Monday, 23 May 2016
Rarotonga Cook Islands
Only spent a couple of days in Rarotonga the main island in the Cook Islands. The weather was a little windy but since I was spending 2 weeks in the islands I did not mind. My first port of call was the Post ofifice. Since last year the Post office in the Cook Islands is now known as bluesky.
It involves Mail, Phone, TV and mobile products. So you will no longer see Post any more , this just happens to be the old sign they have not taken down.
Elizabeth as seen here is the manager of the office. We had a great chat and I learned a lot about the postal and philatelic services here.
The Bureau as per the third photo closed last year. So the post office only has stamps and no sets or philatelic products in any post office. Collectors or tourists who want stamps for collection are told to write to the agent which is based in the USA. All stamps issued in the Cooks Islands are approved locally by a committee which includes Elizabelth
The stamps on sale when I was here was a complete mix and included stamps from Aitutaki and Cook Islands. No Rarotonga or Penryhn stamps were on sale or availalble. Penryhn stamps are only sold at the Bluesky office in Penryhn .
On the question of philatelic mail .When the bureau was open mail was sent in there and dealt with . Most of the philatelic mail is sent back to the USA agent for processing. The Post office in Rarotonga does not have any postmarks or stamp mail for Penryhn or Aitutaki.
So it is likely that while the bureau was in business they did postmarked Aitutaki and Penryhn mail for philatelic purposes. I suspect that mail may even be postmarked in the USA for collectors as no flirst day covers ever reach the islands or are ever postmarked in these locations.
Currently the situation is that the Bureau is due to reopen next year or late this year and philatelic mail is being held at the Post office and not being sent to the agent.
A lot of the new Cook Isalnd stamps I brought with me to the Post office Elizabeth has not seen in use and they themselves have not received the issues yet. It is likely that many of the stamps never reach the Post offices in the Cooks Islands