Thursday 30 November 2017

1131. 🇻🇺 Vanuatu Celebrates Hosting The Pacific Mini Games.

  🇻🇺 Vanuatu Post issued a sheetlet of 14 different stamps on 25 November 2017 to commemorate Vanuatu's hosting of the 2017 Pacific Mini Games which will be held from 4 to 15 December 2017 in Port Vila. The Games will be attended by 2000 athletes from 24 Pacific nations and territories. The flags of the attending territories are depicted in the lower edge of the sheetlet.
  This excellent item was designed by Lucas Kukler and lithographed by Southern Colour Print and perforated 14. Rating:- *****.

🇳🇿 New Zealand Post issued a miniature sheet containing 3 Birds stamps on 24 November 2017 to commemorate the Royalpex 2017 National Stamp Exhibition which was held in Hamilton. The issue was designed by Stamps and Collectables Business of New Zealand Post and lithographed by Southern Colour Print. Rating:- ****.

 🇬🇧 Pobjoy Stamps has announced that the various issues of the postal service of British Antarctic Territory which were mentioned in Blog 1113 were released on 25 November 2017.

🇲🇾 Pos Malaysia will issue a miniature sheet on 4 December 2017 as a second part of its issues to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the issue of the first Straits Settlements stamps. An interesting issue. Rating:- *****.

  🇬🇬 Depicted below is a strip of the Guernsey Post Post and Go stamps to be dispensed by kiosk GG02 in Envoy House with the additional inscription 'Season's/Greetings 2017' to mark the Christmas season. For anyone overwhelmed by the need to add this item to their collection the cost will be £4.56p plus 50p handling fee. Rating:- 0.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

1130. 🇬🇧 No Royal Mail Stamps To Commemorate Commonwealth Conference.

  🇬🇧 In Blogs 674, 672 and that of 16 January 2012 I have written about the stamps issued by various host countries in the past to commemorate their holding of the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM). In recent times every host nation has released philatelic items to commemorate the two-yearly CHOGMs This philatelic tradition has now come to an end as Royal Mail, the principal postal service of the The United Kingdom which will host the next CHOGM in April next year, has not included such an issue in its new issue programme for 2018 and an enquiry about the possibility of asking Royal Mail to issue a set of stamps to the Commonwealth Summit Unit of The Cabinet Office confirms that Royal Mail will not commemorate this important international event which is to be held at Windsor and London.
  The main reason given in the Commonwealth Summit Unit's reply which I include at the head of this piece is that the issue of planning and approval for a special stamp issue can take up to 2 years to carry out though if this process had begun when it was first announced that The United Kingdom would host CHOGM then preparations for such an issue would have had ample time to have been completed for such an issue to be released when the meeting will be held. Furthermore we know, don't we?, that it doesn't really take anywhere near as long to prepare a special stamp issue if the will is there to release a set of stamps - think of the Murray Wimbledon tennis victory miniature sheet or the England wins the Ashes issue or the Olympic gold medal winners stamps.
  I suspect too that it won't take 2 years for Royal Mail to come up with an issue to commemorate the wedding of Prince Henry Of Wales which has just been announced to take place in May 2018 also in Windsor and which is likely to sell like hot cakes.
  It's a pity that the government isn't tuned up to the benefits of the use of stamps to publicise Britain's position in the world in the way that China and Russia, for instance, are and then use its influence to persuade Royal Mail to issue such stamps.

  🇰🇮 The Kiribati postal service issued a set of 6 stamps on 14 October 2017 on the subject of Local Flowers. This is a quite attractive issue but really doesn't amount to much more than a photograph of a flower with the Kiribati coat of arms added along with a little writing. It looks to me as though the designer was Derek Miller. Rating:- ***.

  🇬🇩 News from that much loved philatelic agency, IGPC, which is based in Beijing and New York. Four stamps with the name of Grenada printed on them will be "issued" on 17 December 2017 as a Christmas issue. All four depict "Old Master" paintings which, I suppose, is fair enough. Rating:- *.

