Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2012 Olympics and Paralympics from the UK

Well, as all of you know, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will take place in London, UK from 27 July to 12 August 2012 and from 29 August till 9 September for the Paralympic Games.  204 countries and 10,500 athletes are estimated to take part in those XXX Olympiad in 26 Olympic sports.

Royal Mail is commemorating London’s hosting of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by issuing three sets of 10 x 1st Class stamps in the run up to the London 2012 Games in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The concept is to issue 30 stamps to mark the 30th Olympiad and London 2012 Paralympic Games. Each of the sporting areas celebrated in these Games will have its own stamp and each of the 30 stamps will be created by a different contemporary artist, illustrator or designer.  The first set of 10 was issued in 2009, the second in 2010, and the third on July 27 last.

Thank you Nigel who affixed the Cycling stamp from the 2010 issue and the Paralympic sailing, Athletics field and Beach volleyball stamps from  the 2011 set on the lovely cover above.  Note that the logo for the 2012 Paralympics is slightly different form the Olympics one.

Mailing date: 11 August 2011
Delivery date:  18 August 2011

New Cover from France

Here's a cover sent from Lyon and franked with interesting stamps (as usual) pertaining to various topics.  Big thank you to Eric! =)

France had the honour to assume the Presidency of the G-20 in 2011 with the summit held from 3-4 November last in Cannes.  The town of Deauville on the other hand hosted the G-8 Summit earlier this year in May.  La Poste issued on July 11, 2011 a special 0,89€ stamp to mark these unique events.  The motto "Nouveau monde, nouvelles idées" (New World, New Ideas) and the logo of this 6th meeting of the G-20/ 8 are present on the stamp.  The G-20 represents 85% of the global economy and two third of the world population Its principle is based on a system of annual rotating presidency.  

La Poste also issued a commemorative stamp on June 23, 2011 to celebrate the birth centenary of former President - from 1962 to 1968 - Georges Pompidou (1911-1974)The stamp was designed by Yves Beaujard, also the designer of the Marianne stamps, from a photograph taken at the reception by President Pompidou of British Prime Minister Edward Heath, with in the background the Georges Pompidou Centre, designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers.

The Railways of Provence are made ​​up of three rail networks among which the Alps network with the line between Nice and Digne-les-Bains, completed in 1911, being among its lines.  Today under the authority of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, it is the only railway line still in operation and carries more than 400,000 passengers per year.  The line will soon have one new and more modern rail car.  The 0,58€ stamp, designed by Claude Perchat and released on June 27, 2011 illustrates the 'Train des Pignes'.

Mailing date: August 8, 2011
Delivery date: August 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Flora from Jersey

Heartfelt thanks to James from Taiwan who once again managed to send me a cover from the island of Jersey. -_-

Jersey Post's interpretation of PostEurop's 2011 theme Year of Forestry focuses on the foliages of trees which can be found in Jersey's woodland areas.  The 55p stamp on the envelope above illustrates the Beech (Fagus sylvatica).  The 3 other stamps of this set released on February 8, 2011 depict the Silver Birch, the English Oak and the Lime respectively.

The Horseshoe Vetch (Hippocrepis comosa) is depicted on the 25p stamp, issued on 22 June 2007 along with 7 other ones.  This flowering plant is the sole food of the butterfly species Polyommatus coridon, or the Chalkhill Blue.

Mailing date - 30 August 2011
Delivery date - 10 September 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bangkok 2000 Stamp Exhibitions from Indonesia

From 25th March to 3rd April 2000, Bangkok hosted the World Youth Stamp Exhibition and the 13th Asian International Stamp Exhibition.  To commemorate its participation at these meetings, Pos Indonesia issued on March 23, 2000 a special souvenir sheet depicting the King Dragon (Naga Raja in Sanskrit) flying.  The logo of these events is also present on the upper right hand side of the sheet.

A big thank you to Irene for this nice cover! :)  She completed her postage with a stamp from the Year of the Rabbit set issued at the beginning of the year and which I've already talked about in a previous post.

