For further information or advice please Email the Webmaster

This is a non profit
site. Any infringement
of copyright or
intellectual property,
is unintentional.

Most covers can be
displayed as a
larger image,
in a new window,
by clicking on
the image.

Hosting at

Updated: 15/10/2008


1956 Melbourne Olympics

1956 saw the staging of the Olympics in Melbourne with the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) being the main stadium. This Postcard shows a game of football being played during the construction of the Olympic Stand.

A game of Australian Rules was played as a demonstration sport on the MCG on day 14 of the Olympics on December 7th 1956. The ideals of amateurism, so cherished at that time as the Olympic way, meant that a combined team of amateurs from the mainly professional VFL and VFA, played a Victorian Amateur Football Association Team (VAFA). The VAFA wore white jumpers with emerald green collars and the 5 Olympic rings on their chest. The combined team wore the reverse colouring. The VAFA easily won the game 12.9.81 to VFL/VFA 8.7.55.

Olympic Covers showing the MCG.
On the 1st December 1954 and 30th November 1955 Australia issued a single design stamp of different colours to publicise the Games. AMC Guthrie, a Western Australian cover producer, released a cover for each stamp. The design were similar and showed
a photograph of the MCG.

The card below shows the Main Stadium postmark (APM01166) along with a drawing of the MCG. The Main Stadium Postmark was one of 52 postmarks showing different sports and used at various venues during the games from 22nd October to 8th December. No postmark was issued for Australian Football.

The souvenir card below was  released by Mappin and Curran, the largest Philatelic Dealer in Melbourne. It was released in two colours of black/green, in single colours of black, blue (as shown), Red and Green.  It was also released as an souvenir envelope in two colours of Black/Green, in single colours of black, Blue Red and Green. The card or envelope was either blank or  contained the text "First Day Cover October 31 1956" in Black, Red and Green or "Pictorial Postmark", Shown below is a blue card with the words "Pictorial Postmark". A Black card is also know to exist.

1956 Pictorial PM Olympic Stadium

The cover below was released by an alliance of six other dealers. It shows a stylised MCG  with the second Olympic Publicity stamp issued on the 30th November 1995 (first stamp shown on Guthrie Cover above) and the four Olympic stamps issued on the 31st October 1956. It is cancelled with the Main Stadium Postmark (APM01166) on the 22nd November 1956. It may be found as an envelope or card, and may contain the text, "Posted at the main Olympic Stadium.... or Posted at Olympic City......."
1956 Pictorial Olympic Stadium

A Hand Painted Cover was also released by AJ (Jack) Peake of Adelaide. (The Cover Collector No 6).

The Olympic Aerogramme  shows a stylised drawing of the MCG postmarked with the "Olympex" Philatelic exhibition postmark (PM 127).  The cachet was also used on a cover from Mauritania for the 1960 Rome and 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

A cover issued by Pharmaceutical Company, Parke-Davis, also features the MCG.

1996 Olympic bid
Melbourne made a bid for the 1996 Olympics and Australia Post issued a set of  3 postcards, on the 22nd June 1990, showing the proposed venues. Naturally this included the
MCG, along with the National Tennis Centre and the Royal Exhibition Building. The postcards were mint and postmarked with "Olympics For Melbourne 1996" PM. They were re-released on the 18th September 1990 with "Games Logo" PM and catchet. The Games were awarded to Atlanta.

A Hand Painted Cover by Frans M Geerling of Oregon USA, showing the MCG and Martin Luther King, was released to congratulate Atlanta on winning the 1996 games. The cachet maker was Noel Almeida of Limited Edition Covers. 96 were produced.

Olympic stamps showing the MCG
In April 1955 the PMG announced that three stamps would be issue for the games. The 31/2d was to be like the eventual 71/2d torch and Southern Cross, the 71/2d was to be an aerial view of the MCG and the 2s Airmail stamp similar to the previous publicity stamps. Unfortunately these designs were changed and no view of the MCG was issued

On 15th  November 1956 Liberia issued a series of six stamps to celebrate the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.  The 12 cent air mail stamp (SG 788, Scott C104) showed a stylised Melbourne Cricket Ground. (Shown at right). Variations with the green missing and the blue missing exist along with imperforate stamps.

A small country on the west coast of Africa, Liberia has been influenced in many ways by the United States. This influence has its origins in the efforts of the American Colonisation Society to settle freed American slaves in Africa, beginning in 1822. The government was modelled on that of the United States.

The Principality of Monaco issued two stamps for the 1956 Olympics, one for the Winter Olympics in Cortina, and the stamp illustrated at left, for the Melbourne summer Olympics. It showed a stylised drawing of the MCG.

The FDC shows an athelete with a stylised stadium, another the Australian Flag. A maximum card shows the stadium in the middle surrounded by athletes.

