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The full index of our ship stamp archive


Postby aukepalmhof » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:03 am

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Fourth installment of the stamp series dedicated to iconic steamships in New Caledonia, this 110 XPF stamp issue, designed by Jean-Jacques Mahuteau, shows POLYNÉSIE, a station ship which sailed the Australia - New Caledonia - New Hebrides route from 1954 to 1975.

Built at the Dubigeon shipyards in Nantes, POLYNÉSIE was a small passenger-cargo liner with a length of 104.5 m and a beam of 15 m, fitted with a 6-cylinder two-stroke engine; she left Marseille en route for Noumea on 13 June 1954. Averaging a speed of 15 knots, POLYNÉSIE had a freight capacity of 4,165 m3 and cabin accommodation for 36 passengers. She sailed the regular 21-day route between Sydney, Noumea and Port Vila.

Passengers particularly enjoyed the cheerful atmosphere which reigned on board thanks to the ship’s 9 French Navy staff members, 37 crew members and 63 stevedores, some of whom had played in a small island orchestra. And the cook was delighted to cook and serve up fish caught by passengers during the crossing. The attractively illustrated stamp sheet shows some of the job specialisms on board the ship.

POLYNÉSIE sailed her regular route without incident until August 1972. In 1973, she was caught up in a boycott against French nuclear testing at Mururoa which led to her being immobilised in Australia for five months. In July 1975, POLYNÉSIE came to the aid of VAUCLUSE, stranded in Boulari channel, and in December of the same year she was sold in Singapore and rechristened GOLDEN GLORY.
The former station ship ended her career at a ship breaking yard in Taiwan in 1979. This new stamp issue, date-stamp, first day cover and accompanying illustrated sheet breathe fresh life into wistful memories of the brave ship POLYNÉSIE. ... -polynesie

More on her is given on:

Built as a passenger-cargo-reefer vessel under yard No 752 by S.A. Des Anciens Chantiers Dubigeon, Nantes for Cie des Messageries Maritimes, Marseilles.
17 September 1954 launched as the POLYNESIE.
Tonnage 3,709 grt, 1,912 net, 2,734 dwt, dim. 104.8 x 15.0m.
Powered by one B&W 6-cyl. diesel engine, 3,600 hp, speed 15 knots.
Accommodation for 36 passengers.
May 1955 completed.

She was a small intermediate passenger-cargo vessel special built for the Pacific services of Messageries Maritimes.
She was the last of fourteen passenger vessels, all built in France for the post-war renovation programme of this company.

1976 Sold to Guan Guan Shipping Pte. Ltd, Singapore, renamed GOLDEN GLORY, under Singapore flag and registry.

14 June 1979 arrived Kaohsiung, Taiwan for scrapping.
23 June 1979 work commenced, broken up by Gi Yuen Steel Enterprise Co. Ltd.

New Caledonia 2019 110 FR, sg?, scott?
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