AFTER winning the Edward River Boat Race I was advised by the race organiser, Keith French, to carry mail on the expedition.
Two hundred ‘Charles Sturt’ Pre-Stamped Envelopes were obtained from the Deniliquin Post Office and a further two hundred from the Albury Post Office, ex Sydney GPO, with the remainder being picked up at various post offices between the two towns. The envelopes were placed in a cardboard box, wrapped in plastic and sealed. The sealing procedure had to be repeated after the envelopes had been stamped at each of the post offices along the route.
The mail boat was identified by flying the Murray River flag.
Although delays occurred while awaiting the envelopes to be stamped, in reality this time was well utilised in performing other tasks such as refuelling, interviews and repairs.
The envelopes are of high philatelic value because:
- the envelopes and the expedition are compatible;
- two postmarks (those of the start town and the finish town) appear on the front;
- a relatively large number of postmarks appear on the reverse;
- only 500 envelopes were postmarked and stamped;
- each envelope is double signed;
- a signed certificate of authenticity is enclosed;
- they were the last envelopes to be multi postmarked before Australia Post’s policy on this matter was amended.