Wednesday, 19 October 2016

845. Pitcairn Depicts Local Ferns On Latest Issue.

  Bounty Post, the postal service of Pitcairn, released an attractive issue made up of 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on the subject of Ferns of Pitcairn on 19 October 2016. The issue was designed by Sue Wickison and lithographed by Southern Colour Print and lithographed by 14.5 x 14. Rating:- *****.

  Pakistan Post issued a pair of stamps on 18 October 2016 which represents its contribution to a joint issue with Singapore Post depicting the national flowers of the 2 countries (see Blogs 808 and 837). The issue was designed by Naveed Awan and lithographed by Pakistan Security Printing Corporation and perforated 13. Rating:- ****.

  Botswana Post has reissued its "Vervet monkey" miniature sheet of 2015 with an additional inscription in the lower border - "Thailand 2016" - and the logo of the Thailand 2016 32nd Asian International Stamp Exhibition to commemorate the exhibition which took place from 10 to 15 August 2016 in Bangkok. Rating:- ***.

  The Myanma Postal Service issued a set of 3 stamps on 31 August 2016 to commemorate the 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference. The important conference was attended by 18 ethnic insurgent groups and the Myanmar government and its aims included the building of a democratic federal union in accordance with results of the recent democratic elections. Rating:- ***.

  Below are illustrated the 8 "stamps" issued by the New York-based philatelic agency, IGPC - the self-proclaimed World's Most Respected Philatelic Agency - on 16 September 2016 in the name of Grenada on the subject of  the 80th anniversary of "The Long March" (see Blog 799) which doesn't really seem to have much to do with a small Caribbean island even if it did once have a short-lived Marxist government which came to an abrupt end when US troops invaded the island. Rating:- 0.

Monday, 17 October 2016

844. Isle Of Man Commemorates Its Olympians; More Ebola Stamps From Sierra Leone.

  The Isle Of Man Post Office has issued (or is about to issue) a miniature sheet on the subject of the Team GB Rio Olympic Games medal winners with a particular emphasis on the successful Manx competitors. The sheet is made up of the 8 different stamps issued previously to commemorate the Games itself but with 2 additional labels depicting 2 Manx Members of Team GB - Mark Cavendish who won a silver medal in the men's cycling omnium event and Tim Kneale who took 4th place in the mens double trap shooting event. This issue at least commemorates the Manx role in the Games and costs £5.08p. Rating:- ***.

  Australia Post, though issuing 8 stamps to commemorate the gold medal winners of the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games, has chosen to celebrate its paralympians' achievements with just a single stamp which depicts Australia's "Paralympian of the Year", Dylan Alcott. The stamp was printed (and sold) in sheets of 10 stamps and designed by Simone Sarkinofsky and lithographed and perforated 14.5. The date of issue was 18 October 2016. Rating:- ***.

  Australia Post also issued a set of 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 18 October 2016. The items are inscribed "Cocos (Keeling) Islands Australia" and illustrate the subject of art in the islands. The attractive set was designed by Lisa Chritensen, Three Branches Design and lithographed by RA Print and perforated 14 x 14.5. Rating:- ***.

   Stamperia has put on sale more sheetlets of stamps which depict local heroes of the fight against the Ebola virus outbreak in Sierra Leone in 2014 to 2015. A single sheetlet of 8 was said to have been issued on 21 August 2015 (see Blog 671) and it is possible that the other 3 sheetlets were released on the same date. I suspect that these items were actually put on sale at post offices in Sierra Leone though I haven't yet seen any evidence to support my theory. I have not bothered with any of the stuff that Stamperija has released up to now with Sierra Leone's name printed on it but I think that these sheets may well be worthy of a place in my collection. Rating:- ****.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

843. Five Decades Of Botswana Stamps.

  Botswana Post issued a set of 5 stamps on 9 October 2016 to commemorate World Post Day and also the 50th anniversary of postage stamps inscribed "Botswana". As usual, it is another excellent issue from Botswana Post, each stamp portraying a different issue representative of the decade in which they were released. Rating:- ****.

  Malawi Post issued a sheetlet containing 7 different stamps and 5 single-stamp miniature sheets on the subject of "Herbs of Malawi" on 7 October 2016. This is another interesting and colourful issue of local relevance from Malawi Post. Rating:- ***.