Mailing date: August 8, 2011 (?)
Delivery date: August 16, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My First Cover from Mexico

Thx a lot Pablo for sending me my first cover from your country. :-)  He first used two 50c stamps released in 2010 to mark the centennial of aviation in Mexico.  The Beechcraft T-34 Mentor (left) is a propeller-driven and single-engined military trainer aircraft.  The Douglas DC-3 (right) on the other hand is an American fixed-wing propeller-driven aircraft whose speed and range revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s.  Its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II makes it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made.  Many DC-3s are still used in all parts of the world.

Mexico hosted from 18 June to 10 July 2011 the FIFA U-17 World Cup (Copa Mundial Sub-17 de la FIFA México 2011 in Spanish).  Mexico won the cup, being the first team to achieve it as hosts defeating Uruguay 2-0 and managing their second title in the category.  Correos de México hence issued a nice set of 3 stamps (above) on June 15, 2011 to mark this event.

Conserva set

The last stamp portrays Daniel Cosío Villegas (1898-1976) who was a prominent Mexican economist, essayist, historian and diplomat. This stamp was issued in 2001 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his death.

Special thx again to Pablo for that nice cover and the awesome stamps enclosed! :)

Mailing date - 5 July 2011
Delivery date - 12 August 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gorges du Tarn Postcard in France

Daniel sent me this colourful postcard showing The Gorges du Tarn, a touristic canyon formed by the Tarn River between the Causse Méjean and the Causse de Sauveterre, in southern France.  The canyon, mainly located in the Lozère department, and partially in the Aveyron department, is about 53 km long.

Daniel affixed a beautiful stamp issued on May 5, 2011 about Reims Cathedral, a cathedral of the thirteenth century.  Major achievement of Gothic art in France, it is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1991.  In spring 2011, the cathedral will celebrate its 800th anniversary.  As such, La Poste  issued a block of two round-shaped stamps showcasing the colourful and beautiful stained glasses of the Cathedral.  The 2 other stamps on this card are Beaujeard's Marianne definitive.

Un grand merci à Daniel! ><

Mailing date:  29.07.2011
Delivery date: 13.08.2011

International Commemorative Events 2011

The Mauritius Post released on September 8, 2011 a set of 3 stamps to celebrate international (scientific) events.  It was the first time ever that stamps of denominations Rs11 & Rs17 were issued.

Rs11 - 250th Anniversary of the Observation of the Transit of Venus from Rodrigues
Mauritius takes pride in having been associated (concurrently with 61 other sites of observation around the world) with the astronomical study of the Transit of Venus on June 2, 1761.  The 'Académie des Sciences' sent a team headed by French scientist and Clergyman Cannon Alexandre-Gui Pingré for this observation in the island of Rodrigues.

In spite of the unpredictable climatic conditions, the mission was successful.  Pingré observed the track of Venus over the disk of the Sun and the distance of Venus to the border edge of the sun, with a micrometer applied to the bezel of 18 foot.  At the same time, a member of his team observed the passages from the edges of the Sun and Venus by a wire horizontal and vertical of a quarter-circle.

 In his report submitted to the 'Académie des Sciences', Clergyman cannon Pingré described the methodology used to define the observations of the parallax of the Sun.  From the observations made in Rodrigues in 1761 and those of 1769 in Saint Domingue (Caribbean region), he calculated the distance of the Sun to be of 92,796,950 miles which is only at 0,17% of the estimated distance of 92,956,038 miles.

The ecliptic conjunction of the Venus and the Sun lasted for 6 hours.

Rs12 - International Year of Chemistry
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry in conjunction with the UN and UNESCO have proclaimed the year 2011 to be the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011).  The goals of IYC 2011 are to increase public appreciation of chemistry, to encourage interest in chemistry among young people and to generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry.

2011 coincides with the centenary of the Nobel Prize awarded to Marie Curie and this is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women to Science.  This year also marks the centenary of the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies, providing a chance to highlight the benefits of international scientific collaboration.

The stamp illustrates chemists at work and on the right Mendeleev's Periodic Table and the chemical formula for water, H2O.

Rs17 - International year of Forests
The UN General Assembly has proclaimed 2011 as the International Year of Forests which conveys the theme of  "Forests for People".  It celebrates the central role of people in the sustainable development of our world's forests.  The Forests and Reserves Act No.41 of 1983 caters for the protection and management of state forests and reserves.

