Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Singapore Flyer on Postcard

The Singapore Flyer is a giant observational wheel located at the Raffles Avenue, Marina Promenade, Singapore.  It is 165m high, i.e. 5m taller than the Star of Nanchang in China and 30 m taller than the London Eye in the UK, making it the tallest Ferris wheel in the world!

Each of the 28 air-conditioned capsules is capable of holding 28 passengers, and a complete rotation of the wheel takes about 30 minutes.  Initially rotating in a counter-clockwise direction when viewed from Marina Centre, its direction was changed on 4 August 2008 under the advice of feng shui masters.

This card shows one of these capsules at sunset.

View of the Marina Bay from the Singapore Flyer.

I bought the 50¢ stamp showing the Black Marsh Terrapin (Siebenrockiella crassicollis), from the 2011 'Pond Life' definitive set.

Mailing date: 30 December 2011
Delivery date: 11 January 2011

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Four Heavenly Kings in Malaysia

The four Heavenly Kings are four Buddhist gods, each of whom watches over one cardinal direction of the world.  From left to right: Kuang Mu, To Wen, Ch'i Kuo and Ch'ng Chang.

The statues on the above postcard are found at the Kek Lok Si Temple, or the Temple of Supreme Bliss, in Air Itam, Penang Island, northwest Malaysia.  Opened in 1891, it is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia

The stamps illustrate the Spotted Dove or Tekukur (Streptopelia chinensis - 20sen) and the Lotus or Bunga Teratai (Nelumbium nelumbo - 30sen), from the 2005 'Birds' and the 2010 'Garden Flowers' definitive sets respectively.  The 20sen Spotted Dove stamp has been reprinted so many times that I don't think this one is from the original issue... well, I'm pretty sure of it.

Mailing date: 04 Jan 2012
Delivery date: 25 Jan 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Tour of Cambridge in the UK

A 'multiview' postcard for today.  It shows various scenes of the university town of Cambridge, enjoy!

Thank you Li Sien.  Unfortunately, no stamps were used :(  Instead, a dull franking by Royal Mail...

Mailing date: unknown
Delivery date: 16 December 2011

Thursday, August 9, 2012

HABRIA '11 Stamp Exhibition Special Postmark in Germany

Thank you very much Martin for this new mail! :)  It features a special pictorial postmark marking the participation of the Deutsche Post at the HABRIA 11 Bilateral Stamp Exhibition (18-20 November 2011) held by the Hanover Stamp Club of 1886 at the Hanover Congress Centrum.  Exhibitors from the UK and Germany participated in this event.

The Old Heligoland Lighthouse in 1903.

The postmark represents the old Heligoland Lighthouse (German Leuchtturm Helgoland), located on Germany's only offshore island, Heligoland.  The Prussian administration ordered the construction of a new lighthouse in 1902, to replace an even older one built by the British when Heligoland was under their rule.  The lighthouse was in service from 1902 until its destruction during World War II in 1945.  A square-shaped anti-aircraft tower made of heavily reinforced concrete was the only building to resist the bombings and was converted into a makeshift lighthouse in 1952.

The stamp depicts the Dahmeshöved Lighthouse, from the 2011 Lighthouse series (Date of Issue: July 7).  This lighthouse is situated in northern Germany on the Baltic Sea coast.

Mailing date: 18 November 2011
Delivery date: -5 December 2011

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bicentenary of the Mauritius Turf Club (1812 - 2012)

The Mauritius Post issued on June 25, 2012 a set of four postage stamps and a souvenir sheet to commemorate the Bicentenary of the Mauritius Turf Club.

The Mauritius Turf Club (MTC) was founded in 1812.  It is the third oldest horse racing organisation in the world after the prestigious English Jockey Club (1750) and the Irish Turf Club (1790).  It is also the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sir Robert Farquhar, Governor of the island since its conquest by the British in 1810, and his wife, of French origin, Lady Maria Lautour, convened an organising committee on June 12, 1812 to set the regulations for horse racing on the Champ de Mars.  The other members were army and administrative officials:  Robert Sale, J. Picton, Henry Streatfield and Chris Teesdale.  Lady Maria offered the first gold cup of the Turf Club for the main event on June 25, 1812.

The aim of the founders was to reconcile around the horse the inhabitants of the island to their English administrators.

Three persons above all, namely Sir Robert Farquhar, Charles Telfair, naturalist scientist and Colonel Edward Draper, contributed to a peaceful transition from French to British rule after 1810.  Colonel Draper turned up only around 1813/14.  He was a competent administrator and keen gentleman rider.  The horses of these tree personalities competed regularly on the Champs de Mars.

