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Christmas Island
Postal History

Postal History
Faeroese Postal History 
Hungarian Hyperinflation
Soviet-Lithuania 1947-90
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Dutch Silver Stamp 
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Christmas Island 
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Christmas Island is a dependency of Australia, in the Indian Ocean, south of the western tip of Java. The island is mainly a plateau about 300 m (about 1000 ft) above sea level. The chief industry is the mining of phosphate rock. However, as the phosphate reserves begin to dwindle, the government is encouraging the development of tourism. The population is made up of Chinese, Malays, and a lesser number of Europeans. The island was annexed by Britain in 1888 and was incorporated in the Straits Settlements colony the following year. In 1900 it was made part of the Settlement of Singapore. During World War II (1939-1945), the island was occupied by the Japanese. It was transferred to Australian administration in 1958. Area, 135 sq km (52 sq mi); population (1993) 2,500.

  • Map of Christmas Island and its location in the Indian Ocean.  Scan by courtesy of Rodney Cork  (Australia). 

  • Australia 1999.  FDC-cancellation from Christmas Island Australia 8798.  Scan by courtesy of Claus Mortensen (Denmark). 

Commercially used copies of the Santa-stamps

  • Christmas Island 2000.  Santa bathing his tired feet, before taking summer leave.

  • Christmas Island 2000.  Santa on Christmas Island, surrounded by exotic birds, preparing Christmas presents.

  • Christmas Island 1999.  Santa riding a dolphin's tail, dropping Christmas parcels down to all children.  The stamp is the same as shown on the above left card. 

The booklet gives a brief survey of the island's postal history:  

Booklet scans by courtesy of Rodney Cork (Australia). 

Christmas Island (Australia) should not be mixed up with Christmas Island (Kiritimati), part of the republic of Kiribati, an atoll in the central Pacific Ocean. One of the Line Islands, Kiritimati is the largest atoll in the world. The chief economic activity is the raising of coconuts. Explored in 1777 by Captain James Cook, it was annexed by Britain in 1888 and after 1919 was included in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands dependency. The atoll was an air base of the United States during World War II (1939-1945) and served as a base for British nuclear tests in 1957 and 1958 and for U.S. nuclear tests in 1962. It was included in the Gilbert Islands dependency from 1976 to 1979, when the dependency became independent, as Kiribati. Area, 610 sq km (240 sq mi); population (1990) 2,537. 


Revised 02 nov 2006 
Copyright © by Ann Mette Heindorff
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