World Post Day has been observed on 9 October since 1969 and marks the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 (www.un.org). The Post still connects people across the world, carrying everything from postcards and love letters to crucial voting ballots.
While postal voting has been available in all Australian states since 1903, in prior years remote votes were collected directly by way of ballot boxes like the one pictured here. Information from the State Electoral Department suggests that metal ballot boxes such as this may have been made by inmates of Yatala Gaol. They were in use in South Australia from 1856 until the early 1900s. They were strapped to the side of either horses or camels and transported to isolated electoral districts. Mr E M Calliss, to whom the box is addressed, was possibly employed as an assistant by the Returning Officer at Port Augusta.