The race course itself is the crater of a volcano.  Jean-François Charpentier de Cossigny (1690-1780), a French military engineer, was the first to suggest that the crater area would lend itself to development as a town.  Mahé de Labourdonnais (1699-1753), French Governor of Mauritius, then known as Isle de France, between 1735 and 1746, took up Cossigny's concept.  Port Louis was created and the Champ de Mars used fro military manoeuvres before becoming a race course in 1812 under the British.

Mint Souvenir Sheet
Cancelled-to-order Souvenir Sheet

The population of the island was immediately won over horse racing: an enduring passion that still prevails today.  Records show that over the past centuries, huge crowds have attended the race, even during the World Wars of the last century.

Cover featuring Waterfront PO date stamp on First Day of Issue

The MTC is the only internationally recognised horse racing organisation of the island.  Horse races take place on Saturdays, and on Sunday for special occasions.  Four classical races are held during each horse racing season, which extends from March until December, namely: the 'Duchess of York Cup', the 'Barbé Cup', the 'Maiden' and the 'Duke of York Cup' or 'Gold Cup'.

Horse racing at the Champ de Mars has inspired painters, poets and novel writers.  A vibrant press keeps alive the interest of its readers with detailed information on entries, betting trends, horse rating and time factor.  Radio and television cover a wide audience both locally and overseas.

Mail registered at Réduit PO on June 29, 2012

The MTC provides jobs to hundreds of people both on and off course and contributes, through taxes on bets and services, in a significant way to the socio-economic development of the country.

Technical Details:
Release date: 25 June 2012
Stamps Denomination & Illustration: Rs7 - Horse Racing
                                                       Rs10 - View of the Race Track, the Champ de Mars
                                                       Rs14 - Grandstand (1917)
                                                       Rs21 - The Mauritius Turf Club Insignia
                                                       Rs50 (Souvenir Sheet) - The Paddock
Designer: Nitish Peechen
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
Cover illustration: View of horse racing and crowd
Courtesy: The Mauritius Turf Club for photographs, illustrations and text materials -

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pope John Paul II in Poland

Poland is, I think, the second country which issued the greatest number of stamps on late Pope John Paul II,  after the Vatican, with the first issue dating back to June 1979 and the latest one to April 2005.  Karol Józef Wojtyła (1920 - 2005) was from Wadowice, a city in southern Poland. He became Pope on 16 October 1978 and passed away on 2 April 2005. 

He was the second-largest serving Pope in history and the first non-Italian since 1523.  John Paul II was doubtlessly the most appreciated Pope ever and one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century.  He also visited 129 countries, beatified 1,340 people and canonised 483 Saints during his pontificate. 

The 80GR stamp above (second from the right) was released on 18 May 1995 to celebrate the 75th birth anniversary of Pope John Paul II and the 1.30 one on 8 April 2005 on his death.

To view all the postage stamps about Pope John Paul II issued by Poland, click here.
Mauritius also issued a set of stamps, on 13 October 1989, for the Visit of the Pope in the island, click here to see it.

Thank you very  much Waldemar for such a wonderful mail from Katowice! :D

Mailing date: 05 December 2011
Delivery date: 14 December 2011

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rare Species of Turtle in Bangladesh

Thank you so much Subrata for helping me enlarging my collection of countries! :D Bangladesh is number 39.

The two se-tenant stamps were released on July 17, 2011 and designed by Anowar Hossain.  They portray two species of turtle found in Bangladesh and classified as vulnerable: the Brahminy river turtle or Crowned river turtle (Hardella thurjii - left) and the Black pond turtle or Spotted pond turtle (Geoclemys hamiltonii - right)

The third stamp was issued as a defintive stamp on February 28, 1995 to commemorate the National Diabetes Awareness Day in Bangladesh.  It depicts a child injecting himself with insuline, a man practising physical activity, and vegetables, essential to prevent diabetes.

Mailing date: -7 January 2012
Delivery date: -2 February 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Year of the Hare 2011 in China

The hare is the fourth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac.  Year of the Hare (辛卯年) 2011 ranged between 3 February 2011 and 22 January 2012.  The rabbit is well-known for attracting good fortune and being lucky.  Another aspect of this Chinese Horoscope sign reveals tendency to cultural activities and the arts.  Most Rabbit people are friendly individuals who enjoy the company of a group of good friends.

China Post issued, as it does every year for each Chinese New Year, a  single stamp, on January 5, 2011, to commemorate this major event in China and among the Chinese diaspora around the world.  A block of four and a strip of two of this 2011 'Year of the Hare' stamp are present on the above mail sent from Suzhou.

The next Year of the Hare will be from 22 January 2023 till 9 February 2024.

