First Day Covers from the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Series, 1977
Queen Elizabeth II 1977 Silver Jubilee postage stamps
New Hebrides was discovered by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandez de Queiros in 1606. However, Captain James Cook made the first systematic exploration of the islands in 1774. English missionaries began arriving in the early nineteenth century. With them came the "sandlewooders" who, once the local sources of sandlewood ran out, began kidnapping natives for the sugar and cotton plantations in Queensland. Australia. British attempts to halt the decimation of the native population met success in 1887, when the islands were placed under an Anglo-French naval commission. The commission was replaced by a Condominium in 1906. Joint administration was instituted on all levels, with resident commissioners stationed at various places in the island group. The Condominium lasted from 1906 until 1980, when the New Hebrides gained their independence as Vanuatu.
This First Day Cover honouring the Queen's Silver Jubilee was issued at Vila on Efate, the capital and administrative center of New Hebrides, on February 7, 1977.