And so 2019 draws to a close. Here is a list of some of the notable events and anniversaries associated with The Commonwealth which resulted in stamp issues or which might have philatelic consequences in the future.
15 January - 🇬🇧 Royal Mail issued a miniature sheet containing 6 different stamps to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Philatelic Society.
13 April - 🇮🇳 India Post issued 2 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate the Centenary of the Amritsar Massacre, one of the most shameful events in British colonial history.
26 April - 🇿🇦 The South African Post Office issued a miniature sheet to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of democracy in South Africa.
28 April - 🇬🇮 The Royal Gibraltar Post Office issued a set of stamps to commemorate the territory’s hosting of the 18th Island Games.
2 May - 🇨🇾 🇬🇮🇬🇬🇮🇪🇮🇲🇯🇪🇲🇹🇹🇷 The postal service of Cyprus, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Ireland, Jersey, Malta and The Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus all released issues as their participation in the 2019 Europa omnibus issue. Notably Royal Mail did not participate in the issue.
6 May - 🇻🇨 Numerous Commonwealth postal administrations issued stamps to commemorate the birth of Archie Mountbatten Windsor, first child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
24 May - 🇬🇧 Numerous Commonwealth postal administrations issued stamps to commemorate the Bicentenary of the birth of Queen Victoria.
6 June - 🇬🇲 🇬🇧 Numerous Commonwealth postal administrations issued stamps to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Infamously, Royal Mail, in pre-publicity, had released a picture of one of the planned designs which actually depicted US troops landing in New Guinea not Allied troops landing in Normandy!
14 July - England beat New Zealand in the final of the Cricket World Cup. Royal Mail later issued a miniature sheet containing 4 different stamps to commemorate the victory as well as a second one to commemorate the England Women’s team victory 2 years earlier.
1 October - 🇭🇰 Hong Kong Post issued a set of 4 stamps and 2 miniature sheets to commemorate the 70th anniversary of The People’s Republic Of China while protestors against the Beijing government rioted in the territory’s streets.
16 October - 🇬🇧 The postal service of British Antarctic Territory issued 3 stamps to commemorate the Bicentenary of the first recorded human landing on the Antarctic continent by Master mariner William Smith.
23 July - 🇳🇿 New Zealand Post released a set of stamps to commemorate the Birth centenary of Sir Edmund Hillary who was in the first group ever to climb Mount Everest.
19 June - 🇲🇺 Mauritius Post issued a set of 3 stamps and a miniature sheet to commemorate the country’s hosting of the Indian Ocean Games.
22 June - 🇸🇬 Singapore Post issued a set of 10 stamps to commemorate the Bicentenary of its founding by Sir Stamford Raffles.
31 July 2019 - 🇲🇾 Pos Malaysia issued a set of 3 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate the installation of the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King Of Malaysia), Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Ak-Mustafa Billah Shah.
8 August - 🇧🇳🇲🇾🇲🇲🇸🇬 Commonwealth member states of ASEAN, including Brunei Darussalam, participated in a minibus issue depicting national costumes.
🇲🇺 Mauritius Post released an issue noting the decision of the International Court Of Justice to recognise Mauritius’ claim to the Chagos Islands which form the British dependant territory of British Indian Ocean Territory. In the 1960s the British had expelled the islanders from their homes to enable a large US airforce base to be built on the island of Diego Garcia. This has long been considered to be another shameful episode in British colonial history.
23 August - 🇵🇰 The postal service of Pakistan issued a single stamp to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the modern Commonwealth.
10 September - 🇨🇾🇲🇻🇱🇰 A number of Commonwealth postal services or of other countries regularly mentioned in this Blog, including those of Cyprus, Maldives and Sri Lanka, participated in an international omnibus issue to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Express Mail Service (EMS).
2 October - 🇨🇾🇮🇳 150th Birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi - numerous Commonwealth postal services, including that of Cyprus, released stamps to commemorate this anniversary.
9 October - 🇧🇩 A number of Commonwealth postal administrations, including that of Bangladesh, participated in an omnibus issue to commemorate the 145th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union.
1 November - 🇯🇪 Jersey Post issued a set of 6 stamps to commemorate the Birth bicentenary of George Eliot, the notable novelist who spent some months in Jersey. Royal Mail did not consider this a worthy subject for philatelic commemoration instead choosing to issue 6 stamps and a miniature sheet to mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of the children’s book, The Gruffalo.
9 November - 🇮🇳🇵🇰 India Post and Pakistan Post both issued stamps to commemorate the 550th Birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, founder of the Sikh religion.
🇵🇬 10 December - 98% of voters in a referendum in the autonomous province of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea opted for Independence for the territory. The final decision has yet to be made by the PNG Parliament but Bougainville May become the newest member of The Commonwealth in the foreseeable future and will be a new philatelic entity.
🇬🇧 12 December - Voters in The United Kingdom reelected a Conservative government under Boris Johnson thus ensuring that Britain would leave The European Union - the first country to do so - probably on 31 January 2020. This decision may have philatelic consequences.
🇦🇺 16 December - Australia Post issued 9 Personalisable stamps in new formats.
🇲🇻 24 December - Baroness Scotland, Secretary General of The Commonwealth, confirmed that the government of Maldives had fulfilled all necessary requirements to enable the country to rejoin The Commonwealth early in 2020.
Finally, some news:-
🇸🇬 Singapore Post will issue 2 gummed stamps, 2 self-adhesive stamps (each from booklets of 10) and 1 gummed Collectors Sheet ($10 stamp) on 8 January 2020 to commemorate the Chinese new year which will be the Year of the rat. The issue was designed by Lim An-ling and Andy Koh (Collectors sheet) and lithographed by Southern Colour Print and Cartor (Collectors sheet with additional gold hot stamping and laser die-cut). The stamps are perforated 14.5. Rating:- **.
🇮🇳 India Post issued a single stamp on 26 December 2019 to commemorate the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence which does not sound like the most exciting subject for a stamp issue. Rating:- *.