Diwali (Canada/India 2017)

Canada Post and India Post unveil India’s and Canada’s first joint stamp issue

TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2017 /CNW/ – Canada Post and India Post invite you to join Deepak Chopra, President and CEO of Canada Post; His Excellency, Mr. Vikas Swarup, High Commissioner of India to Canada; and His Worship John Tory, Mayor, City of Toronto to unveil India’s and Canada’s first joint stamp issue, in honour of the festival of Diwali.

WHAT: Unveiling of the Diwali stamps

WHERE: Toronto City Hall, The Members’ Lounge
100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON

WHEN: Thursday, September 21
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.
Unveiling ceremony: 12:15 p.m.

Northern European Architecture (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Architecture highlighted on Multilaterale Hertogpost stamp sheetletThe Hague, 25 August 2017 – PostNL and Post Luxembourg are to issue the Multilaterale Hertogpost stamp sheetlet today. The stamp sheetlet features illustrations of iconic buildings and towers in Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland. These countries are taking part in the international Multilaterale Hertogpost stamp exhibition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Deputy Major of ‘s-Hertogenbosch Jan Hoskam, and King’s Commissioner Wim van de Donk of North Brabant, today received the first stamp sheetlet during the official opening of the exhibition.

Designer Linda Bos received the commission from PostNL and Post Luxembourg to highlight the seven countries participating in the Multilaterale Hertogpost exhibition. “Architecture makes it eminently possible to establish a relationship between countries that at first glance don’t appear to have a great deal in common with each other. The strength of this stamp sheetlet is that the whole composition is in balance, but the individual relationships between the buildings don’t always correspond,” says Bos.Special role for ’s-Hertogenbosch
The municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch is responsible for a large part of the Dutch contribution to the iconic buildings depicted on the stamp sheetlet. Deputy Major Jan Hoskam is proud that his municipality is so visible among the illustrations from all of the participating countries. “Our Sint-Janskathedraal (St John’s Cathedral) dating back to 1380, and the statue of Zoete Lieve Gerritje from 1958 will have a new appeal. They are depicted among icons such as the Berlin Brandenburger Tor and the Luxembourg monument, Gëlle, commemorating the 20th century victims of war.”

Global attention
Multilaterale Hertogpost is an international exhibition for stamp dealers, auction houses and postal services. Interested parties from all over the world will meet in ‘s-Hertogenbosch from 25 to 27 August. The Multilaterale Hertogpost was organised for the first time in the Netherlands 12 years ago.

The Multilaterale Hertogpost stamp sheetlet has two stamps. One stamp is marked ‘Nederland 1’, the denomination for mail items up to 20g in weight destined for mail within the Netherlands. The other stamp is marked ‘Internationaal 1’, and is intended for mail items weighing up to 20g with worldwide destinations. These stamps will be available to purchase at all Bruna shops and via Collectclub.nl from 25 August. The stamps are valid until further notice.

Australia’s First Satellite (Australia 2017)

[press release]
Australia Post launches anniversary of Australia’s first satellite

Australia Post is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Australia’s first satellite with the release of a new stamp issue.

Launched on 29 November 1967 from the Woomera Rocket Range in South Australia, the Weapons Research Establishment Satellite (WRESAT) was designed to carry scientific instruments for upper-atmosphere research.

Designed, constructed and launched in just 11 months, WRESAT eventuated from the collaboration of scientists at the Weapons Research Establishment Salisbury (now the Defence Science and Technology Group) and the University of Adelaide.

Australia’s launch of WRESAT made it the third country in the world – after USA and USSR – to design and launch a satellite from its own territory. Completing 642 orbits, WRESAT remained in orbit until 10 January 1968, before re-entering the atmosphere.

Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt said, “The launch of Australia’s first satellite WRESAT was a major scientific achievement. This stamp issue marks an important milestone in the history of Australia’s space programs.”

Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist, Dr Alex Zelinsky said, “We are delighted Australia Post is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Australia’s first satellite with a commemorative stamp issue. The WRESAT project was a significant demonstration of Australian ingenuity in building and launching a satellite. It is important for us to celebrate such remarkable advances in science which serve as an inspiration to our future challenges in science, technology and innovation”.

The domestic base-rate ($1) stamp was designed by Australian designer Nigel Buchanan. The stamp design has been based on original drawings and diagrams relating to the WRESAT launch, and shows the launch rocket and the satellite orbiting Earth.

The products associated with this stamp issue are a first day cover, sheetlet pack, booklet of 20 x $1 self-adhesive stamps and a maxicard.

