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This month’s stamp-related news stories- happy reading!
Don’t mention the war – USA
Reported at https://www.airforcetimes.com
With the recent 70th anniversary of VJ Day on Aug. 15 it is interesting to remember the controversy that erupted on the 50th anniversary of VJ day in 1994 when the U.S. Postal Service cancelled a planned stamp that would have commemorated the end of World War II by showing a mushroom cloud from an atomic bomb explosion.
Ron Kaplan, an aviation artist inadvertently joined the fray in 1994 when he saw a TV news report about a decorative stamp that Vietnam veteran Gerry Newhouse had made in protest of the Postal Service proposed stamp's cancellation.
Kaplan went to Newhouse's office in downtown Columbus, Ohio, to buy three sheets of the decorative stamps, and he told Newhouse the B-29 in the artwork did not look realistic. "I remember saying words to the effect that: 'Gosh, I wish I had known you before you did these because I'm an aviation artist, and frankly I think the art could be a lot better.'
Newhouse called Kaplan the next day to say the company making the stamps had lost the scan of the original artwork. Newhouse needed more stamps immediately because he was being deluged with orders, so he asked Kaplan if he could come up with a new design.
Kaplan quickly turned around a design for a decorative stamp showing a B-29 flying away from a mushroom cloud along with the words, "Atomic bombs end World War II." The stamps had no postal value, but they could be used along with stamps approved by the Postal Service. Newhouse sold the stamps in 1995 and 1996.
The stamp got a big endorsement from retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets Jr., who flew the Enola Gay on the Hiroshima mission, Kaplan said.
Caption: Proposed USPS mushroom cloud design
Caption: Replacement design showing Truman announcing Japan’s surrender
Caption: Kaplan’s protest Cinderella
Don’t mention the war – Taiwan
Reported at https://www.taipeitimes.com
A set of four stamps featuring images of wartime scenes and celebrations marking the surrender of Japan, along with a set of coins issued by the central bank to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War, have become bestsellers in Taiwan.
The eight-year war was a part of World War II, in which Japan and the other Axis powers were defeated by the Allied powers.
On July 2, the central bank issued 20,000 sets of limited-edition commemorative coins, with each set containing a NT$50 coin and a NT$20 coin. The combined value of the two coins — NT$70 — signifies the 70th anniversary of the victory over Japan.
The commemorative stamps depict themes such as youth volunteers in the anti-Japanese resistance, Chiang Kai-shek’s speech marking Japan’s surrender and Taiwanese rural scenes in the early 1960s.
In related news, descendants of German businessman John Rabe and US missionary Minnie Vautrin, who made significant contributions during World War II, are in Taiwan to attend events in commemoration of the end of the war and to highlight the importance of peace.
Rabe and Vautrin were among the foreign nationals who helped create a safety zone in Nanjing in 1937 when the city — then the capital of China — fell to Japanese troops.
The zone provided shelter for more than 200,000 civilians and prevented them from being killed by the Japanese army.
The government invited Rabe’s grandson Thomas and Vautrin’s great-grandniece Cindy to attend the World War II commemorative events, including historical exhibitions showcasing documents on the war.
Heroes remembered – Australia
Reported at https://www.jwire.com.au
Australia Post will release a 70¢ stamp in October commemorating Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat responsible for saving tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazi death camps.
Approaches had been made to Australia Post prior to 2009 resulting in Australia Post and Melbourne stamp dealers Max Stern & Co working together to produce a Raoul Wallenberg Stamp Sheet with 10 generic 60 cent Australia Post stamps on a sheet depicting Raoul Wallenberg and detailing some of his history. This sheet was published in a limited edition of 1,000 nearly all of which have now been sold.
Repeated submissions to Australia Post over the years met with rebuffs which stated that Australian stamps could only have Australians on them with the exception of the Queen.
The concept of making Raoul Wallenberg an Honorary Australian Citizen was born and became a reality in April 2013 announced by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The result is that a 70¢ Raoul Wallenberg postage stamp will be released on 5 October 2015, one of three to be honoured in this way, the other two depicting Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela.
