Saturday 12 June 2021

1891. 🇲🇼 The Age Of The Surcharge.


🇨🇦 Canada Post issued a single self-adhesive stamp issued in booklets of 10 on 7 June 2021 to commemorate the late John Turner (1929-2020) who was the 17th prime minister of Canada from 30 June 1984 to 17 September 1984, a period of a little over two and half months which was the second shortest premiership in Canadian history. He had served in previous Liberal Party governments lead by Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau. He is known to have had a relationship with the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, who once wrote that she might well have married him

  Perhaps it is his success with important royal ladies rather than the length of his period as premier which has made Canada Post feel that he is a worthy candidate for commemoration on a postage stamp though it may have something to do with the fact that the present Canadian government is a Liberal one. Compare this with Royal Mail’s reluctance to commemorate on a stamp the United Kingdom’s first ever woman prime minister who was in office for 10 years.

  The item was designed by Paprika and printed in lithography. Rating:- ***.


  🇲🇼 As impoverished postal services of poorer countries find themselves increasingly unable to afford the cost of producing new postage stamps we find that more surcharges on old stocks of stamps are beginning to appear on the market. Although the need for postage stamps shrinks increasingly dramatically, some are still needed and so it makes sense to use up old stock surcharged with new contemporarily useful values than to spend the large amount of money needed to produce new stamps. We have had several surcharges released by the postal service of Malawi in recent years and now a real corker of an issue has appeared on the market.

 Twenty seven stamps and 3 miniature sheets each containing 9 different designs have been issued (date of issue stated to have been May 2021) with 3 different values each surcharged on 9 different stamps. The issue surcharged is that originally released by the Malawi postal service on 20 December 2010 as its contribution to the 3rd SAPOA omnibus issue of Southern African states and which commemorated the holding of the Football World Cup finals competition in South Africa. Each of the nine stamps depicted the flag of a SAPOA member along with its name. The surcharges are for K600, K900 and K1280 and the countries which are featured on the stamps are Zimbabwe,

  In an age when postal services are going to the wall and are “a drag on the state budget” as a Mozambique government member recently described that country’s postal service, now abolished or in the process of being so (see Blog 1886), it is just too expensive for many to produce new postage stamps so it makes sense for them to use up old stocks of stamps, overprinted and surcharged appropriately, to meet their remaining postal needs. It looks possible therefore that we may be entering a new age of the surcharged stamp and since these are produced generally to meet local postal needs rather than to fill the albums of collectors some of these will be produced without any philatelic publicity and have difficult availability. Collectors of the stamps of the countries involved will need to be more vigilant than ever if we are to be aware of the existence of some of these stamps.

  🇲🇿 Talking of Mozambique, whether or not it has a dying or dead postal service is not a barrier to Stamperija producing ‘official’ stamps with its name printed on them. This week an internet auction site featured 45 new ‘stamps’ and 29 miniature sheets which Stamperija claims were ‘issued’ on 25 May 2021 (though it doesn’t say where they were ‘issued’, Maputo or Vilnius?). One product takes the form of a sheetlet of 20 different stamps depicting ‘Fish of the Orinoco river’ which of course is in South America not southern Africa. Such nonsense. The date of issue is the same as that of the Olympic Games and COVID-19 issues mentioned in Blog 1888 so it confirms I think that these latter items originate with Stamperija rather than any other source.

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