Sunday, December 25, 2011

My First Mail from Denmark!

Thank you Lars for this cover posted from Sydjyllands Postcenter. :)  If I'm not mistaken, the postmark indicates that the stamps were canceled at midnight!

The 70 øre stamp was issued in 1973 and depicts the 'Crowned with Thorns, and carrying the Cross', a fresco in Biersted Church, Jutland, painted around 1400.

The 160 øre stamp illustrates the childhood home of Kaj Munk, a Danish priest and resistance man during Second World War, killed by the Nazis in 1944.   His home is situated in Opager, the island of Lolland.

Finally, the 12.50 kr stamp was issued on 15 May 2002 along with three other stamps, each showcasing a landscape photograph by Kirsten Klein.  Here its the district of Thy which is depicted.

Mailing date: 20 September 2011
Delivery date: 05 October 2011

100th Anniversary of Medine

The Medine Sugar Estates was created in 1911 and operates on the west coast of Mauritius.  Sugarcane, amongst other cultures in place at that time, gradually became the company's main focus and has over the years driven the company's strategies accordingly.

In 2004, foreseeing the end of the Sugar Protocol with the European Union and the need to rethink its operation and strategy, the company commissioned a team of town-planners, architects and sociologists to elaborate the Medine Master Plan 2005-2025.  This document stands as a blue-print for Medine's judicious integrated and diversified developments and projects for the next 20 years.

In 2009, The Medine Sugar Estates Co. Ltd. was renamed Medine Limited, in accordance with the company's new development strategy and vision, as well as its restructuring into tree main clusters, namely Agriculture, Property and Leisure.

Medine was a pioneer in the conception and implementation of the first Mauritian Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), the Tamarina Golf Estate.

Technical Details:
Event: Centenary of The Medine Sugar Estates
Release date: November 11, 2011
Cover illustration:  The Tamarina Golf Estate
Stamp: Rs25 (Medine Sugar Factory) of the Anniversaries and Events Issue (2011)

Oriental Small-Clawed Otter in Singapore

The Oriental small-clawed otter is the smallest member of these semi-aquatic carnivores, weighing less than 5 kg.  Singapore Post featured this mammal on a set of 4 se-tenant stamps released on June 3, 2011 and designed by Edmund Chen.

It inhabits mangrove swamps and freshwater wetlands, living in groups of about six or more animals.  This otter is distinctive for its forepaws, as the claws do not extend above the fleshy end pads of its toes and fingers.  These attributes give it a high degree of manual dexterity in using its paws to feed on molluscs, crabs and other small aquatic animals.

Due to ongoing habitat loss, pollution and hunting in some areas, the Oriental small-clawed otter is evaluated as 'vulnerable' on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

A big thank you Terence for this awesome FDC!  :-)

Mailing date: October 17, 2011
Delivery date: October 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Travel in Taiwan!

So as to provide its customers with more design options, Chunghwa Post released a set of stamps on September 27, 2011 centering on travel in Taiwan with ten designs, with each of the designs depicting a famous scenic spot of Taiwan thus taking us on a round-the-island tour, and printed in two denominations: NT$3.5 and NT$5.

Thank you James for the nice FDC above, affixed with five of the ten NT$5 stamps.  From left to right:

- Love River in Kaohsiung.  After an environmental restoration, Love River has become a new spotlighted feature of the city. Th e dragon boat races held during the Dragon Boat Festival captures perfectly the passion and energy of southern Taiwan.

- Kenting.  Kenting is a hot tourist destination in the summer.  Lazily sunbathing under the blue sky or sitting under an umbrella is a perfect way to enjoy a hot summer day on the beach.

- The Liushidan Mountain.  The yellow sea of daylilies there creates a mystical Shangri-La in Hualian.  The stamp depicts a plainly dressed farming woman happily and diligently picking daylily flowers.

- The Taroko National Park. The Park offers a treasure chest of geological resources.  Two visitors joyously gesturing on a winding trail while marveling at the craftsmanship of Mother Nature.