Heroes remembered – United Kingdom
Reported at https://www.itv.com
A man celebrated as "Britain's Schindler" for saving hundreds of children from the Holocaust will be immortalised on a Royal Mail stamp after a petition attracted more than 105,000 supporters.
Campaigners called for Sir Nicholas Winton, who arranged for eight trains to carry 669 mainly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to London in 1939, to be honoured with a commemorative postage stamp.
A change.org petition, launched by Jewish News, argued the stamp would be a "fitting tribute" to Sir Nicholas, who died last month aged 106. It received over 105,800 signatures.
A spokeswoman for Royal Mail said it was "pretty clear" that Sir Nicholas was a "worthy candidate" to be featured in a commemorative stamp set.
“One of the purposes of Royal Mail stamps is to honour those who have made important contributions to the UK, and every year we consider hundreds of subjects for inclusion. It is clear that Sir Nicholas Winton is a worthy candidate.”
“Now we have consulted with his family, we are delighted to confirm our intention to feature Sir Nicholas on a stamp as part of a commemorative set, subject to the appropriate approvals, in 2016. The details will be confirmed in due course.”
Organisers of the petition were delighted. A spokesman commented, “His inspirational story shows that one person truly can make a difference and we hope the stamp will bring his heroic efforts to the attention of even more people.”
“We would like to thank the Royal Mail for acting in almost unprecedented speed as well as each and every one of those who signed the petition without whom this triumph may not have happened.”
Sir Nicholas, from a German-Jewish family kept his pre-war actions secret for over 50 years.
He was reunited with some of the children he saved on Esther Rantzen's That's Life TV programme in 1988, after his wife Grete found an old briefcase in the attic with lists of children and letters from their parents.
Caption: Sir Nicholas with one of the children he saved.
A collector recalled
Reported at https://allafrica.com
Kamal Mohanbhai Patel who died recently in Chililabombwe's Konkola Mine Hospital was perhaps Zambia's sole passionate stamp collector.
A man with a sweet and phlegmatic personality, Kamal had a knack for detail.
Nobody gathered postage stamps quite the way he did. Kamal was driven by the idea that plenty historical facts, sometimes obscure, can be found on stamps.
Stamp collection became an obsession pretty early. Kamal knew that stamp collection in Zambia was rare but for Kamal, his way of telling stories was through a variety of stamps he collected.
A year ago, Zambia celebrated its Golden Jubilee and Kamal took advantage to showcase his rare collection to adults and children alike. It contained some of the most precious and rare Zambian stamps, in addition to some of the most popular and widely recognised.
"These stamps are incredibly important to me for many reasons. One by one, they are symbols of different parts of our national identity.
"All together, they communicate a special Zambian story," he said.
His collection also represented how minorities considered Zambia to be their home, and how it is helping to preserve the great national heritage. After all, Zambia's first stamp designer, Gabriel Ellison, was also a minority.
Until about 20 years ago, the great artist Ellison, who designed the Zambia national flag and coat of arms, designed most of the country's stamps.
Since then, the postal service engaged a company to design the stamps, many of which were created with the help of computer-generated designs.
For decades, these stamps have expressed the history, culture, landscape, and natural resources of Zambia.
Kamal had been collecting stamps for decades. Born in 1967 he started collecting as a young boy.
When he started it was mainly stamps that came on envelops, as letter writing was very common and there was no e-mail.
Young Kamal started going to the philatelic counter at the post office and started buying Firstday covers, new issues and souvenir sheets.
It was in the early 80s that he decided to concentrate on Zambia, but he had many gaps in his collection. To fill up those gaps he started looking around, asking friends and basically just putting the word out.
Then came the Internet and that really helped him to almost complete his collection.
He was driven by the belief that stamps as small as they are were great story tellers.
