved a mixture of railway and river transport between Elizabethville, now Lubumbashi in the Belgian Congo and Sennar in the Sudan rather than a completely rail one.

Imperialist and entrepreneur Cecil Rhodes was instrumental in securing the southern states of the continent for the British Empire and envisioned a continuous “red line” of British dominions from north to south. A railway would be a critical element in this scheme to unify the possessions, facilitate governance, enable the military to move quickly to hot spots or conduct war, help settlement and enable intra- and extra-continental goods trade. The construction of this project presented a major technological challenge.

British interests had to overcome obstacles of geography and climate, and the competing imperial schemes of the French and Portuguese. In 1891, Germany secured the strategically critical territory of German East Africa, which along with the mountainous rainforest of the Belgian Congo precluded the building of a Cape-to-Cairo railway.

The southern section was completed during British rule before the First World War and has an interconnecting system of national railways. Construction started from Cape Town and went parallel to the Great North Road to Kimberley, through a part of Bechuanaland to Bulawayo. From this junction the link proceeds further north to the Zambezi crossing. The Victoria Falls Bridge was completed in 1905.

In 1916 during World War I British, British African, South African and Indian soldiers won the Tanganyika Territory from the Germans and after the war the British continued to rule the territory, which was a League of Nations mandate from 1922. The continuous line of colonies was complete. The British Empire possessed the political power to complete the Cape to Cairo Railway, but economics, including the Great Depression of the 1930s, prevented its completion before World War II. After World War II, the decolonisation of Africa and the establishment of independent countries removed the colonial rationale for the project and increased the project’s difficulty, effectively ending the project.

A new consortium is to be signed between Hitachi and JK Minerals Africa to resume mapping of the Cape to Cairo railway route in 2020.




Rhodesian Study Circle: Members Auction – March 2020

Rhodesian Study Circle

Members Auction – November 2020

The Rhodesian Study Circle March 2020 auction is now available. This auction is only available to members of the Rhodesian Study Circle. Not a member? Join now!



2020 – Great American Stamp Show

The Great American Stamp Show 2020 is being held at Hartford, Connecticut. It is co-hosted by the American Philatelic Society, the American Topical Association and the American First Day Cover Society. It is the largest national stamp and postal history show in the country.

Whether you are a new or experienced collector, the Great American Stamp Show packs four days of shopping, seminars, exhibits, education and fun for all ages. (Bring your most comfortable shoes, you will need them!)

The Great American Stamp Show brings together stamp collectors from all over the world to share their ideas on the future of the hobby, the chance to reconnect with old friends and make new ones!

The free event is co-sponsored by the United States Postal Service. The USPS will also have a large retail presence offering a selection of current U.S. stamps for sale.

  • 75+ Dealers – Public Auction – Cachetmakers Bourse
  • 800+ Frames of Exhibits & Three of America’s Rarest Postal Items
  • 35+ Meetings & Seminar – On-the-Road Courses


1982 – ZIMFARI ’82


14-25 August 1982

In 1982, Zimbabwe hosted ZIMFARI 82′ in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of world Scouting. It was an international camp with Guides and Scouts coming from all over the world. The camp was held in various different places all over the country.

Among the countries represented were Canada, England, Finland, France, India, Israel, Kenya, Libya, N.Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, Venezuela, Wales and Zimbabwe. The International Contingents were able to see Harare, Inyanga, Mutare, Great Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls.


Commemorative Covers


1980 – 25th Anniversary of the Midlands Stamp Club

25th Anniversary of the Midlands Stamp Club

27 September 1980


In 1980, the Midlands Stamp Club celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Commemorative Covers


1985 – 45th Anniversary of the Mashonaland Philatelic Society

45th Anniversary of the Mashonaland Philatelic Society



In 1985, the Mashonaland Philatelic Society celebrated its 45th anniversary.

Commemorative Covers


1948 – Empire Ranger Week

Empire Ranger Week

18-25 July 1948

Girl Guides is a movement found worldwide, which was originally and still largely designed for girls and women only. This organisation was introduced in 1909, because girls demanded to take part in the then grassroots Boy Scout Movement.

A Ranger or Ranger Guide is a member of a section of some Guiding organisations who is between the ages of 14 and 25. Exact age limits are slightly different in each organisation. It is the female-centred equivalent of the Rover Scouts.

Empire Ranger Week was celebrated throughout the British empire from July 18 to 25, when land, sea and air rangers camped together, demonstrated ranger activities to the general public and took part in the special re-dedication and Empire Ranger week service. In Southern Rhodesia, the event took place at Victoria Falls.


  • Keith Harrop


1932 – Imperial Economic Conference

Imperial Economic Conference

21 July – 20 August 1932

The Imperial Economic Conference (Ottawa Conference) was a 1932 conference of British colonies and the autonomous dominions held to discuss the Great Depression. It was held between 21 July and 20 August in Ottawa.

The conference saw the group admit the failure of the gold standard and abandon attempts to return to it. The meeting also worked to establish a zone of limited tariffs within the British Empire, but with high tariffs with the rest of the world. This was called “Imperial preference” or “Empire Free-Trade” on the principle of “home producers first, empire producers second, and foreign producers last”. The result of the conference was a series of bilateral agreements that would last for at least 5 years.

The conference was especially notable for its adoption of Keynesian ideas such as lowering interest rates, increasing the money supply, and expanding government spending. The United States were annoyed by the implementation of Imperial Preference as it affected them economically.

It was the last Imperial Conference that any Irish government participated in, and also the last that Newfoundland attended as an independent Dominion.


  • Keith Harrop


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