The forests of Mauritius were once abundant sources of valuable timber and this situation led to the decimation of most of our indigenous forest during early colonisation.  Today, less than 2% of the total surface area of Mauritius is still occupied by native forest.  However, in an attempt to conserve and reforest degraded land, the Forestry Service, in collaboration with other institutions are actively involved in the conservation and restoration programs to recreate the pristine ecosystems.

The stamp shows a native forest in Mauritius.

Technical Details:
Release date - September 8, 2011
Designer - Nitish Peechen
Printer - BDT International Security Printing Ltd.
Process - Lithography
Size - 29.94 mm × 44.45 mm
Perforation gauge - 14 × 2cm
Gum - PVA
Sheet format - 50 stamps set in two panes of 25

Friday, November 25, 2011

Anniversaries and Events 2011

The Mauritius Post issued on June 30 last a set of 4 stamps to commemorate various Anniversaries and Events for the year 2011.

Rs7 - Population Census
The 18th population census was carried out in the Republic of Mauritius from  20 June to 31 July 2011 by the Central Statistics Office.  At the census, everyone is asked the same questions on the same day (the Census Night) to produce a unique set of facts and figures about the nation.  The Census Night was fixed on 03-04 July 2011.

Besides telling how many people live in the Republic and their characteristics, the census provides baseline information to determine what types of services they need now and are likely to need in the future.  It helps the Government and local authorities to allocate funds, decide future policy and plan important services such as transport, housing, health and schools.

The population count in 1735 was around 800 inhabitants and in 2011, this number reached 1,303,717.  The stamp illustrates the census form of XIX century.

Rs14 - Birth Centenary of Sir Moilin Jean Ah Chuen (1911-1991)
Sir Moilin Jean Ah Chuen was born on February 22, 1911 in Port Louis and played a very active and significant role for more than 50 years in thecommerce and industry, and in the socio-economic, cultural and political development of Mauritius.

In 1948, Sir Moilin was elected President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Mauritius.   He became captain of the Mauritius Home Guard Contingent, as part of the country's defense structure during the World War II.

Sir Moilin was also appointed as a Nominated Member of the new Legislative Assembly in 1948, was elected in the 1963 and 1967 general elections and became Minister of Local Government in 1969.

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1980 in recognition of his immense contribution in the field of political and public services, and made Knight of St. Gregory by the Vatican in 1991.  The Rs25 banknote also bears his hand engraved portrait.

Rs21 - 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Maurice Curé (1886-1977)
Dr. Maurice Curé was born on September 3, 1886.  In 1921, Dr. Curé got involved in politics and in 1936, he showed his will to serve the working class, advocating for constitutional reforms and denouncing exploitation and injustice.

In the same year, he launched an island wide campaign appealing for unity among the workers which culminated ina public gathering meeting organised at the Champ de Mars and attended by around 30,000 workers.  This marked the foundation of the Labour Party.

The following year, Dr. Curé and other leaders of the party were imprisoned following a general strike which affected almost all the sugar estates of the country.  The Hooper Commission instituted after the general strike, highlighted the needs for reform in favour of the workers and paved the way for the establishment of Trade Unions and the creation of a Labour Department.

Dr. Curé continued to press for further political reforms.  He was nominated as a meber of the Legislative Council in 1946 and 1948 and of the Legislative Assembly in 1964.

Rs25 - Centennial of the Médine Sugar Estates
The Médine Sugar Estates Ltd. were established in 1911 as a sugar producing company.  The factory is located in the western part of the island in the district of Black River.  In 2010, the Médine Sugar factory has crushed 408,114.76 tons of sugarcanes for a production of 46,127.96 tons of sugar.

From a company engaged solely in sugar production, it has diversified its activities in the middle of the last century in livestock. cattle, stag rearing, vegetable cultivation, farming, leisure and property development.

The stamp depicts the Médine Sugar factory.