- Jiufen.  To enjoy a drizzling day in this mountain town is to sip tea in a tea house while gazing upon tourists strolling down the quaint street outside. ;-)

Mailing date: October 1, 2011
Delivery date: October 11, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cover and Stamp Sets from China

Today I show you a mail which traveled for exactly 1 month around the world... :)  The stamps from right to left:

- 3元 stamp issued on 17 November 1994 (1994-19) as a souvenir sheet to mark the 4th Congress of the All-China Philatelic Federation (ACPF) held in Beijing on the same day as the date of issue.  Set up on Jan. 30, 1982, the ACPF was admitted as a full member by the International Philatelic Federation and the Inter-Asia Philatelic Federation respectively in 1983.

- 50分 stamp taken from a set of 4 stamps released on October 13, 1998 (1998-22) on the Longquan Kiln-China's Ceramics.

- 4.50元 stamp from the Foreign Musicians set of July 2010 (2010-19).  This stamp portrays  Ludwig van Beethoven (贝多芬 in Chinese, 1770-1827) one of the most famous composers and pianists ever.  Jean-Sébastien Bach (1685-1750), Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) are illustrated on the 3 other stamps of that issue.

- I could not find much information about the last stamp... ):   But it looks like its the Chrysanthemum which is a very popular flower in China.

Jiayi enclosed wonderful sets of stamps... Enjoy! (=

Landscapes in Dali (2000-8/ April 19,2000)

Architecture of Dai Nationality (1998-8/ April 12, 1998)

Taer Lamasery (2000-9/ May 5, 2000)

Seaside Landscapes - Joint Issue with Cuba (2000-18/ September 26, 2000)

Development of Chongqing (2007-15/ June 8, 2007)

Centenary of the Invention of the Airplane (2003-14/ August 9, 2003)

Airports (2008-25/ September 28, 2008)

Heartfelt thx to Jiayi! =D

Mailing date: 26 July 2011
Delivery date: 26 August 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blanket Seller from Myanmar

A big thank you Wei for this awesome card - my first one by the way :) - from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.  It shows a smiling lady selling a pile of colourful blankets.

The K30 stamp depicts the saung or the Myanmar harp, used in traditional Burmese music and the only surviving harp in Asia today.

Mailing date: 25 October 2011
Delivery date: 17 November 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tea Industry

The Mauritius Post issued today December 19, 2011 a set - the last one for 2011 - of 4 postage stamps on the theme Tea Industry.

Tea is well anchored in Mauritian culture and the average consumption of tea is 1 kilo per head yearly.  With the increasing awareness of the population to adopt dietary habits that promote health, it is expected that Mauritians will continue to drink tea.

Scientific evidence is being acquired to confirm that tea is good for health and its consumption may reduce the development of heart diseases.

Tea (Camellia sinensis) was introduced in Mauritius by a French priest, Father Galloys, in 1760.  However, under French rule tea cultivation was not a priority and even the famous botanist Pierre Poivre kept it as a museum plant.

In the early 19th century, Sir Robert Farquhar, Governor of Mauritius, encouraged tea cultivation on commercial scale.  Plantations were encouraged and reached 190 hectares by the end of the century.  One of the pioneers was Mr. Raoul Corson.  After the second World War, Government accelerated the development of the industry and launched the Tea Smallholding Scheme and the Tea Project Planters' Scheme in 1955.

Mint set with serial number.
In 1960, Government decided to further intensify tea development in the super humid zones not suitable for sugarcane cultivation.  A Tea Development Authority (TDA) was created and by 1975, a total of 1234 additional hectares of tea were planted.  

The Tea Project Planters' Scheme encountered many difficulties and was taken by the TDA in 1974 and was subsequently absorbed into the Tea Smallholding Scheme.  It was only in 1984 when the price of tea increased on the world market that it was possible to lease out all the tea plantations.

In 1994, following a report on the future of the Public Tea Sector, Government took the decision to convert tea plantations into sugarcane principally.  The project started in 1995 and was completed in 2000.  Some 2500 hectares of tea plantation were in fact converted.

Presently some 1400 planters cultivate an area of around 715 hectares under tea.  The local production of tea annually ranges from 1300 to 1600 tons.  Three tea factories, namely: Corson Tea Estate Co. Ltd., La Chartreuse Tea Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and Société Usinière de Bois Chéri are in operation.  This production is domestic-oriented.  Tea is no more exported in a significant quantity, thus it can no longer be considered as a foreign exchange earner.

