Sunday, May 30, 2010

Falkland Islands - Fourth International Polar Year

The Fourth International Polar Year was launched in March 2007 and runs to March 2009 to allow for two field seasons at both Poles. Falkland Islands released a set of four postage stamps depicting four famous polar explorers.
More than sixty nations are undertaking projects to examine physical, biological and social research topics in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. For many years the Falkland Islands were a staging post and winter quarters for that brave band of explorers and discoverers who were fascinated by the Antarctic and who either wanted to expand mankind's knowledge, expand their countries territorial claims, or to reach the remote South Pole.
Although the first Polar Year was inaugurated in 1882, the Post Office of the Falkland Islands feels it appropriate to include some of those inquiring minds that had journeyed into the great unknown from early times.

4p James Weddell (1787-1834)

Having moved from the Royal Navy to the Merchant Service James Weddell persuaded ship owner James Strachan to allow him command a sealing expedition to the South Shetland Islands. This was not a financial success but a second voyage was planned in 1822 and James Weddell set sail in Jane accompanied by the Beaufoy in an attempt not only to catch seals, but to expand mankind's knowledge of the Antarctic

25p James Clark Ross (1800-1862)

The nephew of Sir John Ross, James joined the Royal Navy at the age of eleven. In 1818 he joined his uncle on a controversial voyage in search of the Northwest Passage. After various voyages to the Arctic he accompanied his uncle on a further Northwest Passage Expedition (1829-33), this time as second-in-command. In 1831 he reached the North Magnetic Pole.
In September 1839 he began his voyage to the Antarctic aboard the ships Erebus and Terror to explore and to locate the South Magnetic Pole. On New Year's Day they crossed the Antarctic Circle and on 9 January they discovered what is now known as the Ross Sea and named the Admiralty Range. On 28 January 1841 he discovered a high island calling its two volcanic peaks 'Erebus' and 'Terror'. James Clark Ross's exploration of both the Arctic and Antarctic fits perfectly with the concept of International Polar Year and its interest in both Poles.

85p William Spiers Bruce (1867-1921)

A Scottish oceanographer, William Spiers Bruce sailed to the Antarctic on several occasions via the Falkland Islands. After declining an invitation to join Scott on the Discovery expedition, he went on to lead the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (1902-4), aboard Scotia. This undertook the first oceanographic exploration of the Weddell Sea. Scotia wintered at Laurie Island, South Orkney Islands where meteorological observations began on 26 March 1903. The observatory, 'Omond House was transferred to Argentina through the British Embassy in February 1904. This lonely outpost is the oldest continuously manned meteorological observatory in Antarctica. The ruins of Omond House remain, now a historic site declared under the Antarctic Treaty. William Spiers Bruce was a quiet, private man with his only passion being that of his scientific studies. He died in 1921 after a long illness and his ashes were strewn over the Scotia Sea.

161p James William Slessor Marr (1902-1965)

James Marr had a long and distinguished history of association with both Falkland Islands and the Antarctic. Perhaps best known as Scout Marr, the young James was one of 1,700 Boy Scouts who entered a competition supported by the Daily Mail to join Sir Ernest Shackleton on what turned to be his last journey to the Antarctic. James Marr, with another Scout Norman Mooney who suffered from seasickness and had to leave at Madeira, were chosen to join the Quest Expedition, which left London in September 1921.
Quest with James Marr reached South Georgia where to the shock of all aboard, Sir Ernest Shackleton died from a heart attack at the age of 47 on 5 January 1922. Upon his return to the UK, James Marr published his logbook under the title 'Into the Frozen South' and went on to complete his degree at University, returning to the Antarctic on numerous occasions aboard William Scoresby and Discovery II. During this he specialized in marine biology and eventually wrote the definitive study on Krill. He was biologist during the two British Australian New Zealand Antarctic Research Expeditions led by Sir Douglas Mawson.

Postage stamps in detail

Issue: Falkland Islands, 7 April 2008
Designer: Andrew Robinson
Print: Lithography by Joh. Enschede Security Print
Perforation: 12.58 per 2cms
Stamp size: 28.45 x 42.58mm

Suomi Finland : Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld Minature sheet

Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, the famous Finnish-born scientist and explorer, is the subject of a miniature sheet with two 1st class non-value indicator stamps to be issued on 20 October 2008. A Norwegian-born Swede Martin Mörck designed the issue. The engraved stamp sheet was printed by the printing house of the Danish Post operator Danmark Frimaerker. The issue run is 300,000. The miniature sheet, priced at €1.60, is a joint issue with the postal operator of Greenland.
One of the Finnish stamps shows a bust of Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld. The illustration is based on a photograph by Captain Louis Patander. The other stamp depicts the research vessel Sofia, on which Nordenski6ld sailed to Greenland in 1883. Axel Hamberg took the original photograph. The scenery shown on the miniature sheet is from Ovifak, Greenland.

