Saturday, 21 April 2018

1210. 🇬🇧🇸🇿 Gibbons Intoduces A 'Supplementary Appendix' And KingMswati Introduces eSwatini.

  🇬🇧 The editor of the Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogues has revealed that he has created a 'Supplementary Appendix' in the new 4th edition of Stanley Gibbons East Africa Catalogue to accommodate stamps which were originally placed in the Appendix section of the catalogue but have subsequently been found, sometimes years after their original issue date, to have actually been sold in post offices and to have received genuine postal usage.
  Mr Jefferies states that, "The listing uses temporary numbers and is unpriced as we are sure that there will be a great many more stamps to add to it".
  It's a difficult problem for the editor. He mentions that, "In recent weeks I have heard that Antigua And Gibraltar, to name but two, do not sell anything but definitives in their post offices" and questions whether or not "we should cease to list all their special issues". In reply to that one, I say that if the stamps are not being sold with the primary intention of their being used on mail, then they are 'Collectables' first and foremost and not true 'postage stamps' and therefore should be listed in the Appendix, so that collectors know that they exist but do not feel pressured to buy them just because they have a catalogue number.
  In all events, the status of new issues seems to have taken a very complicated turn when one now has 3 sections of a catalogue - main list with numbers, appendix and a supplementary appendix. I think it emphasises the point that 'completion', 'one of everything', is impossible in this modern day and age and wouldn't make for a very nice collection even if one did  have the inclination and money to pursue such a goal. Collectors should ensure that they know what they're collecting and make it clear in their mind about what they want to get out of a collection and not feel as though they have to follow a catalogue listing which is generally based on someone else's opinion and nothing more. That way leads to being able to derive maximum pleasure from one's collection and not to gloom which is associated with a collection full of stuff one's not interested in nor doesn't like.

  🇸🇿 King Mswati III, the absolute ruler of what up to now has been known as Swaziland, declared on 18 April 2018 that thenceforth the country would be known by a new name - The Kingdom Of eSwatini. Presumably this will have philatelic consequences, possibly an overprint of the new name on the current definitive series which depicts Trees and dates back to as long ago as 2007 so e-Swatini's postal service may wish to release a completely new definitive series without bothering with overprints. Presumably too all future stamp issues will be inscribed with the new country name including the set due on 6 September 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country's achievement of Independence. Time will tell.

  🇹🇷 The postal service of The Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus released its first stamp issue of 2018 on 6 April in the form of 2 values from the 'Struggle against Cancer' set of 2015 with surcharges applied to them. Rating:- **.

  🇬🇧 Royal Mail has commemorated the celebrations in Stratford upon Avon which mark the anniversary of the playwright's birth which take place this weekend by adorning a postbox in the town with quotations from some of Shakespeare's works. It's interesting for tourists to see and doesn't cost stamp collectors a penny. A free commemorative you might say.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

1209. Commonwealth Leaders' Meeting Opens In London.

  🇬🇧 As previously mentioned Royal Mail has failed to issue a stamp to commemorate the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which takes place this week in London and Windsor. The heads of government or senior ministers of 53 countries are attending the meeting (46 are represented by their presidents or prime ministers and the others by their foreign ministers) but Royal Mail did not consider this to be an important enough event to be worth commemorating philatelically. Royal Mail pronounced that preparation and production of such an issue would take too long though I managed to 'design' the above, perfectly workable 'design' on my I Pad in 5 minutes. It was of course much more important to produce countless philatelic items on the subject of the television programme Game Of Thrones.
  Queen Elizabeth II, who will celebrate her 92nd birthday tomorrow on 21 April, in her welcome to the Commonwealth leaders, expressed her wish that her son, The Prince Of Wales, would be allowed to succeed her as the Head of The Commonwealth, a purely honorary title.
  The meeting is also being attended by the Foreign minister of Zimbabwe in an observer role in anticipation of that country's readmission to The Commonwealth and President Adama Barrow of The Gambia is present after that country's return to membership of the organisation.

  🇮🇳 India Post released a previously mentioned miniature sheet containing 2 different stamps on the subject of the 125th anniversary of the Goan Tiatr on 17 April 2018. I like this issue which is rather more interesting and colourful than a number of India Post releases. Rating:- ***.

  🇱🇹 Stamperija has announced the release of more paraphilatelic products with the name of Sierra Leone printed on them. As usual there are 10 'sheetlets', each containing 4 different 'stamps', and 10 accompanying miniature sheets on the following subjects:- Dogs, Dinosaurs, Shells, 205th Birth Anniversary of Richard Wagner, Birth centenary of Nelson Mandela, 55th anniversary of the Lamborghini company, 120th anniversary of the death of Alexander Shishkin, Orchids, 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King and the 65th anniversary of the film and book character James Bond (there must be all sorts of copyright problems with these particular latter products). Rating:- 0.
  The 'date of issue' is stated to have been 30 March 2018.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

1208. 🇦🇺🇬🇧 Commonwealth Games Handed On From Gold Coast To Birmingham.

