Join the Ship Stamp Society and get 6 issues of LogBook for just £12!

The Ship Stamp Society website has has a facelift. Click HERE to take a look at our new improved website where you can view past Editions of LogBook and subscribe to get full access to future editions for just £12 per year!


Ship Stamp Society


The full index of our ship stamp archive


Postby shipstamps » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:54 pm

Click image to view full size

Click image to view full size

Click image to view full size
Built as a cargo-passenger vessel R&W Hawthorn Leslie and Co. Ltd., Hebburn-on-Tyne, for the Union Steamship Company, New Zealand.
25 March 1936 launched under the name MATUA.
4.166 gross, 2.107 net. 3.112dwt., dim. 108.26 x 15.39 x 6.63m.
Two sets 6-cyl. Armstrong-Sulzer diesel engines, 4.700bhp., speed 16.6 knots, trial speed 17.03 knots. Twin screws.
Passenger accommodation for 39 one-class passengers, 45 deck passengers. One interisland voyages in the tween-decks and on deck several hundred natives could be carried.
Four holds, two for general cargo the other two were insulated for the carriage of tropical fruits and other perishables.
Her hull first painted white, after World War II green. (it looks the stamps have the wrong hull color.)
Port of registry Wellington.

When the economic situation improved in the Pacific the MATUA was ordered by the Union Steamship Company for the liner service to the Pacific Islands from New Zealand.
11 August 1936 she arrived for the first time in Auckland after her delivery voyage.
Then put in the service from Auckland to Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.
15 September 1936 she ran aground on an uncharted reef at Aitutaki, which caused severe bottom damage, and also her rudder and the port propeller were damaged.
She got free again and limped back to Auckland with a speed of 9 knots, with only her starboard engine in use and a foresail and jib rigged to assist with steering. The voyage took her ten days.
January 1937 tonnage altered to 4.193 gross and 2.112 net.
During World War II she carried a four inch gun, but was kept in the island service, sometimes carried small contingents of troops to the islands.

December, she was refitted her passenger accommodation was increased to 69, and her hull painted green, with a gold band. Tonnage increased to 4.250 gross, 2.126 net.
During 1952 she was used for five weeks as a ferry between Wellington and Lyttelton in New Zealand, the regular vessels sailing this route got an overhaul.
After these five weeks she was put again in the island service till the middle of 1968.
27 July 1968 she sailed from Auckland for the last time in the island service, returning again in Auckland on 13 August 1968. Altogether she made 391 voyages.
After discharging she was laid up at Auckland, and two months later she was sold.
17 October 1968 she was taken over at Auckland by E.K. Litojua Steamship Co Inc, (K Shipping Co., Inc.) Manila, renamed SULTAN KL.
24 October sailed from Auckland for service in the waters around the Philippines.
During a hurricane in Manila harbour in 1969 she grounded, and was damaged beyond repair.
1970 Sold to Taiwan shipbreakers, which refloated her and towed the SULTAN KL to Kaohsiung, Taiwan for scrapping.

Source: gives more info on the ship.

Cook islands 1949 3s sg 159, scott 140
Fiji 1980, 45c sg598
Niuafo’ou 1985 47s sg59B, 1996 45s sg 256 and sg261.
Samoa 1971 22s sg363, scott 342. 1984 $1 sg 676
Tonga 1953 2s sg109, 1962 8d sg124, 1967 6s on 8d sg190, 8s on 8d sg235, 8s on 8d sg265, 1969 4s on 8d sg276, 1971 3s on 8d sg355

Source Passenger Ships of Australia and New Zealand by Peter Plowman.
A Century of Style by N.H.Brewer.
Site Admin
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:12 pm


Postby D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:22 pm

Click image to view full size
matua z.jpg
Click image to view full size
Click image to view full size
Click image to view full size
(Cook Islands 1949, 3 sh. StG.159; Niuafo'ou 1985, 1p.50, StG.59B; Tonga 1961 4 d. StG.106, 8 d. StG.109)
D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen
Posts: 845
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:46 pm


Postby aukepalmhof » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:00 am

1962 MATUA Wharf-Nuku-alofa.jpg
Click image to view full size
Tonga 1962 8d sg 124, scott?
Posts: 6714
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am

Return to Ship Stamps Collection

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: aukepalmhof and 93 guests