Disney Villains (U.S. 2017)

[USPS press release]
Disney Studios Ink & Paint Department to be Celebrated on Forever Stamps Featuring Disney Villains

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the rich legacy of the Walt Disney Studios Ink & Paint Department by dedicating a sheet of 20 Forever stamps featuring 10 classic Disney villains.

The Disney Villains Forever stamps will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. PDT July 15, during D23 Expo 2017, Disney’s ultimate fan event at the Anaheim Convention Center, Center Stage. The public is encouraged to share the news on social media using the hashtag #DisneyVillainsStamps. Beginning June 22, the stamps may be pre-ordered at usps.com/shop for delivery shortly after the July 15 issuance.

Admission is limited to the ceremony that is standing room only. You may RSVP at www.usps.com/disney; however, this does not guarantee admission. Additional instructions will be provided. D23 Expo 2017 ticket holders do not need to RSVP. Each stamp showcases one of 10 classic Disney villains against a blue background: the Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Honest John (Pinocchio), Lady Tremaine (Cinderella), the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland), Captain Hook (Peter Pan); and Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), Cruella De Vil (One Hundred and One Dalmatians), Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Gaston (Beauty and the Beast) and Scar (The Lion King).

The words “USA” and “Forever” appear in the top right corner or bottom right corner of each stamp and the name of the classic villain and the movie in which the character appears runs along the left edge.

The Art of Animation
Beginning in 1923, Disney’s Ink & Paint Department helped create classic animated films. Its artists brought life to countless memorable characters, including many iconic Disney villains.

One of the first groups of its kind, Disney’s Ink & Paint Department was yet another stop on the road to creating an animated film. After the animators’ pencil drawings were finished, they went to Ink and Paint. There, highly specialized artists meticulously recreated each pencil line in ink, capturing every nuanced movement and expression. At first, artists used black and white, and later shades of gray to “color” each celluloid or cel. In the early 1930s, the artists began using rich colors on the animation cels.

The last full-length animated Disney film to use the hand-painted cel process was The Little Mermaid (1989). Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Lion King (1994) were hand drawn. The original pencil drawings for those films were then scanned and painted digitally. For these stamps, the characters Gaston (Beauty and the Beast) and Scar (The Lion King) have been recreated using traditional ink and paint techniques.

Art director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, designed the issuance.

The Disney Villains from the Walt Disney Studios Ink & Paint Department stamps are being issued as Forever stamps that are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail service one-ounce price.

APS Exec On The State of The Hobby

At a “town hall” meeting at the NAPEX show in suburban Washington, D.C., June 9, 2017, American Philatelic Society executive director Scott English talked about the diminishing membership, not only in the APS, but in stamp collecting organizations in general.

APS membership in 1988, when English graduated high school, was almost 56,000. Today, when his youngest child is graduating high school, it’s about 29,000. Membership is down about 900 for the year. “It scares me,” he admits.

English said he did “opposition research” before he took the job as executive director 22 months ago. He described that as “I know more about you than you do, and it isn’t all good.”

In this case, he found that the APS was disconnected and standing still. It’s still a problem, he said. “Our problem with the hobby is we love tradition.”

However, English — who was not a stamp collector before he took the job — disputes assertions that stamp collecting is dying, and decreasing organizational membership proves it.

“Stamp collecting isn’t collapsing, organized philately is,” he declared.

English told the collectors at the NAPEX session the APS may get involved in the Regency-Superior bankruptcy case. That was a large philatelic auction house and retail stamp seller with headquarters in Saint Louis. A major creditor has seized the assets of the firm, and those who consigned stamps and covers to Regency-Superior for sale may not be paid.

He said that while the organization itself was a consignor to R-S auctions and stands to lose money, the APS also wants to stand up for its members and other consignors. English says it is not fair that material that they own should be seized by this creditor, a bank. He has director the APS attorney to look into the matter.

He also said that APS may get involved in seeking changes to bankruptcy law to protect future philatelic consignors. English said that in his past career in politics, he was at times involved in writing bankruptcy legislation.

English also disputed the assertion by the owner of Regency-Superior that the business failed because stamp collecting is dying. You can hear or read his comments in a Virtual Stamp Club radio feature (podcast).