 🇦🇺🇬🇧 After a memorable closing ceremony in Gold Coast, Australia, the 21st Commonwealth Games has ended and the Commonwealth Games flag has been passed on to Birmingham, The United Kingdom's second biggest city and awarded the Games as the representative city of England. We look forward to future stamp issues to commemorate Birmingham's hosting of the Games which is the third biggest sporting event in the world with 71 nations and territories having participated in Gold Coast. Royal Mail has issued previously several stamps depicting views and buildings in the centre of Birmingham:-

  🇹🇰 The postal service of Tokelau will issue a set of 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 2 May 2018 on the subject of Sea walls of Tokelau. The issue serves to emphasise the role of these constructions in protecting Tokelau in the face of rising sea levels associated with climate change. This very interesting issue was designed by Saint Andrew Matautia and lithographed by Collectables and Solutions Centre in Whanganui and perforated 13.5. Rating:- ****.

  🇹🇷 The postal service of Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus is planning to release the following issues during 2018:-

  6 April - Surcharged stamp, 'Struggle with cancer, 2015'
  18 May - Europa, Bridges
  14 June - FIFA World Cup Football Championships, Russia,
  31 July - Definitive - Protected animals
  25 September - Occupational health and safety
  31 October - Outdoor sports.

  🇫🇯 Fiji Post has released 2 issues so far in 2018. I do not have satisfactory illustrations of either yet but those provided give an idea of what has appeared.
  Fijian local newspapers reported that a se-tenant block of 4 stamps was issued on 28 February 2018 as a joint venture with The People's Republic Of China on the subject of Chinese New Year, Year of the Dog. The stamps have a distinctly Chinese influence in their design and to me have little merit. The best photograph that I could find is illustrated below but the picture of the stamps is obscured by Isaac Mow, the Acting Chief Executive officer of Fiji Post. We must not be too surprised that an official gets more prominence in the publicity for this issue as it often happens now in various countries that the local official or politician is after their own publicity rather than passing on useful information to the people who might like to see the stamps themselves. Rating:- 0.

  Having co-operated with China in the production of the above stamp issue, Fiji Post then turned to an issue which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the United States Peace Corps voluntary service in Fiji. Perhaps it's wise for a small country to look both ways at the same time especially if you can get both sides to provide you with a stamp issue to sell to support your Post Office's funding.
  The stamps, issued on 28 March 2018, trace the history of the Peace Corps in Fiji over the previous 50 years and aren't exactly the most exciting of designs but at least they are relevant locally. Again it's hard to find a good illustration of this issue so far - as with the Chinese new year issue publicity photographs concentrate on featuring Fijian and American officials rather than the stamps themselves. Rating:- **.

  🇳🇦 Nam Post, the postal service of Namibia, issued 3 stamps on 12 March 2018 on the subject 'Ox cart to Airplane' which illustrates domestic transport in Namibia through the ages. The issue was designed by Elke Le Roux and is interesting but not very colourful. Rating:- ***.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

1207. 🇨🇦 Canada Commemorates Coronation 65th Anniversary.

  🇨🇦 Canada Post will issue a single self-adhesive stamp in a booklet of 10 on 21 April 2018 to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The very fine stamp was designed by Paprika and printed in lithography. Rating:- *****.

  Canada Post will then release a pair of self-adhesive stamps issued se-tenant in booklets of 10 (5 pairs) on 1 May 2018 on the subject of 'Bees'. The rather unusual designs by Andrew Perro are based on illustrations by Dave Murray. I think I should have liked to see more realistic depictions of the creatures. Rating:- **.

  🇮🇲 The Isle Of Man Post Office will issue a set of 12 1st Class rate stamps on 17 May 2018 on the subject of 'Great British motorcycles'. The designs are based on paintings by Graham Crowley or photographs taken from the Mortons Collection. The designs were carried out by David Bloomfield and EJC Design and printing in lithography was by Lowe-Martin and the stamps are perforated 14. The total face value of the set is £6.24p. Rating:- *.

    The Isle Of Man Post Office will also issue 8 stamps and a 'sheetlet' containing the same 8 stamps on 10 May 2018 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first Manx International Motor Scooter Rally. The face value of the set is £7.90 and the sheetlet costs the same. The design is by EJC Design and Paul Ford and printing in lithography was carried out by Cartor. The stamps are perforated 14. Rating:- **.

  🇮🇳 India Post issued a single stamp on 12 April 2017 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation. Rating:- **.

  🇬🇬 Guernsey Post will issue 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 2 May 2018 on the subject of Bridges of Guernsey. These stamps tie in with the 2018 Europa omnibus theme. The 62p and 76p values carry the inscription, 'EUROPA'. The issue was designed by Wendy Bramall and lithographed by Lowe Martin and perforated 13.3. The designs feature some pleasant and delicate paintings of scenery in Guernsey and some of the other Channel Islands which are part of the Bailiwick. Rating:- ***.

  Guernsey Post will also issue a miniature sheet containing 2 different £2 stamps on 2 May 2018 to commemorate the Wedding of Prince Henry Of Wales and Meghan Markle, an American actress. The designs feature photographs taken at the time of the couple's engagement. The Prince is only fifth in line to the British throne but is a popular figure. The issue was designed by Two Degrees North and lithographed by Southern Colour Print and perforated 14.5. Rating:- **.

  🇱🇰 Sri Lanka Post issued 1 stamp on 7 April 2018 to commemorate World Health Day. The issue marked the 70th World Health Day and the commemorative meeting which was held in Colombo on the day of issue of the stamp. Sadly this is not a particularly interesting design. Rating:- **.

This issue was followed 2 days later when Sri Lanka Post released 3 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 9 April 2018 to commemorate Vesak. As usual Sri Lanka Post has celebrated this religious festival with some colourful and interesting designs. Rating:- ***.