Tuesday 3 November 2015

661. Bonaparte Late To The Party.

  The good islanders of St. Helena had everything planned to commemorate the most important event ever to occur on the island - the bicentennial anniversary of the arrival there into exile of the deposed French tyrant, Bonaparte, who had plunged Europe into 20 years of war as well being the ultimate cause of countless deaths and terrible suffering.

  The islanders had a nifty logo (depicted above) and a wonderful programme of events lined up including the issue of a special set of stamps and a first day cover to commemorate the bicentenary and the release of these items was timed to coincide with the actual anniversary and the arrival of some notable French visitors coming to St. Helena to participate in the celebrations. 
  The events all seem to have gone very well except that as M. Michel Dancoisne-Martineau, the French consul there, wrote on the island's website, "...the visit started by a disappointment when it was announced the commemorative stamps and coins had not arrived on the island...". That at least explains why no news of the issue has yet been made available to collectors (see Blog 657) but it reflects badly on whoever was responsible for the issue - I wonder who it was? 
  Whereas Ascension and Tristan Da Cunha seem to be doing marvellously well with their stamp issues in all respects under the aegis of Pobjoy Stamps, philatelic matters in St. Helena, their mother island, seem to be far less satisfactory. Not having a special issue in place for a prestigious occasion seems to me to be an embarrassment to all those concerned. Let's just give a Gallic shrug of the shoulders and hope we see what ought to be a very interesting set appear for sale in the near future. Perhaps the St. Helenans can use them as Christmas stamps.

  In Blog 646 - "Post And Go's World Tour" - I mentioned the issues of the Post And Go kiosks now sited in Gibraltar itself - GI02 (Main Post Office) and GI03 (Parcel Office) - and that the 12 values on the "Gibraltar Flag" stamps would be given the added inscription "Trafalgar Day" from 19 October to 16 November 2015.

  However, judging by items being offered for sale by atm1976 on E bay, an additional inscription was used prior to these - "World Post Day" - on all 12 values of stamps dispensed by Main Post Office kiosk GI02. I am not sure of the period of sale of these stamps but World Post Day was observed on 10 October 2015 and the "Collectors' strips" offered for sale by atm1976 are dated 12 October 2015.

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