In 1917, a prisoner of war in Belgium named Ross sent a postcard to Zena Ross, of Main St in Palmerston North.
This piece of correspondence from a New Zealand Expeditionary Force solider will be one of many fascinating items on display at the Central Districts Stamps, Coins and Postcards Collectors Expo in Palmerston North on April 17.
Manawatū Philatelic Society member Colin Dyer has a collection of stamps from the Russian Civil War - each revolutionary group seemed to think they needed to produce stamps to have status, he says.
He has examples of when each New Zealand district or region had its own "cancel" stamp - Palmerston North's was a black Z.
Colin also has early telegrams with handwritten messages.
Among fellow society member Frank Sharp's collection of rare covers is an 1863 envelope addressed in te reo Māori to the recipient in Paneke (Pōneke).
The director of professional programmes at Massey University's School of Aviation started collecting stamps as a school boy. The pace of his collecting slowed when he was studying and raising a family but the interest remained.
"The beauty of stamps is you can do it with a very modest budget or, if you are able to, you can spend as much as you can afford," Frank says.
It's a hobby you can pick up and put down and do at your own pace.
Other expo displays will include astrophilately, letters from the 18th century, humorous postcards with a medical theme and Japanese greeting cards.
Last year's expo was postponed from April until October because of lockdown then cancelled when the Covid-19 alert levels increased.
"This year's event will fill a vacuum of anticipated interest," Colin says.
People come from as far afield as Wellington, Hawke's Bay and Taranaki.
This year there will be sales tables from 13 dealers, up from 5-7 previously, as well as from six philatelic societies.
Colin says when he tells people he's interested in stamps they often say they have their father's collection or they collected stamps when they were a kid. People can bring their collection to be appraised.
In the afternoon, Hutt Valley Philatelic Society members Leigh Gravestock and Brian Vincent will respectively talk about New Zealand stamp exhibitions 1938-2000 and Sikkim - formerly a Himalayan kingdom.
One visitor will win an early New Zealand tuppence stamp and Heartland Lions will run a cafe.
The expo is organised by the Manawatū Philatelic Society, which was established in 1922.
What: Central Districts Stamps, Coins and Postcards Collectors Expo
When: Saturday, April 17, 9.30am-4pm
Where: Palmerston North Community Leisure Centre
Tickets: Free entry