This is an uncommon return to sender cover that went to Tawau from Kuala Belait. It was probably not philatelic but wrongly addressed. Borneo Abaca Ltd was registered in 1948 to rehabilitate Japanese abaca or manila hemp estates in Kuhara Tawau. Its capital was held by Harrisons and Crosfield Limited and Colonial Development Corporation. Mostyn Estates Limited was also a subsidiary of Borneo Abaca Limited.
The retour instruction was hand written in common with most post offices in North Borneo in that period except for Jesselton which started using a Retour handstamp in 1949. On its way back to Brunei it attracted back stamps of Jesselton and Labuan. The T 4 cts instruction might have represented a returning charge for the sender.
This is a most unusual cds apparently from Sandakan. The characteristics are completely different to postmarks of that time. The consensus is that it is most likely a fake but one never knows.
The POST OFFICE SANDAKAN official cachet is not commonly seen and is used in official paid mail prewar. There is one from Jesselton GPO as well. It was also correctly endorsed by the postmaster in Sandakan but I can not make out the name. It might have been a Chinese employee as the Jesselton postmaster was Mr Chong Thau En and the Postmaster General was Gilbert Corelli Fenton. You can see similar items in a previous post by clicking here.
A common looking official correspondence between two state forest officers. But this one was addressed to Harry George Keith, the husband of Agnes Keith, the author of Land Below the Wind. There is a very well written and interesting article on the Keiths by Peter Grant at Oak Bay Chronicles. You can read it by clicking the link here.
I shall be taking a long summer break from further posts on this blog. Hopefully, I will have some interesting material by autumn. Thus far, I feel that this blog has largely achieved its purpose in showing the many facets of philately and that of North Borneo in particular. There is much material and knowledge that has been not shared on purpose from fear of unlawful reproduction and forgery. Like in Chinese martial arts, this inside door knowledge is accessible by joining a dedicated organisation like the the Sarawak Specialists' Society which contrary to its name has carried out in depth research of North Borneo, Labuan and Brunei philately as well.