Technical Details:
Release date - June 30, 2011
Designers - Nitish Peechen & Neshvin Ramsawmy
Printer - Cartor Security Printing
Process - Lithography
Size - 27.94mm × 44.45mm (Rs7 & Rs25)
          44.45mm × 27.94mm (Rs14 & Rs21)
Perforation gauge - 14 × 2cm
Gum - PVA
Paper - CASCO Watermarked
Sheet format - 50 stamps set in two panes of 25

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Historic Steam Locomotives from Poland

Poczta Polska released on September 21, 2002 a very nice set of 4 stamps on the Historic Steam Locomotives of Poland.  Waldemar sent me 2 of the 4 stamps:

zł2 - Pm 36 is the name for a Polish experimental fast steam locomotive used by PKP (Polish State Railways). designed in 1936One year later two of these locomotives were built, one of whom (Pm 36-2/ Beautiful Helena) survived the war and was operated until 1965.

zł1,10 - Ok1-359 is a passenger locomotive (parowóz osobowy in Polish) built in Louis Victor Robert Schwartzkopff's factories in Berlin in 1917 It survived World War II and is now in service in Wolsztyn, a town in western Poland, since March 1989.

The 50gr stamp shows the Mansion in Łopuszna, a small village in southern Poland.

Thx a lot Waldemar for this wonderful cover - my first - from Katowice, Poland. (=

Mailing date: 11 July 2011
Delivery date: 6 August 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

James the Red Engine & Joe90 from the UK

Next is a lovely cover from the United Kingdom.  Thx Nigel for enabling me to talk about so memorable British children's characters. =)

Royal Mail kicked off the new year with another issue - on January 4 - playing on nostalgia of 60-somethings - the Genius of Gerry Anderson.

In 1961 the ITV network broadcast a revolutionary new puppet show called Supercar.  Frustrated by the primitive technology of previous puppet shows producer Gerry Anderson had devised a new kind of animation called Supermarionation.  This featured much more technically sophisticated puppets that were able to lip-synch dialogue while the problem of locomotion was solved by the simple expedient of putting the characters into vehicles for much of the show.

Combined with a fast moving sci-fi plot and plenty of special effects the show become an instant success and launched Anderson’s career.  Anderson was to produce five more iconic Supermarionation shows during the decade that followed before moving into live action TV with UFO, The Protectors and Space 1999.

Joe 90 is a late-1960s British science-fiction television series documenting the exploits of a nine-year-old boy, Joe McClaine, who embarks on a double life as a schoolboy turned spy when his scientist father invents a pioneering machine capable of duplicating and transferring expert knowledge and experience to another human brain.

Royal Mail also issued on 14 June 2011 a set of 6 stamps and a miniature sheet to commemorate the birth centenary of Reverend Wilbert Awdry, the creator of Thomas the Tank Engine.  The six stamps show Thomas and some of his friends from the TV series, namely: James (affixed on the envelope above), Percy, Daisy, Toby and Gordon. 

It was while his two-year-old son Christopher was suffering with measles that Wilbert tried to enliven his son’s bed-bound quarantine by telling stories and drawing pictures about a group of little engines.  He wrote down the stories and in May 1945 ‘The Three Railway Engines’ was published.  Between 1945 and 1972, Reverend Awdry wrote 26 volumes in ‘The Railway Series’.

James the Red Engine is a fictional locomotive from The Railway Series children's books and the spin-off TV series Thomas and Friends.  James is a mixed-traffic engine, which means he is just as capable of pulling coaches as trucks.  James first appeared in the Railway Series in 1946, in the book Thomas the Tank Engine.  Two books in the series, no. 3 James the Red Engine and no. 28 James and the Diesel Engines are dedicated to James.

Mailing date: 11.07.11
Delivery date: 22.07.11

World Book Day from China

World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated every 23 April worldwide.  China Post issued on April 23, 2011 a special 1.20元 stamp to celebrate this special event.  The stamp illustrates the turning pages of a book, a globe and three keys to remind us that books are the key to knowledge, and the words 世界读书日 (World Book Day in Chinese) and the date 4.23 complete the design.  This stamp is affixed on the official FDC above sent by Huang from the city of Wuhan.