Thank you very much Xu. :)

Mailing date: 23 DEC 2011
Delivery date: 31 DEC 2011

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Endangered Marine Species in India

India Post and Philpost jointly issued a set of two se-tenant stamps and a miniature sheet on 16 and 27 November 2009 respectively.  This joint issue was to mark the 60 years of diplomatic relations between India the Philippines.  I'm happy to show you the Indian miniature sheet, on this mail posted from Bangalore, in the south of India.

Two endangered marine animals are featured in this set:

- The Ganges River Dolphin or Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista gangetica - Rs5 left) is a freshwater dolphin that is found primarily in the River Ganges.  It can also be seen in several rivers of South Asia.  During times of flood the Ganges River Dolphin is also seen in seasonal channels and flood plains.  

The Gangetic Dolphin eats various species of fish, frogs, amphibians and other invertebrates and possibly turtles and young water birds.  It uses echolocation to find its prey and also uses its flippers and snout to locate something edible in the muddy riverbed.

- The Butanding (Rhincodon typus - Rs20 right), or whale shark, is a slow-moving and the largest species of fish in the world which is also a filter feeding shark.  It can live for about 100 years, grow up to 12.2 m and weigh up to 13.6 tons.  It is usually found in tropical and warm oceans.

As a filter feeder, the whale shark’s foods are phytoplankton, macro-algae, plankton, krill and small nektonic like small squids, shrimps and prawns.

Whale sharks usually visit the waters of the Philippines specifically in Donsol from the month of November to May.  The Butanding is a migratory creature in nature which commonly travels across the oceans close to the equator.  Studies have shown that nowhere else in the world have a larger group of Butanding been observed than in the waters of Donsol, Sorsogon.

Mailing date:  9 November 2011
Delivery date: 18 November 2011

Friday, August 3, 2012

Inauguration of the New Triolet Post Office

To mark the opening of the new Triolet Post Office on May 24, 2012, The Mauritius Post put on sale a Special Commemorative Cover.

With a view to providing a better environment to both its local and foreign customers, the Mauritius Post is sparing no efforts to invest on the modernisation and renovation of its infrastructure.  After the opening of new Post Offices in Glen Park, Pailles, Ebène, Trou aux Biches and La Flora, the MPL inaugurated a modern building in the northern village of Triolet.

Prior to the construction of a composite building accommodating both a Post Office and the Telephone Exchange in 1967, Postal Services in Triolet were delivered through a Postal Agency.

The old building was inaugurated on 7 September 1967.  A large range of postal services with a banking service through the Post Office Savings Bank were provided.

45 years later, a new, modern and spacious Post Office has been erected, providing over 65 postal and non-postal services, such as Public Internet Access Point, e-telegram, e-money transfer, e-commerce and so on,  to the inhabitants of Triolet and its vicinity and to tourists as well.

The inauguration of this new Post Office matches well with the motto of the celebrations of the 240 years of postal services in Mauritius: "from history to modernity".

Technical Details:
Event:  Inauguration of New Triolet Post Office
Release date: May 24, 2012
Cover illustration:  View of the new Tiolet post office building
Stamp: Rs100 of the '110th Birth Anniversary of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam' issue (2010)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pipa on Hong Kong Postcard

Here's another beautiful postcard from Kun.  It portrays a young lady playing the pipa.  The pipa, also known as the Chinese lute, is a four-stringed traditional Chinese musical instrument.  It has a pear-shaped wooden body and a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26.  It belongs to the plucked category of instruments and has been played for almost two thousands years in China.

Kun kindly affixed the $3 stamp from the Museums Collection series, with First Day Cancellation (06 December 2011).  The stamp represents a Green Glazed Barrel for herbal tea, displayed at Dr. & Mrs. Hung Hin Shiu Museum of Chinese Medicine, located in Kowloon.  Thank you very much Kun! =)

Mailing date: 06 December 2011
Delivery date: 24 December 2011

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Blue-Crowned Hanging Parrot in Singapore

The Blue-Crowned Hanging Parrot (Loriculus galgulus) is a small species of mainly green parrots found in forested lowlands from Thailand to Borneo.  Adult males have a blue crown, red throat and rump, and a yellow lower back.  The blue crown is less noticeable among adult females.  They feed on buds, flowers, nectar, seeds, fruits, and occasionally insects.

The Blue-Crowned Hanging Parrot even has its own postage stamp, issued by Singapore Post on June 6, 2007.  The two 55¢ stamps on the mail above are from the 2007 Flora and Fauna definitive set.  The small 2007B marking at the bottom left of the stamp indicates that they are from the first reprint batch.

Mailing date: 30 December 2011
Delivery date: 11 January 2012