  MaltaPost will release 2 new issues to commemorate its participation in 2 upcoming philatelic exhibitions - Maltex 2016 from 21 to 23 October 2016 held in Floriana and the International Stamp Fair Sindelfingen 2016 from 27 to 29 October 2016. The issues are the usual personalisable stamps with attached labels which have the exhibitions' logos printed on them. The Maltex 2016 exhibition is taking place on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Malta Philatelic Society. Rating:- ***.

  India Post issued a miniature sheet on 17 October 2016 which contains 4 stamps each depicting a species of near-threatened Indian bird - the birds depicted are the Nicobar pigeon, the Nilgiri flycatcher, the Andaman woodpecker and the Black and orange flycatcher. This ia a very attractive and interesting issue. Rating:- *****.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

842. Maldives Quits The Commonwealth.

  The Maldives has left The Commonwealth - a Maldives government spokesman complained that The Commonwealth had treated it unfairly in its scrutinisation of what was happening in the country following the effective coup in 2012 which removed the former president, Mohamed Nasheed. The Maldives government was warned on 23 September 2016 that the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG)  had given it 6 months to address concerns about the detention and prosecution of opposition leaders, meddling with the Judiciary and the undermining of democratic institutions. Like the governments of Zimbabwe and The Gambia before it, the Maldives government quit The Commonwealth to avoid the scrutiny and criticism of the other 52 Commonwealth members.

 The country announced its departure from The Commonwealth on 13 October 2016 and this blog will not mention any Maldives stamps issued or purported to have been issued after that date. This is a relief since Maldives Post has allowed the notorious philatelic agency, Stamperija, to produce philatelic products in its name since 2013 and numerous items have been put on the market with the country's name printed on them since then. This leaves the issuing of the stamps of only 3 Commonwealth postal administrations in the clutches of Stamperija - Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands and Mozambique.

  Elsewhere in The Commonwealth in Asia:-

  Pos Malaysia issued a wonderful set of 3 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 9 October 2016 on the subject of Community postmen. The set was designed by Moho Kir of hazeldesign and printed in lithography. I love the image of a postman on horseback - what fun it would be to see my postman arriving on his horse with my post in the morning! Rating:- *****.

841. M007 Strikes Again - Now It's Labour And The Scots Nats.

  Blog 836 highlighted the presence of Post and Go kiosk M007 (Licensed to Dispense) at the Royal Mail stand at the Conservative Party Conference recently held in Birmingham between 2 and 5 October 2016. The products dispensed by  the machine were important because they had additional site locating inscriptions - "Birmingham/2016". This was the first time, as far as I know, that such items had been produced at a British party political conference though Royal Mail certainly had a kiosk on its stand at the 2015 Conservative Party Conference and I wondered if similar site-specific Post and Go stamps had been dispensed from a kiosk at the previous Labour Party Conference in Liverpool (25 - 28 September 2016) and whether such items would also emerge from the Scottish National Conference which has just been held in Glasgow (13 - 15 October).
  And indeed such items have been produced. Post and Go stamps with additional site-specific inscriptions have now appeared for sale from at least 2 dealers on E Bay. Both the "Machin Head" stamps and "Heritage transport" stamps are on sale with inscriptions reading "Liverpool/2016" and "Glasgow/2016". Apparently, the Liverpool items are the rarest - as rare, it seems, as Labour MPs in Scotland (well, not quite that rare).
   Kiosk M007 is the source of all of these stamps which are of historic interest and have served a practical postal purpose and I would think are an important addition to any collection of "British" stamps in general and "Post and Go" stamps in particular. The Scottish items in particular may be of future interest with the mutterings from the Scottish Nationalists that they wish to hold another referendum on Scottish independence leading, possibly, to Scotland becoming an independent state and issuer of its own postage  stamps. Rating:- *****. 
  The remaining question I have is - were site-specific stamps also produced at the Liberal Democrat Conference held in Preston from  17 - 20 September? I haven't seen anyone offering such items for sale but if such stamps do exist then I'm sure they must be very rare. Does anyone know?

  Mentioned in Blog 840, I now depict all 6 values of the Jersey Post "Post and Go" strip which commemorates the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, dispensed from the Broad Street post office kiosk from 4 October 2016:-

  In Blog 836 I depicted 2 of the 3 stamps which make up the An Post Christmas set for 2016 and I now show the remaining 72c value which is to be issued in booklets of 26 and was designed by Work Group and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 13. The SOAR stamps were Printed in HP indigo high resolution digital print and perforated 11 x 11.5. Rating:- ***.