Technical Details:
Release date: 19 December 2011
Designer: Nitish Peechen
Denomination & illustration: Rs7 - Tea Leaves and Bud
                                           Rs8 - Tea Plucking
                                           Rs15 - Tea Product
                                           Rs25 - Tea Beverage
Size:  44.45 mm × 29.94 mm
Printer: BDT International Security Printing Ltd.
Process: Lithography
Number per sheet: 50 stamps set in two panes of 25
Perforation gauge: 14 × 2 cm
Gum: PVA
Courtesy: Corson Tea Estate Co. Ltd.  (Photo on Rs7 postage stamp)
                                                           (Painting illustrated on the FDC)

Sunday, December 18, 2011


A 'mash-up' post next! ;-)  11.11.11... well it happens only once in a century... 

1. So here we go with a souvenir from Mauritius.  The postmark here is not in the format dd/mm/yy, but they made it look nice nevertheless... :)

2. Wei on the other hand sent me the nice postal card below showing the Jiaxiu Pavilion in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, South West China.  Thank you! :D

The postmark indicates that this card was posted at 11 a.m!

3. Lastly, I've got this South Korean mail to share with you.  Thanks Wonsik! :D  He used two stamps issued on October 28, 2011 jointly with Australia to mark the 50th Anniversary of Korea-Australia Diplomatic Ties.  The stamps illustrate 2 musical instruments: the Korean haegeum, a two-stringed vertical instrument, and the Australian didgeridoo, a wind instrument made from an eucalyptus trunk and played by aboriginal people.

Mailing date: 11.11.11.
Delivery date: 28.11.11. (China)
                      10.12.11 (South Korea)

35th Anniversary of the Mauritius Ports Authority

The Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA), formerly known as the Mauritius Marine Authority, is the sole national port authority set up under the Ports Act of 1998, to regulate and control the port sector.  The MPA is a landlord port authority providing the main port infrastructure and superstructure, together with related facilities.  It also provides marine services and navigational aids, while it regulates and controls all port activities and environmental issues within the port area.

The MPA is responsible for the development of the port in accordance with the approved Master Plans.  As a stimulator of the country's economic growth, Port Louis Harbour has a promising future catering for increased trade whilst ensuring that port services and facilities are provided in a reliable, competitive and efficient manner.

The administration and control of the MPA are vested in a Board of Directors, whose members are appointed by the Minister responsible for the portfolio of port matters.

Technical Details:
Event: 35th Anniversary of the Mauritius Ports Authority
Release date: October 28, 2011
Cover illustration: Port Louis Harbour in 1935
Stamp: Rs7 (100 Gun Ship) of the Ship Models issue (2005)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

150th Anniversary of Post Office in Rodrigues

The Mauritius Post issued on October 9, 2011, in the context of World Post Day and along with another stamp (HIV & AIDS Awareness), a Rs21 stamp to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Post Office in Rodrigues.

Rodrigues Island, which forms part of the republic of Mauritius, is situated at about 560 km to the North East of the mainland.  It is 109 km² in size and Port Mathurin is its administrative centre.

Prior to the opening of a post office in Rodrigues, the exchange of inter islands mails were carried out by shipmasters, outside any postal control.  In 1861, the administration of Rodrigues wrote the Postmaster General in Mauritius and requested for the establishment of a post office.  As private carrying of mails was illegal, the Postmaster General agreed to set up a post office.

The first post office in Rodrigues was opened on December 11, 1861 in Port Mathurin.  George Messiter, the then-Magistrate and Administrator of Rodrigues, acted as District Postmaster.  The conveyance of mails was effected by ship.  On the arrival of the vessel carrying mails and goods at the harbour, people all around the island converged to Port Mathurin.  This massive movement of people has become a folkloric event in Rodrigues.

The mails were then hand-delivered at "la criée" as depicted on the stamp, whereby an officer simply called the names of the addressees, outside the Port Mathurin Post Office, all day long!

