Sunday, 27 April 2014

School Days

2001 - "Outback Services"

Sometimes called the "largest classroom in the world" the Australian School of the Air celebrated its 50th Anniversary with this stamp and maximum card.  Originally the school produced 3 sessions a week on it own radio frequency with teacher broadcasting from 2 studios in a purpose built school for children in remote areas of Australia.  Teachers travelled thousands of miles each year visiting each one of their students.  In 1992 the service expanded to include television content, then research on the world wide web  in 1995 but still the radio remained the most important tool.  The last HF radio lesson was conducted in 2005 and now the service has interactive distance learning via satellite broadband internet.

I can remember as a child being fascinated by the School of the Air as it occasionally featured in stories of the outback.  I would have loved this little corner of study especially if Skippy the Kangaroo was hopping around outside trying to warn me someone had fallen down the mine.  Of course it might have been trumped by the other schooling fascination, boarding school and midnight feasts - a staple of comic strips.
2012: World of Comics

My grandfather used to buy me a Bunty and a Barley Stick every Saturday. The latter was a stick of barley candy with a core of chocolate, bliss.  I've never seen them in modern day sweet shops even the retro type. The Bunty stamp  (bottom left) features the Four Marys of St Elmo's Boarding School drawn by Barrie Mitchell which ran the life of the Bunty magazine from 1958-2001.
Returning to Australia they honoured books in the Picture Book of the Year category of the Book Council Awards which had become contemporary classics.  The 1996 postmark of Riddells Creek is because it was home to the Dromkeen Museum of Children's Literature which was housed in a 19th Century homestead. Since the FDC it has been relocated to the state library of Victoria in January 2013 although there will still be exhibitions at Dromkeen itself.  I'm not familiar with any of the books on the stamps but
lets take a look. From Left to Right is - 1) Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen. A rhyming book about 5 friends, a donkey, a cow, sheep, pig and mouse go for a boat ride  and enter the boat from biggest to smallest each one lowering the boat in the water.  I wonder which one will sink the boat?  2) John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat about a widow and her sheepdog John Brown 3) Greetings from Sandy Beach by Bob Graham about a camping trip and lastly 4) Animalia by Graham Base, an illustrated A-Z of animals with poems and other objects of the letters of the alphabet, plus the author hides a picture of himself as a child in each illustration.

Well the sun is up so its time to stop reading go outside and play:
1972: Health Stamps
These are from a decades long series of 'Health Stamps' issued by New Zealand post each year which fund holiday relief for children with nutritional and minor physical problems, first issued in 1929.
1969: Health Stamps
Maybe these potential New Zealand cricketers will play for the national team, the Black Caps, or the women's cricket team, The White Ferns named from the New Zealand sporting emblem.

An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps theme - Of Children or For Children here


Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

You have a superb selection of stamps once again!

I remember Bunty only too well, and my cousin donated all his old copies of the Eagle to me when he'd finished with them. However my barley stick had no chocolate centre. I feel cheated.

Bob Scotney said...

I don't remember ever having seen those comic stamps; come to that I don't remember half the comics either. But of those you've shown the Health stamps from New Zealand stand out for me.

Postcardy said...

I wonder whether the Australian School of the Air internet content is available to anybody.

The New Zealand stamps reminded me of the Health Stamps cover I posted a few years ago:

Lisa B said...

A fantastic selection! I totally missed the comic stamps, otherwise I would have definitely bought those to use.

viridian said...

A wonderful array of stamps! It's reminding me how insular the USA is in some ways. I don't know any of these comics, or the books from Australia, or how to play cricket! thank you for joining in this week.

luvlinens said...

I loved the School of the Air History.

VioletSky said...

I remember learning about the Australian School of the Air and being fascinating about the process.
I've heard of most of those comics, but don't think I've actually ever read any!

Scriptor Senex said...

Oooh, barley sticks. I had forgotten all about them. I adored them. My brother got The Eagle and I got the Dandy and/or The Beano.

♥ Willa ♥ said...

Kids playing! always a treat to behold.Thanks to electronic gadget, you can't seem much of them nowadays.

Willa @ Postage Journal

Heleen said...

Australia has a lot of beautiful maximum cards. I love this one of the studying child!
Also the others are beautiful (I love comics and illustrations!). Thank you for sharing!

Hawwa Ma said...

I have recently "discovered" the School of the Air. I guessed that it existed a stamp of it!
I have received some of the comic stamps.
You have a wonderful collection!