"Stamps portray a lot of historic events, locally and internationally, they also portray our rich heritage of flora and fauna, our wild life wealth and mineral wealth. Our Zambian stamps also portray our rich cu*lture on stamps that have the Zambian masks, cultural dances and art effects," he said.
Ultimately, Kamal Patel will be greatly missed. At the time of his death, he was director of Mukwa Lodge in Kitwe.
L-o-n-g may she reign over us
Reported at https://www.iomtoday.co.im
The Isle of Man Post Office has released a celebratory set of stamps in honour of the Queen, commemorating her becoming the longest-reigning British monarch having surpassed her great great grandmother Queen Victoria, on September 9.
The set of eight stamps is the Isle of Man’s tribute to the long reign of the Lord of Mann and depicts some of her most significant ceremonial occasions during her reign to date. The title Lord of Mann Çhiarn Vannin is used on the Isle of Man to refer to the island's Lord Proprietor and head of state.
The celebratory stamp issue is complete with text, imagery and embellished with metallic gold ink and includes key milestones such as The Coronation, The Investiture, Order of the Garter, Trooping the Colour, The Golden, Silver and Diamond Jubilees and the opening of Parliament.
The Queen appears on every British and Manx stamp and is fundamental to every stamp release as it requires her royal consent.
Each stamp design must adhere to strict criteria before being sent to Buckingham Palace which includes being produced to a small size, the incorporation of the Queen’s head or initials, ER, and a denomination.
The Isle of Man has been producing its own stamps in this manner since July 5 1973 when it became an independent postal administration.
Prior to that it was part of the British Post Office and only used stamps that were called ‘regionals’, which were in part designed by Manxman John Nicholson.
When is a jersey stamp not from Jersey?
Reported at https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport
New Zealand Post has released an All Blacks-themed stamp and coin collection ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
The stamp is made of fabric from the 2015 All Blacks home replica jersey and includes details such as All Blacks, Adidas, and AIG logos.
The legal tender silver proof coin is a world first in that it takes the shape of the team's jersey. Just 2015 of the coins were minted worldwide and the unique shape of the coin is a world first.
New Zealand Post's head of stamps and coins Simon Allison said his designers wanted to come up with unique and eye-catching memorabilia.
"The All Black jersey is synonymous with New Zealand the world over," he said. "The stamps and coins are about honouring the All Blacks, their jersey and its symbolism for fans and supporters."
New Zealand Post is cheering on the All Blacks with an official stamp and coin release to support the team in the lead up to rugby’s biggest event.
Caption: the proposed All Blacks stamp
Caption: the uniquely shaped All Blacks coins
Saga of the fruit that changed an island’s history
Reported at https://www.philatelicdatabase.com
Pitcairn Island Post has released a minisheet devoted to the Breadfruit Saga – one of the most important shots of the island’s history.
In 1787, Lieutenant William Bligh took command of the HMAV Bounty whose mission was to sail to Tahiti to obtain breadfruit saplings to take to the British Colonies in the West Indies and Jamaica in particular. This was an experiment to find an inexpensive and nutritious way to feed the large number of slaves who worked the island’s numerous sugar plantations.
The whole project encountered difficulties beginning with the voyage to Tahiti which was troubled with notoriously stormy weather and forced to take the longer way around Africa. Further delays arose from having to wait over five months for the breadfruit plants to mature sufficiently to be transported. The Bounty departed Tahiti in April 1789 and sailed into history when Fletcher Christian and the mutineers took over the ship.
The story that Bligh took drinking water meant for his crew and used it to water the breadfruit plants has never been proved. After casting Bligh and his followers adrift in a small boat Christian and his fellow mutineers threw the breadfruit plants into the sea and went in search of Tubuai and ultimately Pitcairn Island. According to Bligh’s diary, Fletcher Christian shouted at his former commander, “There goes the Bounty bastard, breadfruit Bligh!”
Bligh persevered in his small craft with limited food and water and after being adrift for a remarkable 47 days in the Pacific, covering 3,618 nautical miles with only a sextant to guide him and his men, he arrived at Timor.
