Sunday 31 December 2023

2430. Commonwealth Stamps Review Of 2023.


๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช 5 January - Fiftieth anniversary of the admission of the Republic of Ireland to what was then the European Economic Community.

๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ธ 31 January - The postal service of Lesotho issued its first stamps since 2016 with the release of 2 sets - one on the subject of Tourism and the other depicting Insects. Some might consider it a little bizarre to issue a set of stamps encouraging tourism and on the very same date, issue a set of stamps which includes a black widow spider (obviously not an insect) in its depictions - a beast rather unlikely to prove attractive to prospective visitors 

๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ 15 February - Five British south Atlantic and Antarctic territories (Ascension Island, British Antarctic Territory, Falkland Islands, South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands and Tristan Da Cunha) participate in a mini-omnibus issue to commemorate the late Queen Elizabeth II.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ช 24 February - First anniversary of the Russian invasion of its neighbour Ukraine. During the course of the previous twelve months, the postal administrations of several Commonwealth countries and territories had issued stamps to demonstrate their support for Ukraine.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง 23 March  - Royal Mail issued its first commemorative stamps which included a cameo of King Charles III in their design.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง 4 April  - Royal Mail issued its first definitive stamps depicting a portrait of King Charles III.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ 4 April - Guernsey Post issued a set of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Kennel Club.

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 6 May - Coronation of King Charles III.

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 23 May - Canada Post issued a single stamp to commemorate the 150th of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ 24 May - Guernsey Post issued a set of 7 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate Guernsey’s hosting of the 19th International Island Games from 8 to 14 July 2023.

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น 29 May-3 June - Malta hosted the Games of the Small States of Europe and issued a miniature sheet to commemorate the event.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง 23 June - Royal Mail issued stamps to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush, a ship carrying Caribbean immigrants to the United Kingdom. This iconic event marked the beginning of decades of mass immigration to Britain from around The Commonwealth and the rest of the world which was to change the nature and character of post-imperial Great Britain for ever.

 ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ 27-28 June - The 2nd Russia-Africa Summit was held in St Petersburg and commemorated by a single postage stamp released by the postal service of Russia. It was poorly attended by African leaders with only twelve out of 54 attending in person but among those paying court to the Russian leader Putin were Commonwealth Presidents Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda plus lesser politicians from Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Seychelles, The Gambia and Ghana. Also there was President Emerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe which has applied for readmission to The Commonwealth but is increasingly unlikely to be allowed to do so as Mnangagwa’s regime appears even worse than that of the tyrant Mugabe which it replaced.

๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ผ 14 August - Zim Post, the postal service of Zimbabwe, issued a set of 4 stamps to commemorate the life of the deposed former dictator, Comrade Robert Mugabe.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 30 August 2023 - A military coup in Gabon overthrew President Ali Bongo Andimba whose family had ruled the country for 53 years. Any effects this might have had on the country’s postage stamps are yet to be seen.

๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟ 2 September - The postal service of Tanzania released an issue to commemorate the inauguration of the PAPU Tower in Arusha. Several other postal administrations (including Nigeria and Zimbabwe)also paricipated in a Pan African Postal Union omnibus issue which turned out to be something of a damp squib.

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช 7 September - An Post, the postal service of the Republic of Ireland issued a single stamp to commemorate the centenary of the admission of the Irish Free State to the Laegue of Nations.

๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ 9 September - Hong Kong Post issued a miniature sheet to commemorate the People’s Republic of China’s Belt and Road initiative aimed at extending Chinese power internationally.

11 September - Pakistan Post issued 1 stamp and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the death of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founding father.