Voyage to Greenland

On his first voyage to Greenland in 1870, Nordenski6ld had heard of and had became interested in large stones rich in iron found at Ovifak on Disko Island. The stones were incorrectly thought to be meteorites. The largest of the chunks of rock shown on the stamp issue was later transported to Sweden. The universities of Copenhagen and Helsinki also each received a donation of rock. The picture on Greenland's miniature sheet is the same as on Finland's, but the stamps show the Sofia and interesting rocks from Ovifak. The man shown examining the rocks in the picture is Nordenskiöld. The original image from which the picture on the stamp is taken is by Th. Nordström.

Historical maps

He also accumulated an important collection of historical maps and geographical literature, which is stored at the National Library of Helsinki University. The collection has been added in 1997 to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

Postage stamps in detail

Issue: Finland, 20 October 2008
Designer: Martin Mörck
Perforation: 12.75 x 12.75
Stamp sizes: 28.84 x 33.44mm and 57.68 x 33.44mm
Sheet size: 165 x 60mm
Print: 4-color offset + engraving by Post Danmark Frimaerker, Denmark

Source: Filahome

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Recently acquired the most exciting and impressive stamps set issued by the by the Territory to date , undoubtedly those of the 1967-68 definitive series showing historical ships

The whole concept of the stamp series was evolved by the administration and all stamps were printed in multicolour photogravure by Harrison and Sons, London. The stamps were placed on sale in small groups in 1967 and 1968 and they gradually replaced the similar denominations of the definitive series.

The summary below outlines the series and includes short notes concerning the fourteen ships.

Issued 7 June 1967

* 1c HMS Resolution. Captain James Cook in the Resolution discovered Norfolk Island on 10 October 1771.
* 2c La Bossole and L’Astrolabe. These were two vessels of the de la Perouse Pacific expedition of 1785-88, which visited Norfolk Island on 13 January 1788, while en route to Botany Bay.
* 3c HM Brig Supply. This ship, Commander Ball, carried Lieutenant P. G. King to form a settlement in Norfolk Island early in 1788.
* 4c HMS Sirius. This was the flagship of the ‘First Fleet’ which founded the first settlement in New South Wa les in 1788. In March 1790, laden with troops and stores, it arrived off Norfolk Island and, while endeavouring to land the latter, struck a rock and became a total wreck.

Issued 14 August 1967

* 5c Norfolk. This was a 25-ton sloop built on the island in 1789. Taken to Sydney, it was fitted out for a voyage to confirm the discovery of Bass Strait. Matthew Flinders and George Bass, with a crew of eight, accomplished the task in the Norfolk in 1799.
* 7c HM Survey Cutter Mermaid. Following the re-opening of the penal settlement on Norfolk Island in 1825 the Mermaid was used to carry part of the first contingent of convicts and guards from Sydney.
* 9c Lady Franklin. This vessel was mentioned at the beginning of the article. It had been built at Port Arthur, Van Diemens Land, in 1841 and was used mainly for conveying stores between Van Diemens Land and Norfolk Island.
* 10c Morayshire. Also mentioned earlier in the text, this ships was specially chartered by the British Government to transfer the Pitcairners to Norfolk Island.

Issued 18 March 1968

* 15c Southern Cross. This ship, owned by the Melanesian Mission, and used between 1863 and 1873 to visit mission stations in the Pacific, regularly carried mails to and from Norfolk Island usually via New Zealand.
* 20c Pitcairn. This was a schooner owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. On at least one occasion in 1891 it brought mails from residents of Pitcairn Island to relatives and friends at Norfolk Island.
* 25c Whaleboat. Whaling was carried out by Norfolk Islanders for many years after 1856. The whaleboats used were mainly built on the island from local timber.

Issued 18 June 1968

* 30c HM Cable Ship Iris. The first association of this ship with the Island was in 1907 when a new shore end to the Norfolk-Suva cable was laid.
* 50c Schooner Resolution. Built on Norfolk Island in 1923-25, and named after Cook’s Resolution, this vessel made many trading voyages to Auckland.
* $1 SS Morinda. This Burns Philp vessel served Norfolk Island between 1931 and 1951, being engaged on the Sydney-Lord Howe Island-Norfolk Island-New Hebrides route.

