Lately I've been getting quite a bit of mail from South Africa! You may remember me talking about the incredible lot of postal/air mail ephemera I received from Rob Rudman a few weeks ago - well, without any prompting, I received ANOTHER batch yesterday! It came with the loveliest of notes:
Hi Mel, here is the little parcel of items of "ephemera". The stamps are damaged (to that I say, doesn't bother me! - Mel) but may be useful for decoupages (sp?). If any or all of it is of no use to you then simply throw it away (HARDLY! - Mel). If anything is particularly useful or of interest, let me know so I can put more aside for you. (Isn't that the nicest thing? - Mel) The 'parcel' I had prepared was too much for the envelope so I have kept the rest for later (if it is of interest).It makes me chuckle that Mr. Rudman thinks that any of this wonderful package would NOT be of interest! :D
I also got this 1981 first-day cover from Mafikeng, which is now the capital city of the North-West Province of South Africa, but when this was put out was still the capital of the pre-independence bantustan of Bophuthatswana (now Botswana). This is FASCINATING, and once again I've learned more from the ephemera than any history class I've ever taken; for example, did you know that Mafikeng was the site of the Siege of Mafeking, the most famous engagement of the Second Boer War?
It's interesting that A.G. Bell would be a highlighted person of note. The enclosed card says that this is the first in a series; of what series, I don't know. But the stamps and the postmark are so cool, aren't they?
Here's another postcard from Ciskei, the bantustan I first mentioned in this post. It's nearly the same as the other postcard, but the coloring is a bit different. They're both great! And again - isn't the postmark wonderful?
I want to publicly thank Rob for sending me, unsolicited, this lot of outstanding ephemera. And speaking of that, you may remember my friend Cuan, who is also from South Africa! These two gentlemen are so benevolent with their ephemera, and have served as cultural ambassadors of sorts for me and you, my readers! Maybe some of you already knew tidbits of South African history, but I was completely unenlightened until these two Ephemeraologists shared their stories and their paper. I am so grateful to both of them for their limitless generosity!