Karolj Andre

Karolj Andre

Karolj Andre was born on July 21, 1951, in the former Novi Becej maternity hospital, located in the neighborhood of his father Sandor's family home, who was a machine fitter and electrician. He completed elementary school in his hometown and pursued his secondary education in Subotica. Throughout his short career, he worked as a laboratory technician in Novi Sad and Novi Becej.

Introduction

Introduction

It is known that even in ancient times, within the territory of the Roman Empire, there existed a well-established postal system with numerous postal stations. The word "post" comes from the Latin word "posita," meaning placed, and "station" from "statio," meaning residence. The centralized management of the postal system was introduced by Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire.

Introduction

Introduction

The settlement of Novi Bečej originated on the southeast side of the old town on the Tisa River and has its roots dating back to ancient times, specifically the Roman era. The first written mention dates back to 1091 under the name Bechej (Bechey). The first written mention of Vranjevo (later named Franjova – Franyova) occurred in 1717, and the settlement was formed above the northeast side of the old town on the Tisa in 1726. It's important not to confuse Vranjevo with the medieval settlement Arača, located around the Arača church from the 13th century, even though the Hungarian population still refers to Vranjevo as Arač. Both Novi Bečej and Vranjevo, as separate political entities, had independent administrations, including postal services.

Philately Before Postage Stamps

Philately is the collection and study of postage stamps. In the period of philately (when postage stamps did not yet exist), letters and mail were transported with a single or double-line postal cancellation stamp indicating the name of the place of origin. Upon arrival at the destination, an impression of the receiving post's stamp was applied to the back of the letter. The early philatelic cancellations were characterized by the absence of the year, month, or day of mailing or delivery alongside the names of the sending and receiving locations. By the late 17th century, cities and larger settlements began including dates in addition to the place names.

The period between 1840 and 1918

The period between 1840 and 1918

Since 1840, the first postage stamps called "black penny," featuring Queen Victoria, have been used in England. Ten years later, in 1850, the Austrian postal service introduced postage stamps in the Habsburg Empire. The postmark was no longer only used to mark the departure location of a letter but also to cancel the postage stamp, preventing its reuse. These stamps were also used in the regions later named Serbian Vojvodina and in the Serbian-Romanian border area until the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867. During the transitional period from 1867 to 1871, identical postage stamps were used for both Austria and Hungary. Only in 1871 did Hungary issue its own postage stamps, using lithography and copperplate printing.

Between 1919 and 1922

Between 1919 and 1922

After the signing of the armistice between the Allies and Germany on November 11, 1918, the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was proclaimed in Belgrade on December 1, incorporating Vojvodina. However, the official end of World War I is considered to be the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.

The period between 1922 and 1941.
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The period between 1922 and 1941.

Until the official change of the names Török Becse and Aracs to Novi Bečej and Vranjevo, circular postal stamps with the inscription TURSKI BEČEJ and VRANјEVO in both Cyrillic and Latin scripts, along with the date – day, month (now in Roman numerals), and year will be used. The postal stamp TURSKI BEČEJ will be used for only two years, from November 1921 to shortly after the official change of the place name to NOVI BEČEJ. In the postal stamp of Novi Bečej (Vološinova and again Novi Bečej) until the introduction of postal codes in 1971, the date, day, and year will be written in Arabic numerals, while the month will remain in Roman numerals.

The Time of German Occupation 1941–1944.
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The Time of German Occupation 1941–1944.

During the German occupation (1941–1944), the Novi Becej postal administration was housed in the Lukseder family's residence located at the corner of Narodnog fronta and Marshal Tito streets. Since the Vranjevo post office was abolished, this one served the needs of the population of both Novi Becej and Vranjevo. Confirmation of this new, joint post office can be seen in letters from that period, where only the stamp "NOVI BEČEJ" is present at the receiving post office. This is also confirmed on a military topographic map (issued by the German military occupation authority) from 1943, where in the territory of Novi Becej and Vranjevo, only one building is marked as the Post Office, and that is precisely the Lukseder house.

Period between 1945 and 1970.
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Period between 1945 and 1970.

After the conclusion of the Second World War, specifically in 1946, the municipalities of Novi Becej and Vranjevo merged, giving rise to a single settlement named VOLOŠINOVO. In gratitude to the Russian soldiers, particularly Russian Colonel Vološinov, who sacrificed his life for the liberation of Novi Becej, our town was named after him. This change was accompanied by a postal stamp, which was circular and featured both Cyrillic and Latin inscriptions of VOLOŠINOVO. By 1947, the postal office was already using an official seal with a Cyrillic inscription, POŠTA VOLOŠINOVO, along with the state coat of arms in the center.

