Australia - War and recovery years: 1940-1957.
1954 Congratulations Telegram: AW-GC-54.

 
General characteristics:

Heading and notes: Form Number T.G. 42G.
Heading is CONGRATULATIONS.
Message area: Blank.
Reverse side: Blank.
Colours (text & form): Multicolour on cream.
Size of form overall: 151 × 203 mm.
Distinctive characteristics of this form:
 

When the ornamental delivery forms were reintroduced in 1953 after the War and the subsequent difficulties - including paper shortages - were overcome, new designs were introduced. In 1953, a new design was issued for the Christmas Greetings (AW-GX-53). Then, in 1954, new designs were issued for Congratulations and for general Social Greetings (AW-GS-54).

The announcement in the Post Office Monthly Circular for April 1954 was:

11. New Telegram Forms:- Following the successful introduction of new, gaily coloured ornamental Christmas and New year telegraph greetings forms at the end of last year, two other new forms for use on special occasions will be available to the public at an early date. The two new forms are for messages of congratulations and general social greetings respectively.

Release date appears to have been Monday 28 June 1954 as numerous newspapers carried announcements such as the following in that week:

"A new, telegram form of ornamental design for conveying messages of congratulations was brought into use this week, the Deputy-Director of Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. C. G. Friend) said yesterday (2 July). This was the third type of decorative telegraph stationery introduced in recent months. The others were for Christmas and Social greetings".

There was no matching delivery envelope.

GCF-54A AW-GCF-54A.

Eastwood to Erina, NSW
(3 September 1954).

Characteristics:

  • writing near the bell ringer's knee is bright red;
  • bird has chest divided horizontally into two colours - red and orange;
  • scalloped decorations in the bell ringer's hat are poorly formed;
  • join of the two blue lines at the bottom of the heading is above the"R" of "ORIGIN" and has a very short extension;
GCF-54B AW-GCF-54B.

Adelaide to Strathalbyn, SA
(4 October 1955).

Characteristics:

  • writing near the bell ringer's knee is maroon;
  • bird has chest with a less distinct division into two colours - red and orange;
  • scalloped decorations in the bell ringer's hat are well formed and complete;
  • join of the two blue lines at the bottom of the heading is above the"RI" of "ORIGIN" and has a longer extension towards the right.
GCF-54 AW-GCF-54 (specimen).

Unused form of type GCF-54B (has maroon writing) with very large CANCELLED handstamp (the letters are 14 mm high).

This form would almost certainly have been used either as a specimen example or as an advertising example.

Details of use and rarity.

Form
sub-number
Schedule number Earliest recorded date Rarity rating
GCF-54A None. 3 September 1954 at Erina. R used.
GCF-54B None. 4 October 1955 at Strathalbyn, SA. NC used.
GCF-54 (Spec) None Not applicable. RRR