Tasmania.
Telegraph Offices on King Island.


King Island is part of the New Year Group of islands to the north west of the north west tip of Tasmania. It is about km from Point Grim and close to half way between Tasmania and Victoria. The area of King Island is about 1098 km2

There are three other small islands in the group - New Year Island, Christmas Island and Councillor Island.

The four main settlements on King Island are: Cape Wickham, Currie, Egg Lagoon, Grassy and Narracoopa. Cape Wickham has Australia's tallest lighthouse (48 m).

An excellent review of the nature and isolation of Kimg Island is given in the Launceston Daily Telegraph of 4 June 1906.

The first submarine telegraphic cable from Tasmania to Victoria operated via King Island in 1859 before failing partly because of the rocky sea bottom around the island (see elsewhere for details). Another telegraphic cable operated through King Island from 1936 to 1963.

Wireless telecommunication was expected soon after Federation. The Launceston Examiner of 23 June 1908 noted:

"Great interest is taken in every item found in the newspapers that has a bearing on telegraphic communication, either wireless or cable, with this island. It is now some years since the matter was first mooted, and our urgent need brought under the notice of the authorities; but we seem to drift on in the same old way, relying on assurances that seem to be never realised".

The Daily Post in Hobart noted on 12 December 1908 that "the residents are also looking forward to the establishment of the wireless telegraph". AWA constructed one of the three Tasmanian Coastal Radio Stations on King Island.

A post office opened on 1 June 1892 as King's Island and operated until 1903 when it changed name to King Island. In 1917, the location was called Currie. Other official Post Offices were opened on King Island with telegraphic facilities at:

Other localities of King Island are Bungaree, Loorana, Lymwood, Nugara, Pegarah, Reekara, Sea Elephant, Surprise Bay, Wickham and Yarra Creek.

Currie.

A Telegraph Office was opened on King Island in 1892.

The Launceston Daily Telegraph noted on 18 August 1916 that King Island "now ... has wireless communication with the mainland ...". That was a reference to the construction of the AWA Coastal Radio Station.

 

Four datestamps were used in the Post & Telegraph Office:

  1. King's Island from 1892 to 1903.
 
  1. King Island from 1903 to 1917 with the 'S removed from the original date stamp.

Used:

Diameter: 24 mm.

Rated: RR.

 

King Island
4 January 1917.
  1. Currie with KING IS at the base.

 

Used: 1 January 1929 to 11 October 1949.

Diameter: 28 mm.

Rated: RR.

 

KGV 1929
1 January 1929.
 
  Currie 1949
11 October 1949.
  1. Currie with TAS AUST at the base.
 
Egg Lagoon.

A Telegraph Office was opened

 

 

Egg Lagoon

Grassy.

The Telegraph Office was opened in 1918 and operated until 1935. It was then reopened and operated from 1943 to 1991.

 
  Grassy 1959
21 February 1959.
Lymwood.

A very small community on the island - now famous for its natural honey.

Used: 6 October 1952 to 15 January 1955.

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Lymwood 1952
6 October 1952.

Strike on 6d Kookaburra affixed to a telegram piece.

 

Lymwood 1955
15 January 1955.
Naracoopa.

The Telegraph Office was opened

 

 

No special date stamp for telegrams was issued to Naracoopa. Instead the usual postal date stamp was used on telegrams.

Used:

Diameter: 30 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

 

Naracoopa
3 May 1949.
Pearshape.

The Telegraph Office was opened