Post office staff in Novi Bečej
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Post office staff in Novi Bečej

From this post-war period, the first person to mention is the longtime manager of the Novi Bečej post office, Živa Tapavički, born in 1923 in Elemir. After completing his education, he started working at the post office in Kikinda. Later, in 1949, he moved to Mokrin and took over as the manager of the local post office. His next position was at the Kikinda post office, where he worked as the manager of the railway traffic post. From that position, as an experienced postal official, he came to Novi Bečej in 1955 and took over the position of post office manager from Olgica Sudarski, born Milankov.

The period between 1971 and 2017.

The period between 1971 and 2017.

The next change in the postal stamp of Novi Bečej occurred after the introduction of postal codes for the cities of the former SFR Yugoslavia on January 1, 1971. The postal stamp remains circular, but instead of the Cyrillic and Latin inscription NOVI BEČEJ, the name of the place is now written in Latin at the top of the stamp. In the middle of the stamp is the date (day, month, and year), and below the date is the postal code for Novi Bečej, 23272. The first two digits of the postal code indicate the area (district) that corresponds to the telephone area code of that region. Areas in Serbia were marked with initial numbers 1, 2, and 3, in Croatia – 4 and 5, in Bosnia and Herzegovina – 7 and 8. Serbia continues to use the system inherited from the former Yugoslavia to this day.

Staff at the Post Office during the described period
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Staff at the Post Office during the described period

As postal office employees retired, new young personnel were hired to take their places. In 1974, after the recruitment of Dušan Josimović and Deže Barne (Barna Dezső), a new generation of postal workers was formed. Josimović started as a delivery person, and after 3 years and 6 months, he moved to the R counter. In later years, he worked in financial transactions, served as the chief cashier, and towards the end of his career, he took on the role of post office manager. For many years, as the chief cashier, Dušan Josimović distributed postage stamps for the Philatelist Association of Novi Bečej.

Ship and Railway Ambulance Mail
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Ship and Railway Ambulance Mail

This contribution on the postal history of Novi Bečej would not be complete without addressing two transportation options for postal shipments, as indicated in the subtitle – transportation by river, using boats, and by railway, in special postal wagons. The river flows of Vojvodina, including the Danube, Tisa, Sava, Tamiš, and Begej, facilitated not only the transport of goods but also the transmission of postal shipments.

Association of Philatelists in Novi Bečej

Association of Philatelists in Novi Bečej

In the territory of today's Vojvodina, which was part of the Habsburg Empire, the use of postage stamps began on June 1, 1850, while in Serbia it started on May 1 (13), 1866. Just a decade after the introduction of postage stamps, the first stamp collectors emerged. Individuals engaged not only in collecting postage stamps but also in studying them are called philatelists.

Commemorative Postmarks Used in the Post Office of Novi Bečej

Commemorative Postmarks Used in the Post Office of Novi Bečej

Commemorative postal stamps, as the word itself suggests, are used to mark a special occasion. Commemorative stamps usually have a fixed date or last for several days, and they are often ordered by philatelic associations.

Commemorative Stamps Issued by the Philatelists Association of Novi Bečej

Commemorative Stamps Issued by the Philatelists Association of Novi Bečej

  • 27.11.1970: First Stamp Exhibition
  • 27.11.1972: Philatelic Exhibition
  • 25.5.1974: 170th Anniversary of Teodor Pavlović's Birth
  • 28.11.1974: III Philatelic Exhibition
Anecdotes
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Anecdotes

There is an anecdote that Vladimir Pap fondly remembers from his early days at the Zrenjanin post office. It actually emphasizes the importance of the post office in a populated place.
There is no populated place without a PRIEST - POSTMAN - AND ONLY THEN WITHOUT A DOCTOR.

Material Used

Postal Museum Budapest (Postamúzeum, Budapest)
Postal and Telegraph Museum Belgrade
Térfi, B. (Terfi, B.) 1943: Prefilatelic Letters of Hungary (Bélyeg előtti levelek és azok lebetűzési)
History of Mail, available at: Watson.sk
Szentkláray, J. (Sentklarai, J.) 1898: History of Parishes
Group of authors (1987): 250 Years of Mail in Zrenjanin, Novi Sad: Forum
Višicki, V. (1996): Military Censorship 1876–1945. Philatelist 225/226
Janjetović, Z. (2012): Borders of the German Occupation Zone in Serbia 1941–1944.
Torontál, May 26, 1920: Historical Archive Zrenjanin
Archive of the Catholic Parish Novi Bečej
Legacy of István Sekereš Gellért (Szekeres István Gellért)
Archive of the family of Árpád Jager (Jáger Árpád)
Report from the Annual Assembly of the Philatelists Association Novi Bečej 1972
Report on the Celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the Philatelists Association Novi Bečej
Narratives of Vera Tapavički, Vladimir Papa, Katica Tarabić, and Dušan Josimović
Auction site – darabanth.hu
Collection of letters, postcards, telegrams, and shipping documents from the archive of Károly André (André Károly)