Wednesday, 24 December 2014

1999 Millennium IV - Nostalgia

Millennium Series III.                       Millennium Series V.

       The fourth Millennium Issue is called 'Nostalgia.' As the 20th century drew to a close, NZ Post thought it seemed appropriate to celebrate with fondness the wide range of items that many New Zealanders still vividly recalled. We remembered the tin toys played with in childhood, the solid china cups that were a railway institution and the Woman’s Weekly. We treasured the memories of the wireless, the cake tins commemorating Royal Visits, the valued collectibles like stamps and pre-decimal currency. All were part of a daily life in New Zealand.

        When my mother pasted away, one of the tasks we had to do was to clean out her house. There was so much stuff there, it was amazing she could get so much into that little house. Not just the items seen on shelves but what was hidden away too. Boxes of it, in cupboards, under beds etc. I remember thinking; 'What are we going to do with all this stuff?' What had been treasures to her seemed like junk to us.
        Many of the items were like those seen in these stamps. They did bring back memories of our childhood, normal everyday things when we were growing up. Stories were brought out, we laughed about things we had done. The task took much longer then it needed.
        Now I am looking at the desk in front of me as I write this. There is my 1970s lava lamp. My lumps of Kauri gum, the toy cows and sheep. In the book shelf behind me is my library, books I have collected over the years. Among them is my first book on space 'Exploring the Planets' from 1958. There are my childhood train books, among them 'The Little Blue Engine,' short train stories, sort of  like Thomas the Tank Engine. Out in the lounge is my collection of vintage car models. The sailing ship sitting above them, also in that cabinet, my first model train.
        Then the thought suddenly comes to me; 'I'm as bad as my mother was.' My treasures are all around me too. Full of memories for me but mostly likely junk to those who will clean up after me.

Many of the items mentioned in the notes below come the period 1920s - 1950s. These four decades were the theme of the four posts of the Second Heritage Series - Emerging Years.

The Stamps and Their Stories.

Nostalgia / Toys - 40c
'Fun Ho!' were New Zealand's own brand of long lasting knock-about sandpit toys. Their origins go back to the 1930s, when Jack Underwood began turning out moulded lead toys in the basement of his home. Throughout the 1940s, the scarcity of imported toys meant the makers of 'Fun Ho!' enjoyed an almost captive market. Today, they are still sought after as collectors' pieces.
I had my toys too. My Tonka toys, my Triang electric train set, Matchbox cars and my Meccano set.

Nostalgia / Food - 80c
From the 1920s right through to the 1950s, Creamoata was the national breakfast cereal. Every morning, thousands of youngsters up and down the country would eat their way to the bottoms of their breakfast bowls in order to come face to face with the picture of their hero - Sergeant Dan, the Creamoata Man.
Notice also the cake tin lid with the picture of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Mum had a cake tin like that. Cake kept better sealed in tin as it didn't dry out as much. There must have been thousands of tins like this throughout New Zealand at that time. Of course while we are talking about cooking and baking, lets not forget that famous and well trusted Edmonds Cookbook. There must have been one in almost every kitchen throughout New Zealand.

Nostalgia / Transport - $1.00
Trams came into their own in New Zealand once they could be powered by electricity, first in Dunedin in 1900, then in Auckland in 1902 and in Wellington in 1904. During the second and third decades, the tramways were the main means of transport for those in cities and large towns. During the 1950s and early 1960s, trams were gradually superseded by trolley buses and motorised buses. Notice under the cup and saucer, there are some old cardboard tickets, used on trams and where I remember them, on the suburban trains too.
Its interesting to note that 100 years later, in 2014, Auckland is returning to transport powered by electricity as the railways of Auckland are converted from the old diesel/electric trains to modern electric ones.

