Thursday, 16 September 2021

1944. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ด New Australia-UK-US Alliance Should Ensure Continuation Of BIOT Stamps.









 ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ด Recently stamp collectors have been quite exercised about the rather worthless pronouncement by the Universal Postal Union that stamps inscribed British Indian Ocean Territory should not be used on mail from the Chagos Islands and only stamps inscribed Mauritius which claims the islands should be used on mail from the territory even though there is no Mauritian post office in the Chagos.

  Well the announcement of the establishment of the new alliance between Australia, United Kingdom and United States called AUKUS whereby Australia will not buy French diesel-powered submarines but instead have nuclear-powered submarines produced by the members of the new alliance must surely ensure that there is not a snow ball’s chance in hell of The United States with its huge and vital military base on Diego Garcia giving up the base nor allowing the British to hand the territory over to Mauritius. If there were any chance of BIOT stamps coming to an end before, this new military development should ensure that BIOT stamps will continue to appear for use by civilian workers in the territory.

  A splendid link to this story of course is the miniature sheet of 6 different stamps which was issued by BIOT in 2001 which depicts Royal Navy submarines:-













๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Illustrations of the Royal Mail Christmas stamps due for release on 2 November 2021 have been sent to me by an anonymous source whom I thank. The set is made up of 8 stamps and there will also be an accompanying miniature sheet and a ‘generic sheet’ and 2 booklets containing 12 x 2nd Class stamps and 12 x 1st Class stamps. No other details are currently available. The 2nd Class (66p) and 1st Class (85p) clearly come in two types - with and without a barcode. The other values are 2nd Large (96p) and Ist Large (£1.29p), £1.70p and £2.55p. The miniature sheet will cost £9.52p and the cost of the booklets will be £7.92p and £10.20p and the Generic sheet price will sell at £21.75p. These are attractive stamps even when seen in rather blurred illustrations and I am pleased to see the religious theme as the subject of the 2021 stamps. Despite all this, it’s not easy to ignore the fact that even stamp issues as basic as those for use on Christmas mail now cost the one-of-everything collector a small fortune. Pity. Rating:- ****.




















1943. ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ Tristan Commemorates The Duke Of Edinburgh.

 





















๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญThe postal service of Tristan Da Cunha will issue a set of 4 stamps on 23 September 2021 to commemorate the life of the late Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who died earlier this year at the age of 99. The issue was designed by Bee Design and lithographed by Cartor and the stamps are perforated 13.5. This is a dignified tribute on stamps sold at an acceptable price. Rating:- ****.

  Collectors will not forget that the main settlement of Tristan Da Cunha is called Edinburgh (Of The Seven Seas) after the third Duke Of Edinburgh (Prince Alfred 1866 - 1900) who was the son of Queen Victoria and her Prince Consort, Albert. Prince Albert visited Tristan in 1867 and 4 stamps were issued in 1967 to commemorate the Centenary of the visit. Likewise the 150th anniversary of the visit was commemorated by the release of 4 more stamps in 2017. Prince Philip himself visited the island in 1957 and the 60th anniversary of his visit was commemorated by 6 stamps in 2017 showing scenes from the visit.
























































๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท The postal service of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has issued 2 colourful stamps to commemorate the Tokyo Olympic Games. The date of issue and further details are awaited. Rating:- ***.








Wednesday, 8 September 2021

1942. ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Pos Malaysia Celebrates COVID-19 Heroes.

 












๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Pos Malaysia issued a set of 4 stamps on 9 September 2021 to commemorate the heroes of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The designs by the young female artist Red Hong Yi are pictures in the form of miniature mosaics made from Malaysian stamps. These are very successful and original designs. An excellent and worthy issue. Rating:-*****.













๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ There have been a number of new single stamp issues released by the postal service of Bangladesh recent:- 

9 June 2021 - 50th anniversary of the Guerrilla War against the forces of West Pakistan - 1 stamp. Rating:- ****.









15 August 2021 - Operation Jackpot, part of the Bengali campaign against the forces of West Pakistan in 1971. - 1 stamp. Rating:- ****.








5 September 2021 - 48th anniversary of the admission of Bangladesh to membership of the International Telecommunications Union - 1 stamp. Rating:- ****.














๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บ  Mauritius Post will release its first issue of 2021 - a single stamp - on 10 September 2021to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Ferney Hydroelectric Plant. A colourful stamp. Rating:- ****.














๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ช Jersey Post is planning to release two new Post And Go issues. The first, to be dispensed from 9 to 13 September only (just 5 days) from kiosk JE02 post office in Broad Street, commemorates the 20th visit to Jersey of SV Tenacious and takes the form of the strip of the 6 Nautical knot stamps with the added inscription ‘SV Tenacious/Jersey 2021’. 
  The second stamp issue takes the form of the 6 Lighthouses Post and Go stamps with the added inscription ‘Jersey Corn Riots/250th anniversary’ which was an historical event of local significance but deemed only worthy to be commemorated on some Post and Go stamps. These items will also be dispensed from kiosk JE02 in Broad Street and for the very short time period of 28 September to 2 October. Mock-ups of two of the stamps are depicted below:-














Sunday, 5 September 2021

1941. ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง 2022. More Of The Same?











   As September advances the realisation comes to me that 2022 is not that far away. Collectors, we few we unhappy few, usually enjoy speculating about what new issues will be released by the postal services whose stamps we collect, or once collected, in the coming year. Once upon a time we could rely on known events and known significant anniversaries to point us in the right direction but now those responsible for new stamp issues, who appear in some cases to be immature men in early middle age obsessed by comics and ephemeral popular culture, choose more often than not to project a positive national image glowing with national pride honouring national heroes and celebrating the country’s genuine culture, inspiring history and national beauty but to concentrate on making a fast buck, which I suppose is their brief, for the degraded organisation and its shareholders, for which and for whom they work. Hence the power of prophesy has largely been taken away from the stamp collector since there is no guarantee that a significant national anniversary will receive philatelic commemoration just as it is impossible to predict which piece of popular contemporary North American culture will next be featured on a country’s postage stamp whether or not the subject can be shown to have the slightest connection with that particular country.

  So given that just about anything may now be featured on huge numbers of philatelic products released by postal administrations let’s just think what might still be coming up from Commonwealth philatelic services, especially Royal Mail, in the coming year.

  The big philatelic event I assume will be the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II, Queen of The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Bahamas, Grenada, Antigua And Barbuda, Saint Lucia, St Vincent And The Grenadines, St Kitts And Nevis, Belize, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu and all the dependent territories, as she succeeded to the thrones of those territories on 6 February 1952 when her father George VI died whilst she and husband were visiting Kenya (note that while she is also presently Queen Of Barbados that particular country is planning to become a republic on 30 November this year). There’s clearly a potential for a large number of issues from all or some of these territories especially as the Queen is also Head of The Commonwealth which gives a particular justification for all members of that organisation to participate in such an issue.













  Another big Commonwealth event for 2022 will be the holding of the Commonwealth Games in England’s second city, Birmingham, from 28 July to 8 August. It is to be expected that Royal Mail would mark this event with a stamp issue though as the Games are not taking place in London we may see nothing more exciting than a specially painted postbox and a commemorative postmark. 

  We must expect a special issue from Royal Mail, probably early in the year, to commemorate the ‘Heroes’ of the COVID-19 pandemic as in the last few weeks British schoolchildren have been busily engaged in preparing designs for such stamps by participating in a Royal Mail competition. I assume that one of the designs will feature a depiction of the now legendary centenarian, Major Tom, though such an assumption may be ill-judged given those that decide on the subjects which are to appear on Royal Mail stamps tend to prefer featuring fictional American psychopathic killers such as The Joker in preference to genuine British heroes.

Other possible Royal Mail issues related to anniversaries in 2022:-

16 March (1872) - 150th anniversary of the first FA Cup final in which Wanderers beat the Royal Engineers - surely there must be a stamp issue for this notable sporting anniversary.












12 July (1962) - 60th anniversary of the first ever concert by The Rolling Stones performed at The Marquee Club in London. Does this mean that The Rolling Stones will be the subject of another one of those tiresome ‘Music Giants’ issues which feature worn out old popular musicians? - probably.

18 October (1922) - Centenary of the establishment of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). There’s no chance that this anniversary will be missed as an opportunity to feature popular television programmes to entice collectors and non-collectors alike to spend, spend, spend. Do note that 2022 is the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of the BBC’s camp comedy of innuendo, Are You Being Served? so we may yet see Mrs Slocombe’s pussy being featured on a British postage stamp.