Huang also used a 2元 stamp depicting the Welsh poppy (Meconopsis cambrica) issued in 2004 along with three other Meconopsis stamps, and a 80分 stamp on the Preservation of Polar Regions issued in 2002.  Thx a lot! :)

Mailing date: July 2, 2011
Delivery date: July 21, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Owls from Taiwan

Chunghwa Post issued a set of 4 postage stamps on July 7, 2011 stamps on the owls of Taiwan.  Owls are known as "cat head hawks" in Chinese because their flat faces give them a catlike appearance.  Most owls are nocturnal and prey on insects, small birds and mammals.  There are currently 12 species of owls in Taiwan, all of which are listed as protected species.

James affixed 3 of the 4 stamps on the nice FDC above:
NT$5 - Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)
NT$5 - Oriental Scops Owl (Otus sunia)
NT$10 - Tawny Owl (Strix aluco)

The last stamp (NT$25) depicts the Collared Owlet (Glaucidium brodiei).

Thanks a lot James! ><

Mailing date: 7 July 2011
Delivery date: 19 July 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chinese Idioms from Hong Kong

A Chinese idiom (Chengyu, 成语) is a traditional expression, most of which consist of 4 characters.  There are about 5000 Chinese idioms and their meanings usually surpass the sum of the meanings carried by the four characters, as idioms are often intimately linked with the myth, story or historical fact from which they were derived.  As such, Chinese idioms do not follow the usual grammatical structure and syntax of the modern Chinese spoken language, and are instead highly compact and synthetic.

Hongkong Post released on June 28, 2011 a set of 5 stamps on 5 different Chengyu.  It's the $2,40 stamp which Trudy sent to me on this nice FDC with the First day cancellation.  The illustration on that stamp matches perfectly the idiom "Practice makes perfect", with that guy practising hard his calligraphy.

Trudy completed her postage with the White-bellied Sea Eagle and the Scarlet Minivet stamps from the 2006 definitive set.  Thank you! (:

Mailing date: 28 June 2011
Delivery date: 13 July 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The 2010 World Fencing Championships in France

The 2010 World Fencing Championships were held at the Grand Palais in Paris from 4 to 13 November.  It was the fourth time that the City of Paris was hosting the World Championships.  A record number of 950 athletes from 110 countries took part in this competition.  

La Poste issued on October 25, 2010 a set of 2 gutter pairs stamps to mark this event.  The 0, 58€ stamp (left)  portrays a disabled athlete in a wheelchair while the 0,87€ stamp illustrates two bodied athletes fighting.  The impressive glass vault of the Grand Palais is illustrated on the gutter.

The postage was completed with the 0,75€ Europa stamp issued by France, the Europa theme this year being the International Year of Forestry.  Note that this cover was missent to Malaysia.

Thank you Eric! -_-

Mailing date: 21 June 2011
Delivery date: 7 July 2011

50 Years of the Swiss National Anthem

Central Switzerland was not just the cradle of the Swiss nation. It was also where the country's national anthem was born.  In the summer of 1841, Alberich Zwyssig (1808-1854), a priest and composer from Uri, was staying with his brother in the "Hof St. Carl", a magnificent mansion just outside Zug.

He composed the "Swiss psalm" as early as 1841, with lyrics from Leonhard Widmer, in those peaceful and secluded surroundings.  However, numerous attempts to make this popular song the Swiss national anthem initially failed.  Not until 1961 did the Federal Council decide that the "psalm" should provisionally become the national anthem. It was twenty years before it definitely replaced "Rufst du, mein Vaterland" ("When you call, my homeland") as the national anthem.  

Swiss Post decided to mark the 5oth anniversary of the Swiss national anthem by issuing on May 5, 2011 a miniature sheet of 4 stamps of denomination CHF 0.25 each.  The first verse of the Swiss psalm is watermarked on each stamp in the 4 official languages of the country, namely: German, French, Italian and Romansh.  It is this miniature sheet which is affixed on this envelope kindly sent from Lausanne - with a nice philatelic cachet - to my address by David.

He also used the cereals definitive self-adhesive stamps issued on September 4, 2008.  Un grand merci à David de France! =)

Mailing date: 22 June 2011
Delivery date: 6 July 2011

Velocipedes in France

La Poste issued on June 20, 2011 an interesting miniature sheet on the velocipedes, from the origins to present.  The 6 stamps on that miniature sheet each portray a distinct type of velocipede (or bicycle if you prefer).  Two of these stamps are affixed on that cover sent by Daniel from Paris with first day cancellation.