🇬🇾 Further publicity from IGPC includes illustrations of other products which are to be released. Three stamps appear to come with the name of Guyana printed on them and depict Second World War posters of the United States which seem to me to have nothing to do with Guyana. I presume that there are other values in the set. Rating:- 0.


  🇬🇩 It would appear that IGPC also plans to issue a similar set with the name of Grenada printed on the stamps that make up the set. Again this issue appears to have no relevance to the country whose name appears on the stamps. If stamps are to be issued with relevance to the Second World War then it would be best if they featured the role of Grenada and Grenadans in the war and not random subjects entirely about The United States. Role:- 0.

  Also publicised by IGPC are 6 stamps depicting foxes (Vulpes Vulpes) which, as far as I am aware, are not found in Grenada and have no relevance to the island. It's a jolly little set but, really, why would Grenada want to depict that particular species on its stamps? Rating:- 0.

  🇱🇰 Sri Lanka Post issued a pair of stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 26 November 2017 to commemorate Christmas. This is a colourful issue designed I presume by children and suitably cheerful for use on Christmas mail. Rating:- ***.

Monday 27 November 2017

1129. 🇮🇳 India Post Features The Mahabharata.

  🇮🇳 India Post issued 3 miniature sheets on 27 November 2017 on the subject of the Mahabharata, one of the two major epics of ancient India which is a narrative of the Kuruksetra war and the fates of the Kaurava and Pandava princes. If the work is epic so too is this stamp issue since one of the miniature sheets contains 19 different stamps while the other two each contain a single stamp. In itself this is an exciting and fascinating issue but taken with the other numerous issues released so far this year by India Post it does look rather excessive. Rating:- ***.

  🇲🇲 The postal service of Myanmar issued a single stamp on 11 November 2017 as its contribution to the minibus series released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. In line with the stamps released by other members of ASEAN the stamp depicts the national flower of Myanmar. Rating:- ****.

  🇨🇦 In Blog 1124 I mentioned the self-adhesive stamp issued by Canada Post on 20 November 2017 to commemorate the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. It appears that prior to issue, Canada Post decided that the cover of the booklet in which the stamp was to be issued, was unsatisfactory and withdrew the booklets prior to sale. However since the booklets were already in local post offices, a not inconsiderable number were sold across counters before the post offices could be informed of the need to withdraw them. The stamps were then placed on sale in a booklet with a new cover design as depicted below. For booklet collectors therefore there are 2 new booklet types to be obtained for their collections with the original type selling at a premium. The original booklet cover features a yellow 6 pointed star while the replacement cover depicts the left side of a menorah candlestick. Fortunately, for the good of my pocket, I long ago gave up collecting Canadian complete booklets.

Saturday 25 November 2017

1128. 🇬🇮🇫🇯🇰🇾 Gibraltar Bats, Fiji's Dunes And A Cayman Christmas.

  🇬🇮 The Royal Gibraltar Post Office will issue a set of 4 attractive stamps on 30 November 2017 on the subject of Bats of Gibraltar and as a World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) issue. The artwork used in the designs is by the excellent Jonathan Pointer and as usual Stephen Perera claims the credit for the stamp's design. The stamps were lithographed by Bpost Security Printers. Rating:- *****.

  🇫🇯 Fiji Post issued an interesting set of 4 stamps on 28 September 2017 which depict the Sigatoka sand dunes. For sports enthusiasts one value shows an impromptu game of rugby taking place in the dunes. An excellent set without a particularly high value. Rating:- *****.

  🇰🇾 The Cayman Islands Postal Service released 4 stamps and 1 booklet of 10 x 25c stamps on 2 November 2017 which depict local Christmas scenes. The designs all show pictures of the Christmas decorations put up by the Bodden sisters on South George Street and by the Crichton family at their home on Shamrock Street in Spotts. It seems that both displays have become must-see sites for residents and locals alike over the Christmas period. How charming. 
  The issue was designed by Carmin Godfrey. Rating:- *****.