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March 06, 2009

Philatelist to talk about first airmail delivery


A micro-light version of the original Bleriot aeroplane which carried the pioneer airmail from Kenilworth to Muizenberg

It’s nearly 100 years since the first airmail delivery in Africa, which took place in Cape Town in 1911.

The South African Minister of Posts and Telegraphs consented to the first conveyance of airmail post, between Kenilworth and Muizenberg. More than 2500 postcards were specially produced to mark the event and were carried on the flights.

According to Liz Linsell of The Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society, the aircraft, piloted by Evelyn Driver, took off from the Kenilworth Race Course at 19h15 on December 27 1911, and landed safely seven-and-a-half minutes later at Oldhams Field on the verges of Zandvlei in Muizenberg. It was met by Post Master P.J. Hutchings who received the post and gave the pilot return post. The aircraft was safely back at Kenilworth at 20h10.

Well-known philatelist Barry Smith, who has an award-winning collection of South African Air Mail covers, will be talking about this historical milestone to the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society on Thursday March 12.  Members of the public are welcome to attend.

The talk will be at the old Zandvlei Bowling Club, from 12h00 to 14h00. The entrance fee is R25 for society members and R35 for non-members, and includes refreshments and snacks.

If you’d like to attend, please contact Joye Gibbs on +27 21 788 8224 or 082 425 3092 by Tuesday, March 10.

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