1996 AFL Centenary: The Covers

1996, the 100th season of the VFL/AFL, saw many notable celebrations. One of these was the release by Australia Post of the Centenary of the AFL Stamps Series on the 23rd April 1996, the largest stamp issue in Australia’s history. Another was the setting up and the induction of players into the Hall of Fame.

Official Australia Post Covers

First Day Covers – all Clubs

National FDI Postmarks – East Melbourne 3002

The National First Day of Issue postmark showed a football with the date of issue and the post office East Melbourne 3002, the closest to the MCG. The machine cancel of the First Day Covers shows a consistent smooth fill. Hand cancels show a postmark with no fill and another with rough fill. The postmark without fill seems to be the less common of the two hand cancels. Australian Pictormarks does not describe the hand cancel with rough fill.

Australia Post FDC with 4 sets of Gummed (Sheetlet) Stamps with FDI Postmark (machine cancel) issued by Australia Post.

Australia Post FDC with 4 sets of Gummed (Sheetlet) Stamps with FDI Postmark (hand cancel) self produced.

Australia Post FDC with 4 sets of Peel & Stick (Booklet) Stamps with FDI Postmark (hand cancel) self produced. Australia Post usually only produces a FDC for gummed stamps and not the Booklets or Booklet Stamps.

As part of the stamp issue, Australia Post held a VIP night at the Brisbane GPO Philatelic Shop. Attending and giving autographs were Michael Voss (No 3), Craig Starcevich (9) and Chris Scott (22).

Australia Post FDC with 4 sets of Gummed (Sheetlet) Stamps with FDI Postmark (machine cancel) issued by Australia Post. One set stamped with cachet, Collectors VIP Night and the other autographed.

Australia Post FDC with 4 sets of Peel & Stick (Booklet) Stamps with FDI Postmark (hand cancel) and Centenary Logo cachet.

Australia Post FDC with 4 sets of Peel & Stick (Booklet) Stamps with FDI Postmark (hand cancel) and Hall of Fame Logo cachet.

Australia Post FDC with 4 sets of Gummed (Sheetlet) Stamps with FDI Postmark (Machine cancel) and Premiership winners as the cachet on the four covers. There were 100 sets produced. The cover includes North Melbourne winner of the 1996, Centenary Year, Premiership. 12 of the covers were overprinted with the results of the 1997 Grand Final won by the Adelaide Crows.

FDI Postmark – North Hobart 7000

Australia Post FDC with 4 sets of Gummed (Sheetlet) Stamps with FDI TFL Postmark self produced.

Tasmania Football League Postmarks

First Day Covers – individual clubs

Gummed Sheetlet stamps

Each club’s gummed sheetlet stamp with club’s commemorative pictorial postmark. All postmarks, except for Adelaide were released on the 23 April 1996. Adelaide’s post mark (APM27500) was released on the 13 January 1995. Some clubs, particularly the interstate clubs, have a second postmark at the Philatelic Bureau in Melbourne. This may be slightly different. In the case of the Centenary issue, the Brisbane postmark has a smaller date display (APM29083) and the West Coast Eagles CDS has lines that are slightly thicker (APM29064). The Collingwood Postmark has a different date display. (shown above APM29076)

Peel and Stick Booklet Stamps

Each club’s peel & stick stamp is also available with the equivalent postmark as the gummed stamp. For the sake of saving space these are not shown.

Sets of four Peel and Stick Booklet Stamps

The 1996 AFL Centenary Issue reignited my interest in stamp collecting and ignited my interest in Postmark Collecting. The Australian Stamp Bulletin described how to obtain postmarks for the clubs and some associated Postmarks such as State Sports Centre at Homebush and the TFL Postmark. I forwarded a cover of four stamps for the relevant team to the Postmaster at the relevant Post Office and these are the covers received back.

North Carlton PO, North Melbourne PO and Moorabbin PO postmarked the covers presumably on the day they were processed. All the other covers were postmarked on the day of issue 23 April 1996. Australia Post now gives 4 weeks grace for postmarking. This is not uniformly accepted as purist feel they should only be postmarked on the day of issue.

The Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre was one of the first sporting facilities to be built at the Homebush Bay site in 1984, long before the idea of any Olympic bid for Sydney was conceived. It is situated 400 metres south of Stadium Australia, the main stadium for the 2000 Olympics and venue for AFL games from 2002 to 2016. In its redevelopment it will loose its ability to be set up as an oval.

Other FDI cancels

Melbourne Cricket Ground

In 1996 the MCG was home to North Melbourne, Essendon, Melbourne, and Richmond. Other teams would have blockbuster games also transferred to the MCG.

Carlton

A set of covers celebrating four of Carlton’s premierships were produced.

Other

Centenary Cover with Booklet and Sheetlet Stamp

Postal Commemorative Society

“PCS was founded as the Postal Commemorative Society in 1970, thanks to the success of the Moon Landing First Day Cover. Since then, PCS has offered a wide variety of First Day Covers and mint-condition stamps to customers. Over the years, it became apparent that our customers were also interested in coin collecting. Our name was changed to PCS Stamps & Coins to reflect the addition of a large array of coin products”

The PCS seems to produce covers related to American Presidents, Disney, the British Royal Family (Especially Princess Diana) etc. The AFL Centenary Cover appears to be part of a “First Day Covers from around the World” collection. Often the sets appear in a loose leaf folder with the cover displayed in one halve and the information about the cover in the other. It is not known if this cover was presented in this way.

Berri Stamp Festival

Postmarked on the date of the Centenary Grand Final won by North Melbourne.