With the advent of air transport between Mauritius and Rodrigues, mails , EMS and small packets are now conveyed by air, while the parcel service which has been re-engineered recently to increase the frequency of dispatch is still done by sea.

Cancelled-to-order block of four

Today there are 5 full fledge  post offices in Rodrigues, namely at Port Mathurin, La Ferme, Rivière Cocos, Mont Lubin and Grande Montagne.  All five post offices are counter automated.

In 2010, the Port Mathurin Post Office was transferred from the old Police Quarters to a modern and spacious building.  Renovation of other post offices and branding are under way.

Technical Details:
Release date: 09 OCT 2011
Design: Nitish Peechen
Illustration: La Criée
Printer: BDT Intl. Security Printing Ltd.
Process: Lithography
Size: 44.45 mm × 29.94 mm]
Number per sheet: 50 stamps set in 2 panes of 25
Perforation gauge: 14 × 2 cm
Gum: PVA
Courtesy: Rodrigues Regional Assembly

Postcard from Venezuela

Thanks Jesùs for this card showing Santa Ana de Coro, the capital of the Falcón State and the oldest city in the west of Venezuela.  The city was appointed as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1993, thus becoming the first site to Venezuela to be vested with this title.

Jesùs franked his card with another stamp from the Historical Evolution of National Symbols set.

Mailing date: August 10, 2011
Delivery date: October 7, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cover from Churchill College, Cambridge

A short post to share with you for today...  Above is a cover - thx Danny - mailed from Churchill College, one of the thirty-one colleges of the University of Cambridge.  The ATM label evokes the 50th Anniversary of Churchill College, celebrated in 2010...

In 1958, a Trust was established with late Sir Winston Churchill as its Chairman of Trustees, to build and endow a college for 60 fellows and 540 Students as a national and Commonwealth memorial to Winston Churchill; its Royal Charter and Statutes were approved by the Queen, in August, 1960.  The 160,000m² (42 acres) of grounds of Churchill College make it physically the largest of all the colleges.

Many events were organised to mark this milestone, among which the planting of a weeping mulberry tree by Lady Soames, Sir Winston Churchill's only surviving child.  She spoke of her proud in marking the 50th birthday of the science and technology college founded in her father's honour.

Mailing date: 04 October 2011
Delivery date: 13 October 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Indigenous Horses of India

Thank you Akhil for the cover above franked with 3 stamps released on November 9, 2009 and depicting indigenous horses of India, namely: the Zanskari, the Kathiawari and the Manipuri.  The fourth stamp of that set illustrates the Marwari.

The last two smaller stamps are from the definitive set on Indian personalities.  Both Indira (1917-1984) and Rajiv Gandhi (1944-1991) were Prime Ministers of India, during 1966-1977 and 1980-84 for Mrs. Gandhi and from 1984 until 1989 for Rajiv Gandhi.  They were also both assassinated. :(

Mailing date: 03.09.2011
Delivery date: 01.10.2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ICT/ BPO Conference & Networking Forum

The Government of Mauritius through the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology hosted an ICT/ BPO Conference and Networking Forum on 5th and 6th of October last at Le Méridien Resort to promote Mauritius as a safe, cost-competitive, high-quality and knowledge-intensive outsourcing destination.

The event also acted as a showcase to position Mauritius as the next emerging high value-added off-shoring and outsourcing destination and provided the right platform for local operators to connect with outsourcers.

The ICT/ BPO sector in Mauritius consists of some 400 operators and employs more than 14,000 people.  For the year ended 2010, the sector in Mauritius has contributed 6,4% to the Gross Domestic Product, thus making it the 3rd pillar of the economy.  

In the coming years, the sector is promised to grow by at least 20% with new entrants entering the market as well as through the expansion of the activities of existing operators due to new policies measures adopted such as the open access and reduction in tariffs.  Steps are also being taken for the accreditation of the Data Protection Office with EU and for bringing necessary amendments to the Electronic Transaction Act.

The global economic crisis has forced companies in many developed countries to restructure their processes and turn to safe and cost-effective destinations to maintain a competitive edge.  With its political stability, conducive investment climate, bilingual workforce and ideal location in respect of time zone, Mauritius has merged as the preferred destination for ICT/ BPO activities.

