NIUAFO'OU

Niuafo’ou (Tin Can Island) is the most northerly island of the Kingdom of Tonga. Starting in 1921 Stuart Ramsay introduced a mail system in Niuafo’ou using tin cans whereby mail was put into a tin can and taken by a swimmer to the monthly steamer transiting in the area. Ramsay left the island in 1932 and his rival, Walt Quensell, expanded the system and enhanced the look of the mail by applying multi-lingual and colorful cachets to the tin can mail. Proper postage stamps for the island have been issued since 1983. The first series depicted a map of the island, followed, that same year by a set depicting birds. Most of the themes depicted on Niuafo’ou’s stamps have local relevance and are very attractive.

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