Thursday 2 May 2013

234. Lady Thatcher And Sir Rex Hunt.

 Ascension Island, which played an important role as a British military base during the war to liberate The Falkland Islands from military occupation by Argentina, has fittingly become the second territory to announce that it will release a set of stamps to commemorate the late Baroness Thatcher, the first and only woman to become British prime minister and leader at the time of the Falklands war. As we may expect from Pobjoy Stamps and Creative Direction (Worldwide), the philatelic agents and stamp producers for Ascension Island, there are 4 marvelous designs in the set with the 40p depicting Lady Thatcher giving a victory salute, the 50p showing her in the cockpit of a military aircraft (Ascension was an important air force base during the Falklands war), the 60p depicting a wonderful photograph of Lady Thatcher, cup of tea in hand, on a visit to Ascension and the £1.45 value showing her in her Knight of The Garter costume. These designs are a perfect example of how to take an international theme and link it to the territory which is issuing the stamps. The stamps will be issued on 14 June 2013. 
  Meanwhile, the same agency is also releasing 2 further sets with relevance to the Falklands war of 1982. The sets from The Falkland Islands and South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands commemorate the late Sir Rex Hunt who was Governor of The Falkland Islands from 1980 to 1985 although he was deported from the islands by The Argentinians when they occupied the territory in April 1982. He was born in Redcar in North Yorkshire on 29 June 1926 and joined the Royal Air Force as a cadet in 1941 and became a pilot in 1945. He died on 11 November 2012 and the issue of both sets of stamps will coincide with a memorial service which will be held at St. Clement Danes Central Church of the RAF on 11 June 2013.

I particularly like the 75p value of The Falkland islands set which depicts Sir Rex Hunt in, without wishing to be rude, his vaguely comical full imperial governor's uniform and standing in front of his even more comical official transport in The Falkland Islands, a red London taxi. I guess as a British diplomat, there are a lot of problems to face but none so excruciating as having to wear traditional costumes which date back to Victorian times.

I also illustrate below an exhibition souvenir dating back to 1983, a year after the Falklands war, which reproduced one of the Falkland Islands "liberation" commemorative stamps and in the right hand border, a facsimile signature of Sir Rex Hunt:-

  Mauritius has outlined its new issue programme for 2013 without giving any specific dates of issue apart from the first issue:- 
a. Sites and monuments of Mauritius - 4 stamps (issued 17 April 2013),

b. Anniversaries and events - 4 stamps,
c. Fauna and flora - 3 stamps and
d. Eminent personalities - 2 stamps.
  The latest issues from Hong Kong China are a set of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet which includes all 6 values in the Children's stamp series and titled are "My pet and I". The issue was released on 28 March 2013:-

and on 7 May 2013 there is an issue which depicts the "Revitalisation of Historic Buildings" and again consists of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-

The latest issues from Tuvalu are:- 

a. 21 March 2013 - "World Humanitarian Day" - 4 stamps in a sheetlet and 1 single-stamp miniature sheet. No effort has been made by the designer of the stamps to make them relevant to Tuvalu itself, even the map on one of the stamps and in the borders of the m.s. shows The United States and not Tuvalu:-

b. 29 April 2013 - Mushrooms - 4 stamps in a sheetlet and 1 m.s.:-

c. 29 April 2013 - Blossoming plants of the Pacific - 8 stamps (2 sheetlets, each of 4 different stamps) and 2 m.s. These are really quite attractive designs but why not make it an issue of "Blossoming plants of Tuvalu" rather than of the general Pacific area?

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