Technical Details:
Event: ICT-BPO Conference & Networking Forum
Release date: 05.10.2011
Cover illustration:  ICT Cooperation & the CyberTower (down) at the Cyber City, Ebène
Stamp: Rs50 of the 24th UPU Congress, Nairobi 2008 issue (2007)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan

The Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) is located in Yuchi, Nantou, Central Taiwan.  It is the largest body of water in Taiwan as well as a tourist attraction.  The area around the Sun Moon Lake is home to the Thao tribe, one of  the aboriginal tribes in Taiwan.  Sun Moon Lake surrounds a tiny island called Lalu.  The east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name.

James franked his card with a 'Year of the Rabbit' stamp which I've already talked about in a previous post. Thank you! :)

Mailing date: 22 September 2011
Delivery date: 29 September 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nocturnal Summer Birds from Finland

Finland Post issued on May 18, 1999 the splendid miniature sheet above.  It consists of  five 3mk stamps each depicting a nocturnal summer bird, namely the:

- Thrush Nightingale, Luscinia luscinia (upper left)
- European Nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus (lower left)
- Common Cuckoo, Cuculus canorus (upper middle)
- Corncrake, Crex crex (lower middle)
- Eurasian Bittern, Botaurus stellaris (upper right)

Thanks a lot Seppo for this very nice cover from Raahe! :P

Mailing date: 16 September 2011
Delivery date: 28 September 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dinosaurs from South Korea

After the Triassic dinosaurs in August 2010, Korea Post released on August 11, 2011 another set of 4 stamps of denomination 340 won each, this time on Jurassic dinosaurs of the Mesozoic Era.

Jurassic Period of the Mesozoic Era, which spanned about 50 million years from about 199.6 million years ago to 145.5 million years ago, refers to the period that followed the Triassic Period.  In this period, giant reptiles such as dinosaurs thrived on the land, and ammonites, in the sea.  In the later part of the Jurassic Period, birds appeared for the first time.

The Scelidosaurus was an herbivorous dinosaur, it had a rather small head and small body, being 250 kg in weight and about 4m in height.  It walked on four legs.  With its hind legs being longer than the front legs, it is thought to have run with its hind legs and to have walked with its hind legs to reach and feed on the leaves of tall trees.  Its most prominent body feature is the oval-shaped dermal scutes on both its back and tail.  It was discovered both in the U.K. and U.S.A.

The Stegosaurus was an herbivorous dinosaur too, living during the Late Jurassic Period and with spikes on its tails.  Compared to its large body, its head was relatively very small, with its long hind legs and short, crooked front legs making its back crook forward.  With its large body, it moved very sluggishly.  It is 9 m in height and 2 tons in weight.  It was discovered in the western part of the U.S.A.

The Allosaurus (left) and the Dilophosaurus (right)

The Allosaurus (left), on the other hand, was a carnivorous dinosaur flourishing in the later part of the Jurassic Period, it is known to be the fiercest predator in the North American continent.  Its feature is the crests just in front of its eyes.  It also had a sturdy jaw and teeth made for killing herbivorous or other carnivorous dinosaurs, as well as the hand which had sharp claws.  It was 3.6 tons in weight and 14m in height and it was discovered in the western part of the U.S., Portugal and Australia.

The Dilophosaurus (right) was also a carnivorous dinosaur during the Early Jurassic Period, it had two crests split in the shape of a V on top of its head.  Its razor-sharp teeth, long and strong legs, and long claws were perfect for hunting.  Its first toe on its hand was shaped in the way to hold a prey, functioning like a thumb.  It was 330~450 kg in weight, and 6~7 m in height.  It was first reported in the U.S., with the possibility of having been discovered in the southern part of China being raised.

Wonsik also enclosed the 2010 issue.  The 250 won stamps depict the Herrerasaurus and the Coelophysis (carnivorous), while the 340 won ones illustrate the Plateosaurus and the Riojasaurus (herbivorous).  Note the very interesting dinosaur-shaped  notches associated with these issues.

A big thank you, Wonsik! (=  It's my first cover from South Korea... :D

Mailing date: 17 August 2011
Delivery date: 23 September 2011