On 9 October 2013 Ghana released a series of stamps and miniature sheets to honour the 1st anniversary of the death of their late president, John Atta Mills, who was discussed in Blog no.173. Stamps were issued as se-tenant strips from sheetlets of 20 or as miniature sheets, each consisting of 4 different stamps plus an additional single stamp miniature sheet (depicted below):-
It is pleasing to see an issue being released by Ghana which has strictly local relevance and which commemorates their popular former leader. Although a lot of stamps have been issued in the last 12 months or so which have no direct relevance to the country, this is one very interesting set which I shall add to my collection.
Another (much smaller) territory which has honoured one of its significant citizens is Pitcairn which issued a set of 4 stamps in a se-tenant strip with a label in between on 25 September 2013 to commemorate Lily Warren, the island's former midwife. The stamps were designed by Denise Durkin and lithographed by Southern Colour Print.
In commemorating these worthy national figures, both Ghana and Pitcairn highlight the failure of Royal Mail to commemorate philatelically the historical significance of the late Baroness Thatcher in Britain although they will grudgingly include her in a set of stamps depicting previous British prime ministers to be issued in a year's time (see Blog 309). I'm betting that she will not be depicted on any domestic rate stamps so that her detractors in Britain won't have to see her picture turning up on a letter addressed to them, rather Royal Mail will commemorate her on the value which will apply to the overseas rate where her achievements and historical significance are more appreciated.
I have now added 4 more surcharges issued during 2013 from Zambia to my collection (see Blogs 293 and 298). As before, these are also previously surcharged stamps with new surcharges applied to take account of the new devalued currency.
The latest issues from Australia Post were released on 15 October 2013 and 22 October 2013. The first was a single stamp issued in a sheetlet of 10 as a joint issue with Germany and commemorated the naturalist and explorer, Ludwig Leichhardt. He made 3 overland expeditions in Australia but in 1848 on his third expedition, he and his entire party disappeared. The stamp was designed by Melinda Coombes and printed by lithography:-
Shortly afterwards, on the 22 October, two stamps and 1 miniature sheet were released to commemorate the bicentenary of the holey dollar and dump coins produced in the colony of New South Wales in 1813 by a former forger who had been transported to the colony as punishment for his crimes. The stamps were designed by Phil Ellett and printed in lithography:-
These issues are pleasing because they do not seem to be available in additional self-adhesive versions either from booklets or coils which is a great help in reducing the cost to the stamp collector. Let us hope that this will be the case with many future Australia Post issues although I doubt that Australia Post is on the verge of reducing its philatelic output unless it is starting to the feel the pinch of collectors reducing their purchasing because of excessive stamp issuing.