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡จ September - A mini-omnibus issue was expected to be released by countries served by the Eastern Caribbean Bank to commemorate the Bank’s 40th anniversary. Winning entries in a local competition were to be used as the basis for designs of the stamps but to date no issues from any of the 8 expected participants are known to have appeared. Stamp issues were expected from some or all of Anguilla, Saint Lucia, Antigua And Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts And Nevis and St Vincent And The Grenadines. It is notable that the last six in the list are usually clients of Intergovernmental Philatelic Corporation and allow that organisation to design, produce and market philatelic products with their countries’ names printed on them but in the second half of 2023 there appeared to be a great reduction in production and sales of the number of new issues by IGPC and it may be that the non-appearance to date of this omnibus is associated with factors at IGPC.

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ด 7 October - Terrorists belonging to Hamas, a group which was in control of the territory of Gaza, attacked its neighbour Israel and murdered more than 1100 people in a single day as well as carrying out other atrocities and kidnapping large numbers of people. In response, the Israeli government launched an operation aimed at destroying Hamas and launched missile attacks on, and invaded, Gaza. Several Muslim countries, including Malaysia, Iraq and Jordan, showed their support for Hamas by issuing stamps on the subject.

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ 10 October - Australia Post issued 2 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sydney Opera House. A Post also issued a single stamp on 19 October to commemorate the anniversary and to honour the Irish structural engineer, Peter Rice, who played a vital role in the Opera House’s construction.

๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ 21 October - Pobjoy Mint and Pobjoy Stamps, marketer and distributor of the postage stamps of seven Commonwealth postal administrations announced that it was to close by the end of 2023 on the retirement of its managing director, Taya Pobjoy. In the future, the various postal administrations were to handle their own distribution.

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ 14 November - 75th birthday of King Charles III. Australia Post issued a pair of stamps and 1 miniature sheet containing them both on 1 November to commemorate the King’s Birthday. A single stamp was also issued on the same date to commemorate the coronation of Charles III.

๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ 11 December - The postal service of Tristan Da Cunha issued a set of 4 stamps to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the resettlement of the islanders on Tristan following their return after the volcanic explosion there.

๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ผ 16 December - Death of the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at the age of 86 and the succession of the new Emir, Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber.

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฑ17 December and 27 December and 4 June -  My three favourite stamp discoveries of 2023, the first two reported on Stampboards - a stamp issued by Correios de Moรงambique in 2019 to commemorate the Visit of Pope Francis to Mozambique and a previously issued Revenue stamp of the postal service of Eritrea overprinted by hand stamp to make it postally valid - and the third first reported on the Joint Stamp issues internet site being the long suspected but never previously seen Timor Leste stamp commemorating Lubrapex 2012 and depicting the martyred national poet and hero Francisco Borja Da Costa.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡พ 24 December - The British government announced that it was sending HMS Trent to Guyana in a show of political and military support for the Commonwealth’s only South American country which was under threat of invasion by its neighbour, Venezuela, which had held a referendum on 3 December in which 96.37% of voters had agreed that Venezuala  should create a new state of Guayana Essequiba and that that territory should be incorporated on “the map of Venezuelan territory”. At a meeting in St Vincent And The Grenadines on 15 December, the Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela, Irfaan Ali and Nicolรกs Maduro, had agreed not to use force to resolve the issue but on 28 December the Venezuelan government announced that it was going to hold “defensive” military exercises on its eastern Caribbean and Atlantic coasts involving 5600 soldiers.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง 30 December - Dame Shirley Bassey, a veteran British singer, was made a Companion of Honour in the New Year Honours List. Earlier in the year, on 21 October, Royal Mail had issued a large number of philatelic items to commemorate the singer’s career in entertainment.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง 31 December - Last day of issue of Royal Mail Post & Go stamps from all museum and tourist shop IAR kiosks.

31 December - New Year’s Eve, and 30.7% of Commonwealth philatelic entities are still not known to have issued, or had issued on their behalf, any legitimate postage stamps during 2023.

Happy New Year!


  1. Many thanks for all your efforts over the past 12 months, and best wishes for the next year.

    1. Thank you for your kind words & best wishes to you for a happy new year.

  2. Thank you very much for your website and the work behind it. Happy New Year to you!

    1. And happy to you too, Sรฉbastien.