On other subjects:

  • APS will be redoing its website to make it mobile-friendly and Google-friendly. Right now, it’s neither, and only 2% of its visits are from mobile devices (and he suspects that’s just himself and COO Ken Martin).
  • AmeriStamp Expo 2017 in Reno was on target for revenue, off target on expenditures, and resulted in a loss.
  • On finances, English deferred to APS Treasurer Bruce Marsden, who said APS/APRL finances are probably the healthiest they’ve been in the past 5-6 years.
  • English gives “all credit” to Robert A. Siegel Auctions for getting the most possible for the American Philatelic Research Library for the recently-recovered inverted Jenny airmail stamp. “That stamp should have sold for about $180,000,” English said. “It’s probably the most expensive reperfed stamp ever!”
  • A small shopping center is going into the vacant space right next to the American Philatelic Center, with six retail spaces. Its architectural style was influenced by and will be consistent with the APC.

Stanley Gibbons Firm Up For Sale

The world’s oldest stamp dealership, Stanley Gibbons, has put itself up for sale, according to a report by the BBC.

Although founded in London in 1856, Gibbons for many years has been headquartered on the Isle of Jersey, considered a tax haven. Gibbons, however, does maintain a retail store in London.

Stanley Gibbons also sells coins and antiques, but is most identified with rare stamps. For many years, the firm has had few if any philatelists among its management. It has attempted to make inroads in the online stamp collecting market, and for a very brief time, owned The Virtual Stamp Club.

Gibbons said it had received an offer by an investor, which the investor denied.

Scheuer’s Kansas-Nebraska Overprint Article Wins APS Award

Henry B. Scheuer’s article titled “Kansas-Nebraska Overprint Stamps: Why, Where, and When They Were Initially Sold” was selected as the 2016 winner of the United States Stamp Society/Barbara R. Mueller Award for the best article published in a single year of The American Philatelist. The award will be presented at the APS StampShow Celebration Banquet 2017 on August 5 in Richmond, Virginia.

More on the award and the article can be found on the APS website.

APS Names 2017 Carter Service Award Winners

The American Philatelic Society is recognizing Ed Andrews, Jack Congrove, Dawn Hamman, Ed & Judy Jarvis, and David McNamee for National Service to Philately, and Ed Laveroni, Sharon Newby, Gerald Nylander, Guy Purington, Roger Rhoads, Charles Shoemaker, Norm Shufrin, Roger Skinner, Tim Wait, and Ann Wood for Local Service.

Awards are presented each year at the APS General Meeting, this year on August 5 at StampShow 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. The Young Adult and Young Philatelist awards will be announced at a later date.

Brief bios of each recipient can be found on the APS website.

The Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Recognition Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of our volunteers at national and local levels and also recognizes our younger members whose outstanding leadership is crucial to our future. The awards were been named in memory of Nick Carter who helped to establish them. Nick felt it was important to recognize those unsung heroes who contribute their talents, time and energies to benefit stamp collecting and the society.

U.S. Scott Catalogue Update (June 2017)

5191 (70¢) Robert Panara

5192 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Tamales
5193 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Flan
5194 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Sancocho
5195 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Empanadas
5196 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Chile Relleno
5197 (49¢) Delicioso booklet stamp – Ceviche
a. Block of 6, #5192-5197
b. Convertible booklet pane of 20, 4 each #5192-5193, 3 each #4194-5197

5198 ($1.15) Echeveria Plant
5199 (49¢) Boutonniere
5200 (70¢) Corsage

Canada 150: Olympics and Paralympics (Canada 2017)

[press release]
Spirit of the Games: Canada’s Paralympic and Olympic achievements honoured in final two Canada 150 stamps
Canadian athletes, our country’s success in hosting Paralympics and Olympics celebrated as all 10 Canada 150 stamps go on sale

RICHMOND, B.C. – Canadian Paralympic and Olympic greats unveiled the final two Canada 150 stamps June 1 at a special ceremony honouring Canada’s athletes and the country’s success in hosting the Paralympic and Olympic Games.

All 10 Canada 150 stamps and associated stamp products are now on sale online at canadapost.ca and in postal outlets across the country. The Canada 150 stamps being issued by Canada Post mark unforgettable moments and achievements in Canada since our country’s centennial in 1967.

Paralympic glory
Canadian Paralympic legends Arnold Boldt and Lauren Woolstencroft unveiled a stamp celebrating Canada’s achievements in the Paralympic movement and our country’s role as host of two Paralympic Games – in Toronto in 1976 and Vancouver in 2010. Boldt is a six-time Paralympian who won eight medals in high jump and long jump, including seven gold. Woolstencroft, a former para-alpine skier and the first Canadian winter Paralympian to win five gold medals at a single Games, is featured on the Paralympic stamp.

Olympic greatness
Canadian high-jump legend and Olympic silver medallist Greg Joy, along with Joannie Rochette, Olympic bronze medallist in figure skating, unveiled a separate stamp commemorating Canada’s success as a three-time host of the Olympic Games: the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal, the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The Olympic stamp features a triumphant Alexandre Bilodeau after winning the men’s moguls event in Vancouver and capturing Canada’s first Olympic gold medal on Canadian soil.

