Thursday, March 21, 2013
25th Anniversary of Scott Base in 1982
The first stamps inscribed Ross Dependency were issued on January 11, 1957, in conjunction with the New Zealand Antarctic Expedition, led by Sir Edmund Hillary (part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition). Before the expedition left New Zealand, on 23 November 1956, Hillary had been appointed postmaster. When the expedition chose the site for Scott Base, a post office was established, initially in a tent. The initial set of stamps consisted of four stamps, in the denominations 3d, 4d, 8d, and 1s 6d. When New Zealand adopted a decimal currency in 1967, the stamps were reissued in denominations of 2c, 3c, 7c, and 15c.
A new definitive set, consisting of six stamps denominated 3c, 4c, 5c, 8c, 10c and 18c was issued in 1972. The next set, issued in 1982 to mark the 25th anniversary of Scott Base, consisted of 5c, 10c, 20c, 30c, 40c and 50c stamps were issued on 20th January 1982.
The post office at Scott Base was closed in 1987 as part of the rationalisation of New Zealand Post. Mail from the base was handled in Christchurch, and the issuing of “Ross Dependency” stamps ceased.
The Ross Dependency is a region of Antarctica defined by a sector originating at the South Pole, passing along longitudes 160° east to 150° west, and terminating at latitude 60° south. New Zealand's claim to the region was formalized in 1923, when the Governor-General of New Zealand was appointed as the Governor of the Ross Dependency by an Imperial Order in Council made in London, United Kingdom. Since the Antarctic Treaty came into force in 1961, Article 1 of which states "The treaty does not recognize, dispute, nor establish territorial sovereignty claims; no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force", most countries do not recognise territorial claims in Antarctica.
The Dependency takes its name from Sir James Clark Ross, who discovered the Ross Sea, and includes part of Victoria Land, and most of the Ross Ice Shelf. Ross Island, Balleny Islands and the small Scott Island also form part of the Dependency, as does the ice-covered Roosevelt Island.
The scientific bases of Scott Base (New Zealand) and McMurdo Station (USA) are the only permanently occupied human habitations in the area, though Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station is partially within the territory and dependent on logistics operations based in New Zealand. The Dependency has a snow runway at Williams Field, and depending on conditions and time of year, two Ice Runways. This guarantees accessibility by wheeled and ski equipped aircraft year round.
Thank you Maria for this lovely FDC.