Singapore Post issued a "My Stamp" folder containing 8 stamps with labels attached on 23 April 2016 to commemorate the Quatercentenary of the birth of William Shakespeare. The 8 identical stamps feature a rose and the labels illustrate quotations from Shakespeare's plays -
"There's daggers in men's smiles" Macbeth
"To be or not to be that is the question" Hamlet (see Blog 747)
"All that glisters is not gold" The Merchant Of Venice
"Romeo Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo?" Romeo And Juliet
"The course of true love never did run smooth" A Midsummer Night's Dream and
"My salad days when I was green in my judgement" Anthony And Cleopatra.
Singapore Stamps will then issue a set of stamps and a "Collectors sheet" on 25 May 2016 as the second part of its ongoing "Myths and Legends" series. The subject of this issue is the legends associated with the Sisters Islands and Kusu Island Rating:- *****.
Pleasingly Singapore Post has reduced drastically its commemorative stamp new issue programme for 2016 - its remaining programme for the rest of the year is:-
1 July - 50th anniversary of Singapore Youth Festival
8 August - National Day
21 September - Nature series
9 October - Joint issue with Japan
21 November - Festivals.
Let's hope that the philatelic departments of other large postal administrations follow Singapore Post's shining example in 2017 and onwards.
Sri Lanka Post issued 4 new surcharges on 9 May 2016 on 4 former definitive stamps which had first been released on 7 October 2007 (Constellations "Orion" stamp) and 12 December 2012 (Guard tone and balustrade stamps). Rating :- ***.
Sri Lanka Post also issued a single stamp on 13 May 2016 to commemorate the Centenary of the World and Sri Lankan Cub Scouts. A cheerful, if rather busy, design. Rating:-***.
Bad news from Norfolk Island - not only has it lost it's self-governing status but from 1 July 2016 Australia Post will lay its greedy hands on the post office there and take over running the island's postal service and stamp issues. Over recent years, the stamps of Norfolk Island have been a joy to collect with stamps being released with strictly local themes as well as being reasonably conservative in both numbers issued per year and annual face value. Collectors will dread finding out what will happen once money-grabbing Australia Post is let loose on the island's philatelic programme. I hear a bell tolling in the distance.
Post Fiji Ltd has issued a se-tenant strip of 4 different stamps with a label at the centre of the strip to commemorate Chinese New Year. The stamps depict monkeys to fit in with The Year of The Monkey but there are no species of monkey found in Fiji. I do not yet know the date of issue.