Both the Paralympic and Olympic stamps were unveiled at a ceremony held at Canada Post’s Pacific Processing Centre in Richmond, B.C. Left to right, Canadian Paralympic legends Arnold Boldt and Lauren Woolstencroft unveiled a stamp celebrating Canada’s achievements in the Paralympic movement and Joannie Rochette, Olympic bronze medallist in figure skating, and Canadian high-jump legend and Olympic silver medallist Greg Joy unveiled a separate stamp commemorating Canada’s success as a three-time host of the Olympic Games. Photo by Flora Gordon/Canada Post.

Lasting legacies and memories
The Olympic and Paralympic Games held in Canada inspired a nation, left an indelible mark on our country, and showcased Canada to the world. They produced iconic Canadian moments and influenced generations of current, former and up-and-coming Olympians. Thousands of Canadians participated in the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays that toured through communities across Canada, allowing people of all ages and athletic abilities to have their own special Games moment.

All 10 Canada 150 stamps now on sale
Each stamp in the set has been unveiled by a distinguished Canadian individual or group related to the moment being celebrated. The location of each stamp launch also directly related to the moment being commemorated. The first stamp, celebrating Expo 67, was unveiled in Montréal by Habitat 67 architect Moshe Safdie on April 27, while the stamp honouring the Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was unveiled on Parliament Hill on May 3 with the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. The third stamp, which pays tribute to the Canadarm and Canadian innovation, was unveiled by Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen during a recorded event at a Toronto school and released online May 4.

The fourth stamp, commemorating the 2005 passage of the Civil Marriage Act – which made marriage equality the law in Canada – was unveiled in Toronto on May 9 in partnership with The 519, an organization that supports the LGBTQ community. The fifth stamp, celebrating the Trans-Canada Highway, was unveiled in Regina on May 16 by Canadian country music star Dean Brody. The sixth stamp, honouring Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, was unveiled in St. John’s, N.L. on May 25 by Judith Fox, Terry’s sister. The seventh stamp, commemorating Nunavut becoming a territory, was unveiled May 30 at the legislative assembly in Iqaluit by Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna, Commissioner of Nunavut Nellie Kusugak, and George Qulaut, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. The eighth stamp, celebrating Canada’s victory in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union, was unveiled May 31 at CFB Winnipeg by Canadian hockey legends who played on the team.

About the stamps
Each of the 10 maple-leaf shaped die-cut PermanentTM domestic-rate stamps measures 40 mm x 40 mm and is printed in 6 colours plus tagging. The self-adhesive stamps are available in a booklet of 10 (4 million stamps). A gummed pane of 10 stamps, with circle perforations 4.5 cm in diameter, is also available (80,000 panes). Official First Day Covers, one for each stamp design and each cancelled in OTTAWA ON, are available in a pack of 10 (10,000 packs). The stamp issue was designed by Roy White and Liz Wurzinger of Subplot Design Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group.

Canada Post’s videos on the Olympic and Paralympic Games:

Canada Post’s video on the Paralympics:

Canada 150: Summit Series Hockey (Canada 2017)

[press release]
Players from legendary 1972 Canada-USSR Summit Series unveil stamp of unforgettable goal, visit with RCAF’s 17 Wing
Stamp is eighth of 10 that revisit exceptional moments of the last 50 years, as country celebrates Canada 150

CFB WINNIPEG – Canada Post May 31st unveiled its latest Canada 150 stamp by uniting legendary players who wore this country’s flag as members of Team Canada 1972 with proud Canadians who take the Maple Leaf to the skies as members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The players included Pat Stapleton, who chairs the board of Team Canada 1972, and Bobby Clarke, Yvan Cournoyer, Pete Mahovlich, Frank Mahovlich, Eddie Johnston, Brad Park, Wayne Cashman and Jean Ratelle. Sean Goldsworthy (representing his father Bill Goldsworthy) and John Ferguson Jr. (representing his father John Ferguson) also participated.

Together with Colonel Andy Cook, 17 Wing Winnipeg Commander, they unveiled a stamp celebrating the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union – chosen as one of the unforgettable moments since the country’s centennial in 1967. It is the eighth of 10 such moments being celebrated in stamps to mark Canada 150. (Photo below by John Kristalovich/Canada Post)

No other hockey series – before or since – galvanized Canada like it did, or changed the game of hockey to the same extent. The eight-game series – which included a 4-4 tie played in Winnipeg – was a roller-coaster ride that the entire country took together, from cocky confidence to despair, to a hard-fought, dying-seconds victory.

