Australian FDC Guide

An illustrated guide to Australian First Day Covers.

ACCA & Parade Covers (Gower and McCallum) 1962-1971

This page is a summary of the covers made by John Gower and Perce McCallum under the ACCA and later Parade brands.

The material in this page is a summary of the information in the "Australian First Day Covers" guide by Michael Moore, Colleen Wooley and Frank Pauer, and by analysis of the covers in my collection.

You can see all ACCA/Parade Covers in the DB, or use the Search page for a more detailed search.

John Gower and ACCA

John Gower had been producing covers for many years under various brands (including Wesley Cover Service, WCS) and provided cover services for other cachetmakers. On 5th March 1962 he established the Australian Cover Collector's Society, a non-profit business dedicated to FDC collecting. It aimed to produce lower-cost covers than had been available in the past.

Gower's magazine, Philatelic Covers, was being printed by McCallum Limited, owned by Perce McCallum, located at 60 (The) Parade, Norwood, South Australia. That address would become relevant later.

McCallum Printers started producing covers in Jul 1962. The first issue was the McDougal Stuart issue and is the first ACCA Cover.

Centenary of Stuart's Overland Crossing - 25 Jul 1962

As was to be the pattern of McCallum covers it contained multiple bright colours, with colour variations of the cachet available. These covers were advertised as being "Printed for the Australian Cover Collector's Society" in the second issue of Philatelic Covers, so the brand is considered created by John Gower.

Parade Covers

John Gower passed away in Jan 1966. However Perc McCallum continued to produce covers in the same style. With the Lions issue in 1967, he started using the brand "Parade" (after the address of his company) and started using a small Grenadier Guard soldier as the logo. This is the first cover considered to be "Parade".

50th Anniversary of Lions International - 7 Jun 1967

However the use of the Parade logo didn't last. There were very few issues that actually had the logo, and even those that did also had versions without the logo. The following FCD is the same as the one above, but doesn't have the Grenadier Guard.

50th Anniversary of Lions International - 7 Jun 1967

Like many cachet makers of the last 60's, there were often many colour variations for the same cachet. For example I have eight colour variations of the 1967 Centenary of the YWCA issue, eight colour variations for the Christmas 1967 issue, 11 variations of the 1968 World Weather Watch and Satellite Communications combined issue, and have identified 20 variations of the 1969 Primary Industries issue.

Of note is the covers produced for the Soil Science Conference and Medical Assembly issue in 1968. The cache's feature metallic foil printing (red, blue and gold identified). McCallum was also the only cachet maker to produce a special cachet for the joined gutter pair of stamps. This cover with the fat lines in the gutter pair are scarce and expensive.

Soil Science Congress and Medical Assembly - 6 Aug 1968

The last Parade cover was the Rotary cover in May 1971.

50th Anniversary of Rotary in Australia - 17 May 1971

I've found no Parade covers for the Centenary of the Australian Native's Association or Centenary of the Sydney Stock Exchange issues, so perhaps McCallum was winding down production at this time.

Identifying ACCA/Parade Covers

This can be quite challenging but there are some general rules to help. If it's got the Parade logo it's obviously Parade. They only seemed to have logos during 1967.

The most obvious is the user of "FIRST DAY OF ISSUE" (or "FIRST DAY COVER" for the early ACCA ones), usually in caps, non-italic. There are examples of "First Day of Issue" (mixed-case). There is also usually a date associated with the "FIRST DAY OF ISSUE" text. On every example I've seen the date is spelled out in full, such as "9th OCTOBER, 1963", 19th October, 1966" and "22nd October, 1969". The month always seems to be spelled out in full (one or two exceptions) and my be in all-caps or mixed-case. There's always the qualification on the number ("1st", "2nd", "3rd" etc.). And there always seems to be a comma after the month and before the year. The "FIRST DAY OF ISSUE" and date are often combined; a straight join, using a comma or a dash. Examples of this are shown below.

The last observation in the "Australian First Day Covers" guide is that over the period of mid 62 - May 71, ACCA/Parade are the only, common, unbranded Ausralian FDC. So if you've got a common cover that's not PMG/AP, Royal, WCS or Excelsior, it's got a good chance of being Parade.