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Robin M Startup

Robin M Startup [RDP, FRPSNZ, FRPSL] - 1933 - 2012

Such sad news from Jenny and Norman Banfield in New Zealand that Robin Startup died on 16th February 2012 – he had been unwell for some time.

Robin was without any doubt one of the outstanding scholars of New Zealand philately and especially of New Zealand postal history; his knowledge and understanding was profound. He was the author, or occasionally joint author, of over sixty books or monographs and over ninety other manuscripts or limited published works.

In professional life he was Director of Administration of a public hospital in New Zealand before he retired. While still at school he became interested in New Zealand postmarks and later the stories behind the post offices, their names, the carriage of mails and the postmasters.

Robin over many years had built a major New Zealand postal history collection and has researched extensively in the subject and its background, recording a considerable amount of the history of the postal services. He has written widely in sharing his discoveries as may be seen from his publications. He was Editor The Mail Coach, the journal of the Postal History Society of New Zealand, from 1964 to 1987, with over 2,000 articles published in this and many other publications.

His work was recognised by a Special Award from the Postal History Society of New Zealand, the Harry Cope Memorial Medal from the Forces Postal History Society, the Collins Award from The Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand, the New Zealand Philatelic Federation’s Award of Honour and later a special award from the same organisation. Robin was also awarded New Zealand 1990 Medal approved by Her Majesty The Queen, and at the 2000 FIP World Congress, Madrid was the recipient of the Research Medal of the Federation Internationale de Philatelie.

Robin was elected to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 2009. He was a Fellow of The Royal Philatelic Society London and of The Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand where he was the Honorary Archivist. For the Postal History Society of New Zealand, he was the Honorary Research Officer.

On a personal note, while we corresponded quite a lot, I only met Robin on a few occasions; I visited him and his sister Stancy at their home in Masterton with the late Liz and Allan Berry in 1999. Allan and I spent two days working with Robin on our joint work New Zealand and Dependencies – A Philatelic Bibliography. Robin’s major contribution was the section dealing with official publications which is about half of the text. These were splendid days and such fun and in the afternoon on the second day we all visited Castlepoint on the coast. It was a privilege to have known him.

To Robin’s sister, Stancy, we send our sincere condolences.

David Beech

(David R Beech, FRPSL, is Head of the Philatelic Collections at the British Library)

(taken from: )

With acknowledgements to David Beech and the Philatelic Database


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