The series assembled our best National Hockey League players, and for the first time, a national team was named Team Canada. They were pitted against the Soviet Union’s national team, who had been world and Olympic champions nine times in the previous 10 years. Fans and media expected a low-key, lopsided victory for Canada – eight games, eight wins. By the end of the second period in Game One, the out-of-shape and badly outplayed Canadian players realized they were in “a dogfight” for hockey supremacy. After playing four games in Canada, Team Canada had one win, one tie and two losses – and was booed by the fans during the game in Vancouver. That triggered a famous post-game speech by team captain Phil Esposito scolding the country on national television.

When they arrived in Moscow for the final four games, Team Canada and the 3,000 fans who made the trip found themselves in another kind of contest: one without referees. At the height of the Cold War, Soviet surveillance and suspicious activities, such as repeated phone calls to their hotel rooms in the middle of the night, injected a spy-novel atmosphere. The Canadians saw it all as an orchestrated attempt to throw them off their game, a reflection of off-ice politics interfering with on-ice play.

Nonetheless, the plucky Canadians rallied. They won the last three games in Moscow – each one capped by a game-winning goal from winger Paul Henderson, including the Game 8 series winner depicted on the stamp. After the series of the century, hockey would never be the same: before long, international players joined – and excelled in – professional hockey in North America.

The next and final stamps in the Canada 150 set will be revealed in Vancouver on Thursday, June 1, the same day all the stamps and related products go on sale. The unveilings began with architect Moshe Safdie unveiling an Expo 67 stamp; the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada, unveiling a Constitution stamp; astronaut Jeremy Hansen unveiling a Canadarm stamp; a marriage equality stamp with members of The 519, a City of Toronto agency committed to the health, happiness and full participation of LGBTQ communities; a Trans-Canada Highway stamp with country music star Dean Brody; a stamp commemorating Terry Fox’s 1980 Marathon of Hope, unveiled with his sister Judith Fox; and a stamp celebrating the creation of Nunavut, unveiled at the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut with Premier Peter Taptuna and Commissioner of Nunavut Nellie Kusugak.

About the stamps
Each of the 10 maple-leaf shaped die-cut PermanentTM domestic-rate stamps measures 40 mm x 40 mm and is printed in 6 colours plus tagging. The self-adhesive stamps are available in a booklet of 10 (4 million stamps). A gummed pane of 10 stamps, with circle perforations 4.5 cm in diameter, is also available (80,000 panes). Official First Day Covers, one for each stamp design and each cancelled in OTTAWA ON, are available in a pack of 10 (10,000 packs). The stamp issue was designed by Roy White and Liz Wurzinger of Subplot Design Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group.

About Team Canada 1972 and 28-8
In 2014, Team Canada 1972 launched this initiative, which promotes the power of teamwork and acknowledges the team effort throughout the Summit Series – all 28,800 seconds of it.

About 17 Wing Winnipeg
17 Wing is comprised of squadrons, training schools and command elements. The six aviation schools co-located at CFB Winnipeg are second to none in the world. 17 Wing is a composite formation conducting and supporting flying operations and a variety of training and command functions. It also supports 113 units stretching from Thunder Bay, Ont., to the Saskatchewan/Alberta border and from the 49th Parallel to the high Arctic.

Canada Post’s video about the stamp subject:

Trump’s Visit to Israel (Israel 2017)

On Sunday, May 28th, Israel Post issued a My Own Stamp souvenir sheet commemorating U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel. It consists of 9 Israeli flag postage stamps with the USA flag and official photos of the visit.

“This is a limited and numbered item and only 1499 sheets were produced. Supply is on a first-come first-serve basis,” said a spokeswoman for Israel Post.

The sheet is priced at NIS 34 (34 shekels), which is approximately US$9.59. It can be ordered direct from Israel Post (click the link), from Israel Post’s various agencies such as the Israel Philatelic Agency NA (172 Empire Blvd., Third Floor, Brooklyn, N Y 11225) or stamp dealers.

Indigenous Leaders/Legends (Australia 2017)

[press release]
Indigenous leaders honoured as Australia Post Australian Legends[These stamps were issued May 29th]

Three of Australia’s distinguished Indigenous leaders are being honoured as the 2017 Australia Post Australian Legends, with recipients appearing on commemorative stamps.T hree of Australia’s distinguished Indigenous leaders are being honoured as the 2017 Australia Post Australian Legends, with recipients appearing on commemorative stamps.

