Here is a review of the Commonwealth events and anniversaries in 2022 which had or may have philatelic consequences and which are worth noting in this annual item featured in this Blog.
4 February - The Winter Olympic Games opens in Beijing. Among others, the Hong Kong postal service issues 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate the event.
6 February - Platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, Head of The Commonwealth. Many Commonwealth countries commemorated the notable anniversary of this greatly loved international figure but interestingly New Zealand Post does not feel that it is worthwhile to issue any stamps to celebrate its head of state on the 70th anniversary of her accession. This is also true of the postal services of Jamaica, Belize, Solomon Islands and Saint Lucia, all countries in which Elizabeth II was Head of State.
24 February. Russian forces invade its neighbour Ukraine. A number of Commonwealth postal services issue stamps to support the Ukrainian people’s defiance of the invasion and assault on its territory and people. The Russian tyrant, Putin, who had ordered the “special operation”, continues the aggression throughout 2022 and Ukraine suffers greatly but by the end of the year the invaders have suffered defeat on several fronts.
12 June - Falkland Islands postal service issues a set of 4 stamps to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the islands from Argentine occupation. Royal Mail does not commemorate the anniversary but kiosks at some Royal Navy museums dispense Post and Go stamps with appropriate additional inscriptions.
28 July - Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the UK’s second largest city. Seventy three Commonwealth countries and territories took part in the games. Royal Mail releases a set of 8 stamps to commemorate the event.
8 September. Death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96. Succession of King Charles III who also becomes Head of The Commonwealth.
18 October - Centenary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Bizarrely Royal Mail decides to leave this nationally and internationally important anniversary uncommemorated by a stamp issue, instead choosing to release a set of stamps featuring ‘Aardman Classics’. It is left to the Isle Of Man postal service to release a stamp issue made up of 12 stamps to commemorate this anniversary.
8 November 2022 - ‘Capetown 2022’ International Philatelic Exhibition, ‘The Road to Democracy’. The South African Post Office issues a single stamp to commemorate this event.
20 November - FIFA World Cup finals open in Qatar. Bangladesh’s postal service is one of a few to release stamps to commemorate the event.
6 December - Centenary of the establishment of The Irish Free State - the postal service of The Irish Republic issues a single stamp on 13 October to commemorate the anniversary.
21 December - Maiden voyage of the ship RRS Sir David Attenborough (made on 16 November 2021, sailing from Harwich to Rothera Research Station) commemorated by a set of 4 stamps issued by the postal service of British Antarctic Territory.
29 December - The death is announced of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele), one of the greatest footballers in history. It is to be expected that a number of postal administrations will commemorate his life.
Happy new year!