Details from Pitcairn Island Study center.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

National Maritime Day of India - Special Cover

Recently i acquired the National Maritime Day of India Special Cover which was released on 5th April 2010. Thanks to Cdr. (retd) Narayan Acharya of Naval Philatelic Society (India)

History of the National Maritime Day:

April 5 of every year is celebrated as National Maritime Day in Indi
  • This commemorates the voyage of the first Indian Ship “S.S. Loyalty”  of The Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd from Mumbai to London on 5 April 1919.
  • The celebrations continue for one week and this is known as National Maritime Week.
  • National Welfare Board for Seafarers recommended at its Third Meeting held at Madras on 11th January, 1964 that the 5th April every year be celebrated as the National Maritime Day.
  • 2010 marks the 47th National Maritime Week.
The principal objective of celebrating the Day is to enable the public to know more intimately about the activities of the Indian Shipping Industry and the important role it plays in the economy of the country. The need for shipping industry and the requirement of seafarers are highlighted in various. Shipping has been called as ‘Silent Service’ as most of the shipping activity takes place away from the land and along with country’s sea borders, i.e. at the ports. In the vast sub-continent of India, the public at large has very limited opportunities to opportunities to observe for themselves the yeoman service rendered by the Indian Shipping for the promotion of the economic well being of the country. 
The observance of the National Maritime Day has, therefore served in bringing the people closer to the shipping industry and enabling them to participate in the celebrations and to share in the sense of pride and achievement at the rapid strides made by the Indian Shipping during the last five decades since the attainment of independence.

National martime day celebrations are held at all major ports viz. Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Goa, Visakhapatnam and Cochin and certain other ports like Kandla, Jamnagar, Paradip, Mangalore, Tuticorin, Karwar, etc. It includes laying of wreath at Seamen’s Memorials and pay tributes homage to seamen who laid down their lives while on high seas in 1st and 2nd world wars. On Merchant Navy Flag Day at New Delhi 1st Merchant Navy Flag is pinned on the wearing apparel of the Prime Minister of India by the Minister for Shipping. This practice has been prevalent from 2002 onwards. At the State level on Merchant Navy Flag Day the first Miniature Merchant Navy Flag is pinned on the wearing apparel of the Governor of Maharashtra by the Director General of Shipping in Mumbai.

India has about 7516 kilometres of coastline serviced by a total of 182 ports, 12 of them under a special status as Major Ports being under the purview of the Central Government. Seventy other ports termed as minor ones come under the jurisdiction of the respective State Governments. Ennore in Tamil Nadu has been declared as the 12th Major Port.

The Special Cover features the photo of Mr Narottam Morarjee (rigth) and Walchand Hirachand(left) who played a stellar role in revival of Indian Marcantile Marine.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What is the Universal Postal Union?

While browsing through various website i got this wonderful detail.Thanks to Tony Servies of Stamps of Distinction for providing the information.

As you advance in the stamp collecting hobby, you will probably run across the organization called the Universal Postal Union, usually abbreviated UPU. What is this organization and what is its purpose?

The UPU was founded in 1874 to help coordinate international postal service. Prior to its founding, each country would have to establish treaties with countries to set postal rates and to dictate the terms of delivery. Seeing that this was increasingly becoming too untenable, the General Postal Union was founded by Heinrich von Stephan of Germany. Four years later, the name was changed to the Universal Postal Union, which has been used ever since.

The UPU stays out of domestic postal issues; it only serves to address international postal concerns.

The most notable accomplishment of the Universal Postal Union was to permit postal fees for international mail to be paid with postage from the originating country. Prior to this, postage would have to be applied for every country in which the item passed. Now, only the sending country gets the postal fees and any imbalances are reconciled at a later time based on the total weight of international mail entering and leaving a country. This step greatly popularized and enhanced the use of international mail.

The UPU also manages the International Reply Coupon (IRC) system. These coupons are treated like currency, although the receiving country will pay out the value in stamps. This is done so that a person in one country can effectively send postage so that the recipient in another country can reply using their native postage.

Because of its close ties with the postal community, many stamps have been issued in commemoration of the UPU. The UPU emblem, shown above, can be occasionally seen on commemorative stamps when the UPU is being honored. The emblem is a depiction of the earth encircled by 5 messengers exchanging mail. The 5 messengers symbolize the 5 continental land masses of the earth (Europe and Asia being combined). The symbol was adopted from the bronze and granite statue created by French sculptor René de Saint-Marceaux.