Honouring the work of Prof. Thomas Edwin Calma, Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue and Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu, the award recognises the lifelong advocacy and leadership the Legends have achieved for their communities.

Professor Thomas Edwin “Tom” Calma AO
An Aboriginal elder of the Kungarakan people and member of the Iwaidja tribal group, Tom is the first Indigenous man to hold the position of Chancellor of any Australian university – a title he took in 2014 when appointed the sixth Chancellor at the University of Canberra. From 2004 to 2010, Tom was the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, and also served as Race Discrimination Commissioner for most of that time. Tom is co-chair of Reconciliation Australia and a director of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre. In 2013, he was named ACT Australian of the Year, and in 2012 made an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of his work as an inspirational advocate for human rights, social justice and distinguished service to the Indigenous community.

Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue AC CBE
Of Irish and Yankunytjatjara descent, Lowitja is a member of the Stolen Generation. After years of petitioning, Lowitja became the first Aboriginal woman to be accepted into nursing training in South Australia, and finally graduated in 1954. Lowitja continued her active involvement with Indigenous issues by joining the Aboriginal Advancement League to agitate for the rights of Aboriginal people to enter professions and take up apprenticeships. She joined the federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs following the 1967 referendum and for seven years she was the most senior Aboriginal person in public office. Lowitja’s contribution to her community has been recognised with an Order of Australia (1976), Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1983), Australian of the Year award (1985), and a Companion of the Order of Australia (1999). Lowitja is the first and only Aboriginal Australian to address the UN General Assembly.

Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM
A leader and land rights activist, Galarrwuy first came to prominence in 1970 when he acted as an interpreter for the first litigation on traditional land rights in Australia. The case was instrumental to the passing of the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act in 1976. Galarrwuy’s work has focused on advocacy for traditional land owners to set terms for the mining of Aboriginal land in a way that allows the communities to achieve self-determination and economic independence. In 1978, Galarrwuy was named Australian of the Year, and in 1985 was made a Member of the Order of Australia. In 1997, the National Trust named Galarrwuy an “Australian Living National Treasure”.

Since 1997, the Australia Post Australian Legends Awards has commemorated exceptional people who have made lifetime contributions to the nation’s identity and character.

In years past, Australia Post has awarded Australians who have contributed significantly to their area of expertise, including cricketer Sir Donald Bradman; artist Arthur Boyd; haematologist Donald Metcalf; actress Cate Blanchett; chef Maggie Beer; Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith; and tennis player Patrick Rafter.

Ahmed Fahour, Managing Director & Group CEO, Australia Post, said this year’s award recognises the leadership and advocacy the three recipients have demonstrated over the course of their lives to improve conditions for Indigenous Australians and to bring opportunities to their communities.

“We are pleased to recognise the hard work and unfailing effort our recipients have demonstrated for the betterment of their communities. Our recipients have overcome immense challenges as they have strived for equal representation and agency to ensure a better future for generations to come.

“Australia Post aligns itself as an equal opportunity employer, offering support and genuine pathways into meaningful employment through school-based and adult traineeships and internships for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members.

“Australia Post also recognises that 2017 marks the 50th year since the 1967 referendum, when Australians voted overwhelmingly to amend the constitution and provide rights to our First Peoples, so it is fitting that we can honour this occasion with our Australian Legends philatelic issue,” Mr Fahour said.

The Legends Award criteria honours inspirational living Australians who exemplify tenacity, imagination, perseverance, devotion, integrity and compassion.

The 2017 Legends will each feature on a $1 stamp. The products accompanying the stamp issue are a maxicard set, a stamp pack, a booklet of 20 x $1 stamps and a first day cover.

Prof. Thomas Edwin Calma said about receiving the award:

“Advocates like myself never seek the spotlight for the work we do, and while I am acknowledged in the stamp, many who have walked with me share this honour. I am proud, humbled and appreciate that my lifetime work and the achievements of Indigenous advocates and our colleagues are celebrated in such a meaningful way. I hope that occasions like this highlight what is achievable in a lifetime and will encourage greater advocacy for equality. Together we can affect change.”

Australia Post’s Ahmed Fahour and Prof. Calma, photo courtesy of Janusz Molinski.

Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue said about receiving the award: “Our work towards equality never stops, and I appreciate that our wider community recognises the changes we have instigated and continue to strive for even today, 50 years from the 1967 Australian Referendum.”

Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu said about receiving the award: “Advocacy has never been more important for our Indigenous communities, and I’m grateful that our work to address inequality is being recognised and celebrated across the country.”

The stamps and associated products are available at participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at www.auspost.com.au/stamps from 29 May 2017 while stocks last.