Paris and its world-famous Eiffel Tower and La Seine

The "draisienne" (or dandy horse) was created by the German Karl Drais in 1817 and is considered as the forerunner of the bicycle.  This two-wheeled vehicle did not have pedals and was propelled by the rider pushing along the ground with the feet as in regular walking or running (!)

Then were created the "michaudines", by Pierre Michaux in 1861, which were the first pedal bicycles ever manufactured!  However the front wheel of such velocipedes then became larger than the rear wheels. (can you notice it on the stamp on the right?)

Nonetheless, more was to come with the "Grand Bi" (Penny-farthing).  Its front wheel was so high and exaggerated and the rear wheel so small that this type of bicycle was and is still very unsafe.  It is for that specific reason that the Penny-farthing was condemned later on. (I still wonder how can people ride such bicycles... 0.o)

Merci beaucoup Daniel! :)

Mailing Date: 17 June 2011
Delivery Date: 4 July 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mauritius in World Heritage

The Mauritius Post Ltd. issued on April 18, 2011 a set of 4 postage stamps on the theme: "Mauritius in World Heritage".  The set comprises 2 stamps depicting Le Morne Heritage Site and 2 other the Aapravasi Ghat.

Rs14 & Rs15 Denominations: Le Morne Cultural Landscape
Le Morne is a mountainous promontory in the South West of the island of Mauritius where slaves escaping servitude found refuge.  Le Morne holds great importance in the history and memory of Mauritius.  It is known above all for its association with runaway slaves, engaged in their act of defiance against the system of slavery generally referred to as maroonage.  Le Morne stands out as a symbol where maroons paid a high price to retain their freedom by retreating into a dangerous mountain that required confronting frightening heights and negotiating narrow passes in hazardous conditions.  In extreme cases, maroons chose death over captivity.

This impressive natural site also symbolises the slaves' fight for freedom, their suffering and their sacrifice, all of which have relevance, beyond its geographical location, to the countries from which the slaves came - in particular Africa, Madagascar, India and South East Asia - and represented by the Creole community of Mauritius and their shared memories and oral traditions.

Slavery was officially abolished in Mauritius on the first of February 1835.  Commemorations are held in the island on that special date every year.  Le Morne Cultural Landscape was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2008.

-The Rs14 stamp illustrates Le Morne Mountain and its surrounding landscape.
-The Rs15 stamp illustrates the monument, seen from the mountain, erected in the memory of the slaves and their country of origin.

Registered cover sent from SSR International Airport Post Office franked with the Rs7 and Rs14 denominations stamps

Rs7 & Rs25 Denominations: The Aapravasi Ghat
After the abolition of slavery, workers were desperately needed to work on the sugar cane estates as the majority of freed slaves refused to work in the fields again.  That is when the British administration decided to bring thousands of indentured workers from India, mainly, Eastern Africa, Madagascar, China and South East Asia.  Unlike slaves, indentured labourers were remunerated - though poorly - but there living conditions were not better.

The Aapravasi Ghat (meaning The Immigration Depot in Hindi) used to accommodate indentured labourers from the time of their landing to their deployment on the various sugar cane estates around the island.  The Aapravasi Ghat site stands as a major historic testimony of indenture in the 19th century.  It represents not only the development of the modern system of contractual labour, but also the memories, traditions and values that these people carried with them when they left their countries of origin to work in foreign lands.

The Aapravasi Ghat was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2006.

-The Rs7 stamp depicts the flight of 16 steps which stands as the most symbolic figure of the site.  It marks the gateway through which thousands of indentured labourers hailing from diverse parts of the world first laid foot before going through the immigration process to seek another future.

-The Rs25 stamp features the hospital kitchen located within the hospital block and where medical instruments were sterilised.  Basic medical examinations of the indentured labourers were conducted in the hospital block.

The MPL also released a souvenir sheet consisting of the 4 stamps..