From there he returned to Britain, where he was court-martialled for the loss of the Bounty. After his exoneration Bligh remained in the Royal Navy and was promoted to Captain. From 1791 to 1793, as master and commander of HMS Providence he undertook again to transport breadfruit from Tahiti to the West Indies.
Two thousand one hundred twenty-six breadfruit plants were carried from Tahiti, in pots and tubs stored both on deck and in the below-deck nursery. The expedition’s gardener described ravages inflicted by “exceedingly troublesome flies, cold, unwholesomeness of sea air, salt spray and rationed water” nonetheless, 678 survived to the West Indies, being delivered in 1793.
The operation was deemed successful even though the early slaves in the Caribbean islands did not take to it. It is now an important staple crop in Oceania and can be found in over 145 countries worldwide.
The presence of the breadfruit trees on Pitcairn according to an accurate narrative*, proves that the early settlers came from some volcanic island. The breadfruit is absent in Rapa, so it is assumed that they must have come from the Austral Islands farther to the west or from Mangareva.
There are two types of breadfruit on Pitcairn Island. The smooth-skinned, white-fleshed breadfruit is widespread throughout the island. The other breadfruit was introduced from Fiji and has a yellow flesh, a different, sweeter flavour, and a different texture.
Eating breadfruit is similar to eating a potato. Some favourites are pilhi, or stewing breadfruit with onion, coconut milk and seasoning; making breadfruit salad; eating it mashed or as chips or making breadfruit puff where boiled breadfruit is mashed, rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. Breadfruit cooked in gravy made from oxtail to give it flavour is also popular.
Bringing home the bacon
Reported at https://www.heraldsun.com.au
THE Dandy Pig sign is indelibly stamped in the minds of people across the Dandenong area of Melbourne.
Now the neon sign will make its mark on the rest of the country, last week joining Abbotsford’s Skipping Girl and the Pink Poodle of Surfers Paradise on a set of stamps celebrating iconic heritage-listed signs.
“It’s great that an iconic Dandenong landmark will be visible nationally via the Australia Post stamp,” Dandenong Mayor Sean O’Reilly said.
“We love the Dandy Pig in Greater Dandenong and now everyone across Australia will hopefully recognise it when they see it on the stamp.
“We’re proud of being Australia’s most multicultural community and it just elevates Dandenong to the national stage.”
Built in the 1950s, the Dandenong Ham and Bacon Factory sign was originally on Lonsdale St — welcoming traffic which crossed Foster St from Gippsland — but was taken down in 1989 when the factory closed.
It gathered dust in council storage until 2013, when it was resurrected to a new home at Dandenong Market.
Australia Post philatelic manager Michael Zsolt hoped the themed stamp would resonate with the public and collectors alike.
Caption: The Dandy Pig doffs his top hat to the Dandenong Mayor
We don’t like cricket…we love it
Reported at https://cricketbadger.com
Sri Lanka Post will be issuing a special postal stamp on the occasion of Kumar Sangakkara’s farewell Test (August 28-Set. 1) against India at P. Sara Oval.
Sangakkara has decided to play the first two of the three-Test series against India commencing on Wednesday before he hangs his boot.
“The proposal has been under consideration. We have forwarded the idea to the 8-member advisory board and once it gets approved, the postal-stamp, figuring Sangakkara will be released”, the Post Master General said.
“Sri Lanka Post issued 9 stamps and a Special Cover for cricket starting from 1996 World Cup win. 1996 - 4 stamps World Cup Win, 2007 - 2 stamps World Cup, - 2 stamps World Cup Runners-Up, - 1 stamp Muthiah Muralitharan 2014 - 1 Special Cover Mahela”.
2007 World cup Runners-Up stamp contain Sri Lanka team including Sangakkara.
“We are planning issue set of 12 stamps on “Cricket Legends of Sri Lanka” in this year depicting Test Cricket captains up to Sangakkara”, the Post Master General concluded.
