Western Australia: 1869-1988.
Telegraph Offices in the Kimberley region
.


The Kimberley region of Western Australia begins between Port Hedland and Broome and extends through Derby to Wyndham, Kununarra and Argyle and down to Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek. It has an area of 423,517 square kilometers (about three times the size of England or twice the size of Victoria).

Broome (Roebuck Bay).

The Telegraph Office - called then Cable House - opened as Roebuck Bay on 9 April 1889 to service the third Java-Australia cable. It handled the international telegraphic traffic (mainly from Western Australia with some inter-colonial messages as well) in addition to the inter-colonial Western Australia messages through the far north.

The change of name to Broome was effected in 1892.

NB: see also Tit Bit # 6.

Broome nowThe Broome Cable Station as it is now - as the Court House.

 

The major use of the Broome Electric Telegraph Station had been for the third Eastern Extension Company's cable from Java.

Cable House - as the Telegraph Office was called - became redundant when the cable was closed in 1905 and the Telegraph Office was merged into the Post Office building. By 1914, Eastern Extension decided to sell Cable House. Advertisements were placed as follows (e.g. Sunday Times (Perth) 12 April 1914):

BROOME! BROOME!

Tenders called closing Noon, 14th instant:
Office of Eastern Extension Telegraph Company, Moir Chambers, for CABLE HOUSE, all Outbuildings, and Free-hold Three Acres comprising Town Lot 99.

Centrally situated main street.

Tender should be accompanied with approved deposit two and a half per cent of amount tendered.
Further particulars may be obtained from the Superintendent.

 

Four types of date stamp were issued to Broome for use with telegraphs:
  1. Broome steel circle E.T.O. (SC1 - ETO) for use with the cable from Java in 1889.

Used: 11 July 1902 and 20 July 1911.

Diameter: 21 mm.

Rated: R.

Number in the Census: 40+

Broome 1902
11 July 1902.
Broome 1903
20 January 1903.

NOTE: the 1903 date stamps omitted the 0 for the decade.

  Broome 1908
15 May 1908.
Broome 1911
20 July 1911.
  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp (RO7 - P&TO):

Used: about 1909.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

   
  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp (RO4 - P&TO).

Used: 15 December 1913 to
31 January 1914.

Size: 28 × 43 mm(e = 0.76).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Censu: 2.

Dec 1913
15 December 1913.
Broome RO4 1914
31 January 1914.
  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Department date stamp (RO7 - P&TD).

Size:

Used: about 1923.

Rated: RRRR.

   

Derby.

The Post Office opened in Derby in June 1884. The combined Post & Telegraph Office opened on 3 April 1889.

NB: see also Tit Bit # 6.

A rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp (RO2-P&TO) was issued to the Office:

Used: about 1975.

Size:

Rated: RR.

 
Fitzroy Crossing.

According to Gary Watson, an office called Fitzroy was opened in January 1891. It was soon downgraded to a Telegraph Office on 1 September 1892 and renamed Fitzroy Crossing in 1907.

The office was (possibly) issued with two types of rubber oval date stamp.

  1. RO6 - TO.

Used: about 1898;

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

 
  1. RO2 - P&TO.

Used: about 1901.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

 

Fitzroy RO2 TO
Fitzroy River Telegraph Office.
13 June 1898.
RO6 - TO.

Not previously recorded.

Prestige Philately February 2013 Lot 1384. Gary writes "The earliest recorded datestamp is 'FITZROY' of 3 July 1901. So the oval date stamp above is either an earlier Fitzroy marking or, more likely, it indicates that the office was originally called Fitzroy River".

Fitzroy Sturt
Fitzroy Crossing.
5 August 1930.

The usual postal date stamp on a pair of 1½d Sturt commemoratives.

Halls Creek.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 1 September 1892. A Post Office had previously been opened in March 1891.

A rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office (RO7-P&TO) was issued to the Office:

Used: about 1898.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 

Lagrange Bay.

A Telegraph Office was opened on 9 April 1889.

Located on the north-eastern end of 80 Mile Beach.

No special date stamp was issued to the Office for use with telegrams.

Early postal date stamps were inscribed LAGRANGE without the BAY.

Wyndham.

Daily News 12 March 1886: "We were officially apprised yesterday that Mr. Price, the new Government Resident at Cambridge Gulf, had selected Wyndham as the name of the new township in that district. Now the name of Wyndham was given to a township on the Kalgan River, not far from the head of Oyster Harbor, many years before Mr. Price was born. This reckless system of nomenclature is sure to give rise to much confusion in the future".

In February 1893, H. W. Birch was promoted to be Post and Telegraph Master at Wyndham.

On 25 May 1896, William Bannerman rushed into the Telegraph Office at Wyndham and shot the operator (Edward Geo. Worth). Bannerman received two years hard labour for manslaughter.

Two date stamps are recorded as having been issued to Wyndham for use with telegraphs:

  1. RO2 - P&TO oval rubber date stamp.

Size: 27 × 42 mm (e = 0.77).

Used: about 1898.

Rated: RRRR.

 
  1. RO2 - P&TO oval rubber date stamp.

Size: 31 × 53 mm (e = 0.81).

Used: about 1946 in violet.

Rated: RRRR.