On Botswana Government Service Envelopes

Official mail in Botswana is usually sent in envelopes with an imprint indicating that the item is being sent “On Botswana Government Service” or “On Botswana Postal Service”.  In addition to the imprint, the envelopes also need to have a handstamp on them that indicates information about the organization sending them and containing the words “Official Free” (see my webpages on Botswana Official Free Marks for more information on these handstamps).

The development of this typology on the  “On Botswana Government Service” or “On Botswana Postal Service” was motivated and inspired by the research that John Inglefield-Watson and Peter described in their book The Postal Stationery of the Bechuanalands and Botswana, published the British Philatelic Trust in conjunction with the Bechuanalands and Botswana Society in 2004.

The On Botswana Government Service envelopes did not require security printing and were therefore produced by many suppliers without a common standard. This has resulted in a very wide variety of covers creating a challenging environment in which to create an easily usable typology.

The typology that I have developed for these envelopes is described in a series of articles that I have published in Forerunners, the Journal of the Philatelic Society of Greater Southern Africa. 

Errata to this article: The reference to Figure 10 in the second last paragraph on page should be to Figure 11.

Article 1a: Botswana Government Printed Envelopes: Update-Forerunners 96.

This article illustrates additions to the typology of ‘On Botswana Government Service’ (OBGS) envelopes described issue 89 of the PSGSA journal.

This article illustrates additions to the typology  and corrections to the article on Bechuanaland Government and Botswana Telegraph Envelopes in issue #91 of the PSGSA journal.

Article 5: A Botswana Economy Label-Forerunners 97

This article describes a label inscribed with “Economy Label” and “On Botswana Government Service” that was likely applied to a re-used envelope.

Article 6: OHMS Post Office Savings Bank Envelope-Forerunners 101