Prominent Pitcairners - Part 2, Roy P. Clark

Roy P. Clark stamp strip
Roy P. Clark arrived on Pitcairn as a sixteen year old with his American father in 1909. For his father it was something of a return as he had been shipwrecked on Ducie in 1881 while sailing from to Ireland from San Francisco.

Roy Clark spent the next seventy-one years making his mark on the history of Pitcairn. With his life companion, May Coffin, whom he married in 1913, Roy’s influence on this small community was large. His contributions as a school-teacher, postmaster, avid writer and community and church elder were considerable. The Guide to Pitcairn states: " he is remembered as being widely read, a man of simple and upright character and a true gentleman". His many stories reflect an in-depth knowledge of the Island and Island life and these experiences are documented in several books and magazines. This was also evident in the area of philately where Roy was responsible for some well respected philatelic work, especially the design and production of First Day Covers during his time as postmaster.

One of Roy’s humorous postmaster letters appears in part in the Pitcairn Islands Study Group’s quarterly publication "Pitcairn Log" (April 2005), written in 1946 to a well-known collector (abbrev.):

"… There are quite a few collectors that send to this island for stamps. Mostly tho from British countries. Still there are a good few that send to Pitcairn for cancelled stamps from the States. We have orders (strictly too) from Fiji not to cancel stamps above the value of the postage and registration to country of destination. This is tough on collectors, and they do not like it, but to my friends this can be managed in an honest way. There is no regulation in
Roy P. Clark headstonemailing parcels to ourselves on the island, or to others here, and in doing so we can place a full set of stamps on the parcel and have them cancelled"….. " If a shilling stamp is placed on an envelope for mailing, I have no option but to cancel the stamp, tho it is far above the required postage. In this way we 'get one over on the Govt.' as it were".

Roy P. Clark died in May, 1980 and is buried on Pitcairn Island.

The following quote sums up the man and his life- long relationship with the Island:
"I love Pitcairn, and would gladly yield up my life to preserve its freedom that our forefathers created out of chaos and rebellion, so that the future offspring of our children can ever enjoy what our forbears left us".
Roy P. Clark FDC

Prominent Pitcairners - Part 2, Roy P. Clark
Please Note: All prices are in New Zealand Dollars
Stamp strip $7.50
First Day Cover with stamp strip $9.00
Gutter strip $15.00
Full Sheet of 6 sets.
(Save $7.50. Max 1)

Technical Details

Denise Durkin, Wellington, New Zealand
Pitcairn Stamps
proudly brought
to you by:
Bounty Post
Printer: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand
Process: Offset Litho
Stamp size: 36.9 mm x 37.5 mm vertical
Sheet Format: 4 stamps with central tab in two panes of 3 strips each
Perforation Gauge: 14.40 x 14.61
Denominations: $1.00, $1.50, $2.20 and $2.80
Paper: 104gsm Tullis Russell yellow-green phosphor paper
Period of Sale:
26 September 2012 for a period of 2 years

Acknowledgement:   The Philatelic Bureau wishes to thank the following contributors of photographs: $1.50 Image of Roy Clark used by permission of the Archives of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; Tab from Pawl Warren, Pitcairn Island and the remainder courtesy of Herb Ford, Pitcairn Islands Study Group, USA.