A monkey-like stamp

A long time ago I had seen a cancellation stamp with a monkey, more specificly a monkey on a motorcycle, and where do you find something like that??? Such an image keeps on wandering around in your mind and then suddenly you see it again. And for sale! So I took my wallet and bought it for my collection.

Envelopes with Monkey stamp

The stamp is put on a specially made envelope from a Philatelic club. The other information learns me something about the place and reason of use.

Envelope with stamp of the Brass Monkey Rally

On the envelope we see a rally-logo of the O.M.C.C. Brass Monkey Rally, Oturehua 1990. So I opened the laptop to look for information.

Stamp of the monkey on a motor from Oturehua

Oturehua appears to be a place in the southern part of New Zealand. I already expected that it was a place in New Zealand, because of the used stamp from the 1986 series with antique motorcycles, but what was the Brass Monkey Rally? It appeared to be a motorcycle camping rally, held in the first weekend of June. On that side of the world that is comparable to December in The Netherlands: very cold thus. Add to this the fact that this place is located somewhat up on a mountain, and you can already feel the shivering.
But why the name Brass Monkey Rally? In the shipping world this expression is used to denote that it is so cold, that the brass rack used to store the old-fashioned canon-balls on deck could freeze to pieces. In the case of the motorcycle rally the name is derived from a statue of a brass monkey, used in New Zealand and surrounding islands, that looses its "manhood" at a temperature around minus 5 degrees Centigrade.

Brass Monkey statue

The Brass Monkey Rally is organized this year for the 31st time by the Otaga Motorcycle Club.

Logo of the organizing Otago MC
Logo of the organizing Otago MC

Pin of the Brass Monkey Rally
Pin of the Brass Monkey Rally

Unfortunately I had to learn from their website that the stamp I chased is not an official stamp. Monkey business thus! Well, it still is a nice item to have for a motorcycle enthusiast.

Hans de Kloet


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