Of special interest to stamp collectors is the World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP), a UPU-sponsored forum for philatelic groups. One of its main goals is to transmit information about unauthorized stamp issues to the world's postal authorities and consumers. To this end, it has created the WADP Numbering Systems (WNS) which, since 2002, attempts to identify and number valid stamps that have been issued by postal member nations. The internet address for the WNS is, which is a helpful site to browse when searching for modern issues. Because it has only been in existence for a few years, the database of stamps is small, but it will continue to collect and post new issues.

The UPU is headquartered in Berne, Switzerland and currently serves 191 member nations. Following the creation of the United Nations, the UPU was established as a agency of that body.

Now whenever you see the UPU symbol on some of your stamps, you will know a little about the background of this organization.

UPU Website :

Monday, May 10, 2010

Received a beautiful set of stamps from a dear friend

Received today a wonderful set of Stamps from my friend Tahir Arif (The World of Stamps)

1.British honduras SG 116 Block of 4(BLUE/GREEN) WITH T-19 OVERPRINT.

2.Three stamps of Indore Feudatory State -Maharaja Tukoji Holkar III.

Thanks Tahir ! I am very happy to get them !

Thank You

Aland - Passenger ferries - M/S Prinsessan and M/S Skandia.

Åland Post continues the passenger ferry series in 2010.

The M/S Prinsessan of Birka Line and the M/S Skandia of Silja Line have been painted by the artist Hàkan Sjòstròm.

At the same time, Aland Post presents a new collector's product.

Founded in Mariehamn in 1971, the business idea of Birka Line was to arrange short distance cruises between Sweden and Aland all the year round.

In November that same year, the first passenger ship, Danish M/S Prinsessen, was purchased.

Built in Denmark in 1957, Prinsessan had a capacity of 1 200 passengers and 35 cars.

Her originai name was Prinsesse Margrethe and she was renamed Prinsessen in 1968 before Birka Line changed her name once more in 1971, this time to Prinsessan (the princess).

Silja Line was founded in 1957 by the three shipping companies Finland Steamship Company, Steamship Company Bore and Stockholms Rederi AB Svea.

M/S Skandia was built in 1961 at Wàrtsilà shipyard in Helsinki. Skandia was Silja Line's first newly built car ferry and was put into service on thè route Turku-Àland-Stockholm.

The ferry carried 1200 passengers and 175 cars and as the first purpose-built car-passenger ferry for year-round service.

The bow doors fore and aft, resulting in a full-length cardeck, were revolutionizing.

In connection with the 2010 passenger ferry stamps, the Post presents a new collector's product, an album with ferry presentation sheets with old photos extra Information about the ferries and with the stamps canceled with post day cancel.

The ferry series will be issued 2009-2014.

Description of the Stamp

Date of issue: 3 May 2010
Artist: Hàkan Sjòstròm
Editions: 2 x 200 000
Denominations: €0.75 and €3.50
Price FDC: €4.80
Size of stamps: 35.4 x 26 mm
Size of sheets: 2 x 20 stamps
Paper: 110 g/m2
Perforation: 13 per 2 cm
Printing method: 4-colour offset
Printing house: Cartor Security Printing

Friday, May 7, 2010

Falkland Islands Dependencies - 1954 - Ships

[SGG27 -1D- Trepassey (Supply Ship) 1945-47 ]:

Built as a wooden vessel by Clarenville Shipyard at New Foundland for the Newfoundland Government (Department of the Commissioner for Public Utilities.), managed by the Newfoundland Railways.
1945 Launched under the name TREPASSEY, most probably named after a small fishing village in Newfoundland,

Tonnage 325 gross, 191 net, dim. 124.4 x 28.2 x 11.9ft (draught).One 8 cyl. diesel engine, 400 bhp. She was strengthened for ice.

After hostilities she sailed on January 9, 1946, on the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (1945-49) together with the Fitzroy and the William Scoresby and was engaged on relieving and re-equipping Antarctic bases at Hope Bay, Deception Island and Port Lockroy. She also established a base at Laurie Island, South Orkneys. Perhaps her most important task in 1946 was to establish a base at Marguerite Bay, Stonington Island.

During 1947 she went to the rescue of the Fitzroy which had been caught in pack ice in Antarctic Sound. The stout wooden hull of the Trepassey enabled her to force a way through the ice. Just before this she had established a base at Admiralty Bay, King George Island. On April 2, 1947, she caught fire due to the overheating of the furnace which supplied warmth to the cabins and although the Fitzroy was able to pump water on board, it was not until four hours later that the flames were got under control. The ship was seriously damaged. Temporary repairs were effected enabling her to return to her home port for a thorough refit.

Source:Ship Stamp Forum and ship stamp galary.