A first-day cover is a postage stamp on a cover, franked on the first day that the stamp is authorised for use. First Day Covers are also produced to commemorate events with a design on the left side of the envelope (a “cachet”) explaining the event or anniversary being celebrated.
To commemorate the RNZAOC Corps Day in 1978, Military Covers of Christchurch produced two First Day Covers for the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC).
Based on a standard postal envelop the RNZAOC First day cover consisted of an RNZAOC themed Cachet on the left-hand side. The Cachet consists of the RNZAOC Badge set in a square divided into four quarters, each illustrating aspects of the RNZAOC.
- Top left – the Crest of the Board of Ordnance e representing the British military heritage of the RNZAOC
- Top Right – A warehouse forklift representing the warehousing responsibilities of the RNZAOC
- Bottom right – Lcpl/Cpl Gina Pirikahu in the Machine Room at 1 Base Ordnance Depot Trentham, Operating an NCR Accounting Machine, representing the advanced accounting systems utilised by the RNZAOC at the time.
- Bottom left – A display of ammunition representing that ammunition management which is a key RNZAOC responsibility.
The RNZAOC First Day Cover uses a 1 and 2 Cent Stamp that was designed for use with ‘Coin-in-slot’ machines, and 5 and 10 cent stamps designed for use in ‘postafix’ machines. The stamps are simple ones with a left-hand side profile of Queen Elizabeth II, the stamps were coloured as follows
- 1 Cent – Violet on White
- 2 Cent – Orange on white
- 5 Cent – Brown on white
- 10 Cent – Blue on white
Issued for use on the 13th of June 1978, the 1, 2 and 5 cent stamps were phased out after only five months due to increases in postal rates.
Two franking marks are used on the RNZAOC First Day cover.
The first franking mark is an RNZAOC stamp based on the RNZAOC Badge, with “CORPS DAY” printed above the badge. Below the badge is the continuity Number AZAFC 16 and “ROYAL NEW ZEALAND ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS”
NZAFC is used on all NZ Military First Day Covers up to 1979 with a different number allocated for each unit. Covers after 1979 use NZFPO.
The second franking mark is a for Trentham Camp, New Zealand and is dated 12 July 1978.
The RNZAOC First Day Cover with the 2 and 10 Cent stamp was signed by;
- Brigadier A.H Andrews, CBE. Colonel Commandant of the RNZAOC, 1 April 1969 to 30 September 1977
- Lieutenant Colonel J Harvey, MBE. Colonel Commandant of the RNZAOC, 1 October 1977 to 31 March 1979
Another version of the The RNZAOC First Day Cover with the 1 and 10 Cent stamp was signed by;
- Lieutenant Colonel A.J Campbell, Director of Ordnance Services, 7 December 1976 to 9 April 1979
The RNZAOC First Day Covers were issued with insert cards detailing the history of the RNZAOC up to 1977.
Examples of similar New Zealand Military Covers
Copyright © Robert McKie 2018