Nostalgia / Household - $1.20
It is amazing that television has only been part of our lives since the 1960s. Before then, the radio played an important role, as did the Woman’s Weekly, to entertain the family and ensure they maintained contact with the ‘outside world’. Founded in 1932, the New Zealand Woman's Weekly recently celebrated 90 years of readership.
In my post on the decade of the 1950s I talked about Aunt Daisy, a radio broadcaster who filled the airwaves with everything from useful household hints to home-grown philosophy from 1936 to 1963. See my post 1995 - Second Heritage Series - Emerging Years 1950s.

Nostalgia / Collectables - $1.50
New Zealanders collected then, just like they collect today. The range of collectibles is now far greater, from phonecards to Kinder Surprise toys, but the time-honoured favourites like stamps, postcards and coins always was a popular and enjoyable hobby.
One of writers of the blog Mary, has a stamp collection that was started by her grandfather and continued by her father. Today she continues collecting, adding new items each year. Compared to my little collection her one is massive with its strength in the early issues. From a time, as mentioned above when stamp collecting was much more popular than it is today.

See our collection of Capt. Cook stamps - Captain Cook Stamps of New Zealand.

 Nostalgia / Gardening - $1.80
We have always been a nation of gardeners. This is probably something left over from the 1930s Great Depression and 1940s War time shortages. Then a garden was essential, a means of growing food for the family. This love of gardening brings with it memories of items we all knew and loved. (Well maybe not loved when I was told to mow the lawn but you know what I mean.) 
Leading the market, the origins of Yates, dates back to 1879 and the arrival of a Mr Arthur Yates in New Zealand. Whilst working on farms in those first years, he saw the opportunity for supplying seeds locally and established Arthur Yates & Co Ltd in 1883. Meanwhile, our most famous mower had its origins in 1910 when Reuben Porter and Harold Mason went into business together as Mason & Porter. In 1930, Masport (as it is now known) launched its first hand-push mower, the Cleveland. Today a Masport is sitting in my shed waiting to cut the grass this afternoon.

The First Day Cover.
 I've just had a close look at the First Day Cover, wondering what I am going to write about it. Sure it has all six stamps of this issue, it also has an interesting cancelation showing a stop watch. But neither of these were what caught my attention; it was the photo, appearing like those old black and white photos we all used to have, this one showing school children sitting, drinking their daily drink of milk. See my post 1994 - Second Heritage Series - Emerging Years 1930s.
We did that at Waitakere Primary School during the early years I was there. Two older boys would bring the milk up from the milk box at the gate and deliver a crate to each classroom. The teacher would poke through the cap of each bottle with her pencil so we could insert our straw and drink. The thought comes to mind now of graphic poisoning from the pencil but, it didn't seem to matter back then.

Technical information:-

          Date of Issue:
10 March 1999
Siren Communications Ltd, Wellington, New Zealand
Southern Colour Print, New Zealand
          Stamp Size:
44mm x 28mm; Miniature Sheet Size: 165mm x 90mm
          Sheet Size:
100 stamps per sheet
          Perforation Gauge:     
          Paper Type:
103 gsm red phosphor coated

Millennium Series III.                       Millennium Series V.

Some of the images in this post were used with permission from the illustrated catalogue of StampsNZ
You can visit their web site and On-line Catalogue at,  


  1. I enjoyed this story. Lots of memories.

  2. Ha! Ha! Allan.
    You are not telling the complete truth here. I am told you have a whole shed full of junk - or sorry I mean treasures. LOL

  3. Thanks for your comment SS. Glad you enjoyed this post.

    As for you Anne. My 'junk' is full of my treasures. That is what nostalgia is all about. Some people just keep the memories while others keep things to remind them of the memories. Either way its all the same.
    Finally Anne, one more question; Who told you about my shed?

    1. Anne, I think it is a guy thing. They all collect lots of junk!

    2. No it isn't Kirsten. I know you women collect stuff too.

  4. Loved what you had to say here Allan.
    As we get older our memories are important. Your dear old mother would have known that. I sure you do to.
    As for the collecting junk comments; they will see it one day.