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 18 April 2011
Designer: Nitish Peechen
Printer: BDT Intl. Security Printing Ltd.
Process: Lithography
Size: 27.94 mm x 44.45 mm (Rs7 & Rs25)
        44.45 mm x 27.94 mm (Rs14 & Rs15)
Gum: PVA
Paper: CASCO Watermarked
Sheet Format: 50 stamps set in two panes of 25 with gutter
Miniature Sheet Size: 12cm x 10cm

Friday, November 18, 2011

150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy


Poste Italiane decided to mark the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy by issuing, on June 2, 2011 a set of 8 miniature sheets - besides the one issued jointly with San Marino - each portraying  a main figure who took part in this unification.  Ivan kindly sent me the one dedicated to Vincenzo Gioberti (1801-1852).  Gioberti was educated by the fathers of the Oratory with a view to the priesthood and ordained in 1825. Partly under the influence of Mazzini, the freedom of Italy became his ruling motive in life.  His semi-political works, increased by other occasional political articles, aided in drawing the liberal clergy into the movement which has resulted since his time in the unification of Italy.

The stamp on the left illustrates the 15-centesimo (1/100th of Italian lira) stamp with the effigy of Vittorio Emanuele II issued in 1863 and the first to appear with the indication "ITALIANO".  Vittorio Emanuele II assumed the title King of Italy to become the first king of a united Italy in 1861 until his death in 1878.  The Italians gave him the epithet Father of the Fatherland.  The words: "Quel Magnifico Biennio", meaning That Magnificent Period, refer to the unification of Italy.

The stamp on the upper left of the cover is about the capital city of Italy, Rome.  This stamp, featuring, within a linear frame portraying the colours of the Italian flag, the work of Marcella Morlacchi entitled "Roma dalle Quadrighe del Vittoriano: dal Quirinale al Colosseo" and created in 2008, was issued on April 21, 2011 to celebrate Rome as the capital city.  The Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II)  is depicted in that art work and is a monument built to honour Vittorio Emanuele, the first king of a unified Italy as said earlier. The monument also holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the statue of Italy after World War I following an idea of General Giulio Douhet.

Thank you Ivan! -_-

Mailing date: June 23, 2011
Delivery date: July 2, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

International Customs Day 2011

Hi everyone! I'm back! :)  A little Souvenir Cover to get started...  

This year the World Customs Organization has dedicated the theme "Knowledge, a catalyst for Customs excellence" to commemorate the International Customs Day celebrated on 26th January, 2011.  This is in tribute to the critical role knowledge plays in enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations across the globe.

In Mauritius, International Customs Day 2011 coincided with the official relocation of the Customs department under one roof at the Customs House.  The year 2011 also marks a significant landmark in the history of the department.  Though according to the Mauritius Archives, a Bureau des Douanes (Customs Office) was set up in 1797, the present department dates back to 1811 with the British takeover and the nomination of Christopher Teesdale as first Collector of Customs.  The nature and function of the institution was significantly transformed in the 19th century with the department operating as a typical Custom House of the British Empire.

The department has played a significant role in the country's development, not only as a revenue raising institution, or in business facilitation but also in maintaining public health through the prohibition of imports of dangerous drugs, narcotics and other substances, in the control of pests and animal diseases as well as in wild life preservation through exports prohibitions.  It also played an ever increasing role in safeguarding the intellectual property rights.

Letter from first Collector of Customs in Mauritius, Christopher Teesdale.

In 2004, The Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) was established as an agent of the State for the management, operation and administration of Revenue laws. MRA became fully operational with effect as from the 1st July 2006 and it integrated the Customs department in a unified revenue collecting structure.

The Customs department has moved to a new and state of the art building at Mer Rouge.  Through its architectural design and organizational set up, the Custom House symbolizes a commitment to modernity and enhancement of knowledge.  It houses a modern training school and a fully equipped documentation centre/ library.  The new building will also house a small museum retracing the history of Customs in Mauritius from the colonial era to the post-independence period.

Technical Details
Event: International Customs Day
Release Date: 26 January 2011
Design: Nitish Peechen
Cover Illustration: New Customs House, Mer Rouge
Stamp: Rs7 of the Bicentenary of the British Conquest of Isle de France issue (2010)