A cancellation is a postal marking applied on a postage stamp or postal stationery to deface the stamp and prevent its re-use.

Cancellations come in a huge variety of designs, shapes, sizes and colours. Modern Australian cancellations include the date, post office location and postcode from which the stamps is mailed.

Types of cancellations

  • Cancelled-to-order, also known as CTOs, are stamps that have been cancelled by a postal authority, but were never used to transmit mail. CTOs are created by postal authorities to sell the stamps cheaply to stamp collectors.
  • First day of issue (FDI) are special cancellations with the date the stamp was first issued for sale and the words “first day of issue.” They may be
    • Simple Circular Date stamps (CDS) usually with the words “first day of issue” although not always.
    • Pictorial postmarks (National First Day of Issue) released especially for the issued stamp
    • Pictorial postmarks that may bear some relevance to the stamp and is used repeatedly for FDIs with the relevant date change.
  • Hand Stamped cancellations are cancellations added by means of a hand stamping device.
  • Inkjet Cancellations may have an advertising or commemorative slogan and/or the details of the mail centre
  • Last Day of Use cancellations are covers cancelled on the last day of use of the postmark.
  • Machine Stamped cancellations are automatically added by machines that rapidly process large numbers of envelopes.
  • Pen cancels refer to the use of a writing pen to deface the stamp, usually when the automatic postmark has been unsuccessful
  • Pictorial cancellations include images associated with the commemoration of some event or anniversary.
    • Temporary Pictorial Cancellations may only be available for one day or a limited period of time to celebrate the event
    • Permanent Pictorial Cancellations are available for extended periods and are used when a relevant stamp is issued or event occurs.
    • Seasonal Cancellations are available for a limited period of time perhaps on an annual basis eg a premiership win. The image is essentially unchanged but the date and Post Office of issue may change
  • Slogan cancellations contain a slogan, perhaps commemorative or advertising, in the “killer box” and a date/post office impression to the left.

First Day of Issue Cancellations

Pictorial Postmarks for all First Day of Issues

Tasmanian Football League – North Hobart 7000

The first official match to take place on North Hobart Oval was a TFL match between Lefroy and New Town on 6 May 1922. The Oval became League Headquarters for the TFL/TANFL/TFL Statewide League in 1922 and remained so until the League was disbanded in 2000. Unfortunately the North and South of the state could never agree on the league format hence the multiple names for the competition.

The Postmark was able to be used on any First Day of Issue. Naturally it was more sort after by issues that involved Australia Football.

Tasmania Football League Postmarks

Pictorial Cancellations

Seasonal Cancellations 2007-2011

Seasonal cancellations first emerged in 2007 when Australia Post first began using the same basic postmark design for the football medallion covers produced after the AFL Grand finals. The image of the player remained the same however the socks and jumper designs changed. Naturally the date, city of the premiership team and the postcode needed to change to be relevant for cancelling purposes.

The postmarks are usually only seen on the Postal Medallion Covers. At least in 2007 and 2011 they were applied to normal covers from the public. (It is very difficult to get a neat sharp display as the postmark blends into the colours of the covers)

The last postmark in this series was from Australia Post’s exciting new collectable, the Captains’ miniature maxicard. This consisted of a card, housed inside a protective cover complete with the team footy stamp and a commemorative postmark (APM43950 shown as the last in the series above). The covers were signed with a fascimile signature. The back of the cover lists career milestones.

The postmark is the same as the original “seasonal postmarks” (except the number may have been changed from 5 to 6 and the player has hair?) with the team’s city, state and postcode. The date remains the same at the 2 November 2011. The eight Captains in the series are

  • Carlton VIC 3053, Chris Judd
  • Collingwood VIC 3066, Nick Maxwell
  • Essendon VIC 3040, Jobe Watson
  • Geelong VIC 3220, Cameron Ling
  • Hawthorn VIC 3122, Luke Hodge
  • Richmond VIC 3121, Chris Newman
  • St Kilda Vic 3182, Nick Riewoldt
  • Subiaco WA 6008, Darren Glass (WC Eagles)

Seasonal Cancellations 2012-2019

During this period Hawthorn won three premierships in a row from 2013-2015. This is called a “three-peat.” This equaled the Brisbane Lions 2001-2003 and Melbourne twice, 1939-1941 and 1955-1957. Carlton was the first team in 1906-1908. Collingwood stand alone by winning four in a row from 1927-1930.

Seasonal Cancellations 2020-2021

2020 was the year from hell with the Covid pandemic. Most of the games were played in “hubs” in Queensland. The Tigers won their 3rd premiership in 4 years. For the first time ever the Grand Final was played outside Victoria, at Brisbane’s Woolloongabba, “The Gabba”. Unfortunately the medallion cover was postmarked with the Rugby League Postmark with a player with short sleeved jumpers running and holding the ball which is illegal in AFL. The Postmark home was Brisbane where in the past it had been the city of the Premiers.

Slogan Cancellations

The West Coast Eagles – Perth 6000

Slogan cancels first appeared in the 1890s, initially to advertise the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. They were introduced to Australia in 1917.

The first Australian Football slogan cancels were introduced by Australia Post at Perth to celebrate the West Coast Eagles team’s participation in the AFL Finals. The team was founded in 1986 as an expansion team. It entered the AFL, then known as the Victorian Football League, in 1987 along with Queensland’s Brisbane Bears.

It reached the finals series for the first time in 1988, and played in its first Grand Final in 1991. It was unsuccessful but in 1992 they again made the Grand Final but were able to win the flag, the first flag by an interstate team on the 26th September 1992. They defeated Geelong in front of 95,007 spectators, the match scores were 16.17 (113) to 12.13. (85).

1994 saw the Eagles again playing Geelong. The match was played on the 1st October, not the last weekend in September. The first quarter was even but then the Eagles took over. The final scores were 20.23 (143) to 8.15 (63).

West Coast Eagles Slogan Cancellation

The Broadcasters slogans and Dot Matrix Cancellations

In the history of the VFL, Channel Seven had been the broadcaster of Australian Football. This was only interrupted once in 1987 when Broadcom and the ABC jointly televised the games. In 2002 a revolution occurred with Channel Nine, Foxtel and Ten jointly winning the rights from 2002 to 2006.

In 2004 Channel nine celebrated its 45 years in Adelaide with a temporary pictorial postmark, a slogan cancellation and an dot Matrix cancellation. The next year Channel Seven celebrated its 40th year in Adelaide. Both celebrations were associated with the issuing of a souvenir sheet with extensive football personalities portrayed. Nine showed the Paper Headlines “NWS-9 Wins Sole TV Footy Rights.”

Australia Post looked at changing the design of the slogan so that the Post office Circular Stamp was on the far right hand side joined to the slogan. This was to help to be better able to read the slogan or see the pictorial.