Nurses have appeared on stamps from Commonwealth postal administrations before - my favourites are those from Royal Mail in 2012 and Cayman Islands in 1970 both of which featured the rather disagreeable Sarah Gamp, a somewhat disreputable midwife who makes an appearance in Charles Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit. Even though 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of Dickens’ death I suppose it would be somewhat inappropriate to combine the anniversary with the Nightingale anniversary and commemorate International Year of the Nurse with a Sarah Gamp stamp!
The first is a postcard sent out from the philatelic bureau with 2 stamps printed on it - a Carry Us Through stamp (see Blog 1647) and a Year of the Nurse Stamp - with a printed cancellation reading ‘NEW STAMP COLLECTIONS DOUGLAS ISLE OF MAN 4 MY 20’ and intended as an advertisement for the two featured issues:-
The second item is a very pleasing Greetings card sent by Isle Of Man Stamps & Coins to its customers with a montage of Manx stamps on its front and back and with the message, “We are thinking of you” on the front and inside, “Everyone here at Isle of Man Stamps & Coins extends a hand of friendship and support to you and your family as we face the challenges of these very difficult times together. Please take care, our thoughts are with you. The team at Isle of Man Stamps & Coins”. Facsimile signatures of the staff of IOM Stamps & Coins are also printed inside the card. A charming and thoughtful gesture.
🇲🇹 MaltaPost will issue a pair of stamps and 1 booklet on 9 May 2020 as its contribution to this year’s EUROPA omnibus series which is titled ‘Ancient Postal routes’. The set was designed by Miguel Farrugia of MaltaPost and lithographed by Printex and perforated 14. One of the stamps depicts Francisco de Tassis, a fifteenth century pioneer of European postal services, who was given the job of improving courier services in Burgundy and The Netherlands by the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I. “In time this new postal system grew as de Tassis founded new postal stations in major European cities, thereby guaranteeing a complete service over the years”.
The subject of this stamp is interesting since de Agassi’s seems to have little direct relevance to Malta but is an important figure in European postal history, especially that of The Holy Roman Empire. By the issue of this stamp the Maltese postal service clearly establishes its ties to the modern equivalent of The Holy Roman Empire - The European Union.
🇬🇮 The Royal Gibraltar Post Office will also issue a pair of stamps and 1 miniature sheet containing both stamps on 8 May 2020 as its contribution to the 2020 EUROPA omnibus series. The designs by Stephen Perera and Beatrice Garcia depict mail-carrying sea vessels and the stamps were lithographed in sheetlets of 8 by BPost Security Printers. Rating:- ***.
The Royal Gibraltar also issued new Post and Go stamps on 7 May 2020 which took the form of the Gibraltar Flag Stamp with the added inscription ‘VE Day 75th’ to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the defeat of the Germans at the end of the Second World War. The stamp is vended from the machine at the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau Head Office and there are 6 values - 22p, 40p, 64p, 70p, 80p and £3. Rating:- 0. Illustrations are awaited.