It's always sad when an excellent stamp-issuing entity stops issuing its own stamps and is taken over by a greedy, exploitative philatelic agency. Several such cases come to mind from recent years and now it's happening again. Due to political changes affecting the island, Norfolk Island Post will cease providing a postal service to the islanders from 1 July 2016 and therefore end it's production and sale of postage stamps.
In Its place, Australia Post will begin to release stamps inscribed Norfolk Island Australia and who knows what expensive, little philatelic pleasures will be produced in the name of the island's postal service in the future as a result of this development.
Chris de Haer, reporting these unfolding events on Stampboards, reveals that Norfolk Island Post's last stamp issue was released on 7 June 2016 and commemorated the 160th anniversary of the landing of the Pitcairners on Norfolk Island which actually occurred on 8 June 1856. The stamp depicts a ledger book found in a storeroom on Norfolk Island by John Buffett on the day the Pitcairners landed there and subsequently used by him as a diary. Rating:- ***** (if only because of the limited period of sale for this particular miniature sheet).
Australia Post states that its first issue for Norfolk Island will feature "2 iconic birds" of the island - the Red-tailed tropicbird and the Masked booby; the subject was suggested by an organisation called Parks Australia. Why, I wonder, are the Norfolk Islanders themselves not allowed to choose the subjects for the stamps on which the name of their home is printed? This seems a good example of the typical arrogance of a large organisation given the responsibility to provide "a service" to small local communities.
Nor, at this stage, does it seem that the first stamps will be issued on 1 July 2016 even though Norfolk Island Post stamps will no longer be valid. What postage stamps will be used on the island in the interval - ordinary Australian stamps? This will be an interesting period for collectors to keep an eye open for what mail turns up from the island and it sounds as though there will be some postal history in the making for a short time.
The eternal inventiveness, no matter how bizarre, of those charged by postal administrations with the job of extracting money from stamp collectors and the non-philatelic public continues to amaze me. The latest jaw-dropping wonder dreamed up to impoverish collectors by the Isle Of Man postal administration is astounding to me. I mentioned the new "Parish walk" set of 17 stamps (cost £7.65) in Blog 764 but this has been expanded by the Manx Philatelic Bureau into 2 "Collectable sheets", each made up of 108 stamps arranged differently in the 2 sheets - the first with a pale blue edge is the "Philatelic sheet" whilst the second, the "Postal sheet" has dark blue edging. The price of the first is £45.90 while the second costs £48.60 - total £94.50p (!) I am not sure why one is more expensive than the other but I see no reason why anyone would want to spend such an amount of money on either of these items so the question of the differing prices is merely academic. Rating:- 0.
I thought I had mentioned all the items released to commemorate the New York 2016 Stamp Exhibition but I think that I have overlooked one further issue from "The World's Most Respected Philatelic Agency", the US-based IGPC. The item is a sheetlet of 3 different stamps inscribed with the name of Tuvalu on the subject of "New York's Iconic Sights and Scenes" with a stated date of issue of 29 April 2016. Rating:- 0.