Sovereignty stamped with a post box
Reported at https://www.straitstimes.com
Pos Malaysia has launched a special postal code for Layang Layang island, one of the world's best diving destinations.
The 88005 special postal code symbolises Malaysia's sovereignty over the remote island located 300km from Sabah or one hour by air from Kota Kinabalu.
Layang Layang, which is located near the Spratly Islands, is among a group of 600 islands and reefs claimed by several countries.
Pos Malaysia acting chief executive officer Azlan Shahrim said 88 is the Sabah code while 5 refers to Royal Malaysian Navy's (RMN) Station Lima based in Layang Layang.
"We decided to have a post code to improve postal services," he said.
Also launched was a seabed post box, an initiative of the RMN, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, the National Security Council and Avillion Layang-Layang Resort.
At 40m deep, the seabed post box made it into the Malaysia Book of Records as the first of its kind in the country.
"This underwater post box is our second project, after the first was launched in Mount Kinabalu as the highest altitude post box in Malaysia," he said after launching the underwater post box.
Jailani said the underwater post box allows divers at Pulau Layang-Layang to share their experience with family and friends via waterproof postcards stamped with a special postmark and Malaysia Book of Records logo.
Azlan said Avillion Layang Layang Resort was appointed agent with postal delivery by MASWings flights departing Kota Kinabalu twice weekly.
Two postmen would be assigned to collect the waterproof postcards from the underwater post box.
Victorley Marden, 25, and Ritchie Lester Lee, 35, were selected as the underwater postmen.
Lee, a diving centre manager on the island, has more than 10 years of diving experience and has held a diving licence since 2001, while Marden is a dive master who earned his diving licence in 2011.
The duo from Kota Belud would ensure that postcards sent through the underwater mail box would be safely delivered to recipients.
- WINNER! Stampboards Poster Of The Month
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One thing that grabbed my attention was the Kiwi rugby union proposed stamp.
(I was going to press quote, so I could show it again here, but when I realised how much I'd have to delete I chickened out.)
Anyway, I'm sure adidas and AIG (whatever that is) will be thrilled with the free advertising.
- WINNER! Stampboards Poster Of The Month
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Mobbor- I totally agree about the commercial endorsement element and rather ironic seeing New Zealand was the first country in the world to put advertising on the back of stamps (until everyone complained about having to lick the ink). The 'endorsement' element is already rampant in terms of stamps featuring cinema eg the LOTR series, Harry Potter stamps which caused a furore in the US, all of the Disney stamps etc.
21B- Thanks for this heads up. Isle of Man was the first country to announce a special stamp but number of new stamps commemorating ER's longevity have now been announced including the iridescent purple machin (I did the article last week before the announcement 8)
The special machin is very handsome-
As reported in The Express 9/9/15:
Royal Mail announced last night that the 1st class stamp is turning purple to mark the Queen’s historic record-breaking reign.
The classic everyday 63p stamp, which features the monarch’s profile by sculptor Arnold Machin, has switched from its regular red to regal purple for the next 12 months in celebration.
Its iridescent overprint, which usually reads “Royal Mail”, now bears the text “Long to Reign Over Us”.
It is the first time the colour purple has ever been used for what is known as the First Class Definitive stamp. The new stamp, along with a collection of four others, is issued today to mark the landmark event.
Andrew Hammond, stamps and collectibles director at Royal Mail, said: “Royal Mail stamps mark the most significant anniversaries and landmark events in the life of our country. We are proud to commemorate Her Majesty becoming the longest-reigning monarch in UK history.”
- Noggin the Nog
- RED Shooting Star Posting LEGEND!
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The Kamal Patel story was particularly poignant, as I wonder if his collection will remain intact in Zambia.
Thanks for gathering all the articles together.
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- The Sheriff
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We were in Albania last Xmas and she was born there many will not realise. The main airport is named after her.
We visited Robben Island when in Cape Town a year or two back, and a visit there is a very sobering experience. A truly great man, who overcame enormous obstacles in life.