31 August (1977) - 25th anniversary of the death of Diana Princess of Wales. No Royal Mail stamps obviously but a flood of ‘tribute’ issues from the likes of IGPC I expect.












Miscellaneous other Royal Mail issues - the usual Christmas stamps I suppose, some items featuring a children’s book or television series (perhaps tying in with the BBC Centenary issue), a set featuring a subject related to animals or wildlife, a set on a themed subject featuring landscapes and a set commemorating some aspect of genuine British history. 2022 will see the anniversary of the Independence of India and Pakistan but no Royal Mail commemoration of the anniversaries is expected.

  So there we are, 10 suggestions for possible Royal Mail issues in 2022. Add in some more issues celebrating more American comics or films or other aspects of popular culture and we have almost put  the full Royal Mail programme together - hundreds and hundreds of pounds-worth of it. 2022 - I can hardly wait.

Post scriptum - Three Commonwealth countries achieved their independence in 1962 so it is not at all unlikely that all three countries - Jamaica, Trinidad And Tobago and Uganda will issue stamps during 2022 to commemorate the Diamond jubilee of the granting of Independence to them.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

1940. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Isle Of Man - Local Hero And Brainteaser Stamps.

 










๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฒ When it comes to meeting sales targets it must be difficult for those responsible for maximising a postal service’s profits from philatelic sales, and presumably if they fail they get the sack, to constantly come up with new ideas about which stamp collectors will not moan (though the best policy clearly is to completely ignore collectors’ opinions, after all there’s always a bunch of idiots out there going to spend large amounts of money on your products for the sake of completeness no matter what the subject matter is). You could say that for managers charged with producing a profitable stamp programme it is all a bit of a brainteaser.

  Someone who decides on Isle Of Man Post Office’s new issue programme must have been scratching their head trying to decide what may earn a few pennies for the organisation and seems to have taken this personal brainteaser as inspiration for the theme of one of the island’s new issues - puzzles set by MENSA to commemorate the organisation’s 75th anniversary. MENSA was founded in England in 1946 (so not a Manx anniversary you will note) by Roland Berrill, a barrister, and Dr Lance Ware who was clever enough to be both a lawyer and a scientist (“such men are dangerous” as Caesar said of Cassius). According to publicity for the stamps, “They had the idea of forming a society for bright people, the only qualification for membership of which was a high IQ. The original aims were, as they are today, to create a society that is non-political [though in doing so they were not bright enough to see that they were acting politically - WK] and free from all racial and religious distinctions. Mensa means table in Latin and the organisation was so named because Mensa is a round-table society….” . It seems ironic that this organisation exists and  takes pride in not discriminating against anyone unless of course they’re not very bright in which case they are persona non grata! Regardless, collectors can try to answer the puzzles on the stamps and see if they are the right sort of person to become members of the elitist organisation.

  The issue was designed by Glazier Design and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 13. The big question associated with this set is, “who is more intelligent - the collector who decides he/she must have the accompanying four pane Prestige booklet costing £18.54 or the collector who decides to spend that sum of money instead on a nice meal going out with friends? Answers on a postcard. The issue will be released on 1 October 2021. There is also a single ‘booklet pane’ containing all 6 stamps and on sale for £9.28. Rating:- *.






















  ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Isle Of Man Post Office also intends to issue a set of direct relevance to the history of the island by commemorating the 250th birth anniversary of Captain John Quilliam, a local hero born in the village of Marown on 29 September 1771, who fought in the Battle of Trafalgar and in doing so helped to prevent Bonaparte’s attempts to invade Great Britain. He had a distinguished career with the Royal Navy fighting also at the Battle of Camperdown and also serving as British ambassador to the court of the Emperor of China. A local man worth commemorating on a special anniversary of his birth and celebrated with charming designs by Colleen Corlett. The 6 stamps were lithographed by Cartor and are perforated 13 and will be released on 25 September 2021. Rating:- *****.














๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡จ The New York-based purveyor of philatelic items, IGPC, will issue 2 miniature sheets inscribed St Vincent And The Grenadines on an unspecified date to cash in on the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist outrages in New York (see Blog 601). The information put out by the ‘agency’ states that collectors are “able to purchase these stamp sheets from local Post Offices of the participating governments (similar items have also been produced with the inscription ‘Marshall Islands’)….” which is a remarkable statement given that they are supposed to be postage stamps for use in St Vincent and you would therefore expect them to be sold in post offices there to be applied to mail. Rating:- 0.