To commemorate the 17th Olympics in Rome in 1960 Haiti issued a series of stamps on th 18th August 1960 showing combinations of the Olympic Victors in Athens in 1896, the 1956 torch, the 1956 athlete's parade at the MCG and the founder of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin. The issue included 4 normal, 3 airmail and an imperforate miniature sheet. 4 values were later reprinted with a 25c surcharge. Four of the stamps with images of the MCG are the  10c Olympic Victors Athens, MCG and torch (Scott 462 SG 708), 50c Pierre de Coubertin, Olympic Victors Athens and MCG (Scott 464 SG 710), 50c Airmail Pierre de Coubertin,  MCG and Olympic torch (Scott C163 SG 712) and 2.50 Olympic Victors Athens and MCG (Scott C165 SG 714).
On the 23rd October 1979, Romania issued a series of six stamps showing Stadia used for previous Olympic Games. The .55 stamp (SG 4489 Scott 2862) showed a stylised MCG. (Shown at right and on FDC) The issue was used as a lead up to the controversial Moscow Olympics whose stadium was shown on the miniature sheet.

Australia left the decision to attend the Moscow games to individual sports rather than as one team. Australia and Greece remain as the only countries to attend all the Modern Games.

As one of a series for the Atlanta Olympics, Guyana issued a $30 stamp on the 25th July 1996 of the 1956 Olympic Stadium the Melbourne Cricket Ground. (SG 4740 Scott 3080)

Guyana, as part of the West Indies, would appreciate the MCG for its great cricketing history.

Olympic stamps & covers showing athletes at the MCG
Dominican Republic Issues
Between 1957 and 1960 The Dominican Republic issued 40 Olympic stamps with 32 commemorating the Melbourne Games. There were also several surcharge overprints and Miniature Sheets.

1956 Russian Issue
In 1957 the USSR issued a set of 6 stamps to commemorate the Melbourne Olympics. Three sports, Athletics, Javelin throwing and soccer showed the MCG in the background. Another of the series, showed the sport of gymnastics with the MCG in the background, although the competition was held in the West Melbourne Stadium.

1988 Bicentenary
As part of the Bicentenary Celebrations a cover showing the MCG and celebrating the 1956 Olympics was released.

1996 Centenary of Modern Olympics
Australia released three stamps to commemorate the Centenary of the Modern Olympics. Two 45c se-tenant stamps showed Edwin Flack, Australia's only representative at the 1896 games, and Fanny Durack, the first Australian woman to win a Gold medal. The $1.05 design shows a wheelchair racer. One of the three
Maximum Cards, Publicity Card for Olymphilex 96 and the Post Office Pack shows Betty Cuthbert winning Gold at the 1956 Olympics.

1998 Olympic Legends
On 21st January 1998 Australia issued the Annual Legend stamps series for Australia Day, 26th January, to commemorate 6 Olympians, with a sheetlet of 12 stamps. Two First Day Covers, of the same design,  were released by Australia Post. The Cache showed the Australian Team marching at the MCG, in the 1956 Olympics. (Legends cover with MCG postmark) The Booklet cover and back of the Stamp pack also showed the same photo. The Booklet included overprints for the countdown  to the 2000 Games and Olymphilex. The front of the stamp pack showed Ron Clarke and the Back  showed the team marching. Five maximum cards were also released. There cards of Betty Cuthbert and Shirley Strickland showed them winning Gold at the 1956 Olympics. Covers with cachet of the athletes were also produced and  Betty Cuthbert and Shirley Strickland showed them winning Gold at the MCG. The IOC also issued a set showing Betty Cuthbert and Shirley Strickland. Alpha covers issued three covers showing Betty Cuthbert and Shirley Strickland and another of Betty Cuthbert. In 2006 Australia Post released a set of stamps with the cover showing Betty Cuthbert. Covers of Betty Cuthbert and Shirley Strickland with the legend stamps are shown.

On the 15th March 2000 Russia issued a 12 stamp sheetlet to honour 20th Century Sports. The sheetlet includes the Russian Soccer Team and Vladimir Kuts, dual winner of the 5000 and 10000 klm race, both at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.

2004 Athens Olympic Games
On the 25th August 2004 Elite Sports Properties produced three limited Edition Special Event Sheets. The surrounds of the sheet,
The Golden Era, showed the Australian Team walking into the MCG and Betty Cuthbert running. First Class Collectables issues covers of Betty Cuthbert, Ron Clarke and Larisa Latynina.     

2006 50th Anniversary
Ireland released a stamp and
cover to commemorate Ronnie Delany winning th 1500m Gold Medal at the Melbourne Olympics.
On 1st November 2006 Australia Post issued a set of 4 stamps, 2 50c stamps and 2 $1 stamps based on the 1956 issues with the MCG in the background. The POP showed Ron Clarke lighting the Torch on the cover and Australia marching into the stadium on the inside. The FDC shows Betty Cuthbert. Lawrence Bove (Lobo8) issued a cover of the team and torch. GHI stamps issued two Autographed covers signed by Governor John Landy. Another cover used the original stamps as the catchet.
Original 1956 Olympic covers of the MCG and VPA with the Anniversary stamps were produced as was the 1999 Torch cover with the torch stamps.

2007 Annual Legends Issue
The annual Legends issue on the 24th January 2007 included a Prestige Booklet of the previous 10 issues.
The second issue in 1998 commemorated the Olympic Legends. The athletes included Betty Cuthbert  shown on a
Miniature Sheet with explanatory Text and Shirley Strickland shown on a Miniature Sheet with explanatory Text  Both won Gold Medals on the MCG in the 1956 Olympics. The booklet was overprinted for the Fishers Ghosts Philately Show.