The 50th Anniversary of WRESAT stamp issue is available from participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps from 12 September 2017 while stocks last.

U.S. Scott Catalogue Numbers (September 2017)

5212 Paintings by Andrew Wyeth pane of 12
a. (49¢) Wind from the Sea
b. (49¢) Big Room
c. (49¢) Christina’s World
d. (49¢) Alvaro and Christina
e. (49¢) Frostbitten
f. (49¢) Sailor’s Valentine
g. (49¢) Soaring
h. (49¢) North Light
i. (49¢) Spring Fed
j. (49¢) The Carry
k. (49¢) Young Bull
l. (49¢) My Studio

5213 (49¢) Disney Villains – The Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
5214 (49¢) Disney Villains – Honest John from Pinocchio
5215 (49¢) Disney Villains – Lady Tremaine from Cinderella
5216 (49¢) Disney Villains – Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland
5217 (49¢) Disney Villains – Captain Hook from Peter Pan
5218 (49¢) Disney Villains – Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
5219 (49¢) Disney Villains – Cruella De Vil from One Hundred and One Dalmatians
5220 (49¢) Disney Villains – Ursula from The Little Mermaid
5221 (49¢) Disney Villains – Gaston from Beauty and the Beast
5222 (49¢) Disney Villains – Scar from The Lion King
a. Block of 10, #5213-5222

5223 (49¢) Sharks – Mako Shark
5224 (49¢) Sharks – Whale Shark
5225 (49¢) Sharks – Thresher Shark
5226 (49¢) Sharks – Hammerhead Shark
5227 (49¢) Sharks – Great White Shark
a. Vert. strip of 5, #5223-5227

5228 (49¢) Protect Pollinators – Monarch Butterfly on Purple Coneflower
5229 (49¢) Protect Pollinators – Western Honeybee on Golden Ragwort
5230 (49¢) Protect Pollinators – Monarch Butterfly on Red Zinnia
5231 (49¢) Protect Pollinators – Western Honeybee on Purple New England Aster
5232 (49¢) Protect Pollinators – Monarch Butterfly on Goldenrod
a. Vert. strip of 5, #5228-5232

Star Wars Aliens & Droids (UK 2017)

[press release]
Star Wars Droids and Aliens Celebrated on Royal Mail Special Stamps

Royal Mail is to issue a set of eight Special Stamps to mark the upcoming release of the new Star Wars movie, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”The stamps feature images of droids and aliens that have appeared in the iconic film series.

The stamps will feature a mix of new and classic characters: Maz Kanata; Chewbacca; Supreme Leader Snoke; Porgs; BB-8; R2-D2; C-3PO; and K-2SO.

The stamps are illustrated by British artist Malcolm Tween who also designed the hugely popular Star Wars stamp set issued in 2015.

The four ‘droid’ stamps include design features that become visible only under a UV light

  • Each stamp will also feature a scene created by Malcolm Tween especially for the stamps that includes the hero character as well as an iconic spaceship or vehicle
  • The stamps celebrate the British expertise behind the Star Wars films as each episode was made with a large British cast and crew
  • The style of the ‘1st‘ value on each of the stamps will replicate the iconic font used for the films

Fans can pre-order the stamps in advance from 4 September by visiting www.royalmail.com/starwars

The stamps will be on sale from 12 October 2017 at www.royalmail.com/starwars and from 7,000 Post Office branches across the UK and by calling 03457 641 641

Royal Mail today announces it will issue a set of eight Special Stamps to mark the upcoming release of the latest Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi which launches this December.

The stamps feature images of new and classic droids and aliens that have appeared across the iconic films.

Included in the set are: Maz Kanata; Chewbacca; Supreme Leader Snoke; and from the new movie, a Porg. The droids are: BB-8; R2-D2; C-3PO; and K-2SO.

The stamps are illustrated by British artist Malcolm Tween who also designed the hugely popular Star Wars stamp set issued in 2015 to mark the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Each stamp will also feature a scene created by Tween especially for the stamps that includes the hero character as well as an iconic spaceship or vehicle.

The four ‘droid’ stamps include fluorescent ink to emphasise some of the design features of the stamps. These will become visible only under a UV light.

In addition, the font used for the ‘1ST’ value of the stamps will replicate that of the iconic typeface used for the films.

Aliens are non-human species who live alongside humans, speaking either human languages or languages of their own. Many aliens have distinctive anatomies, from the tall, hair-covered Wookiees, such as Chewbacca, to the diminutively shaped, short-sighted Maz Kanata.

Droids are everywhere in the galaxy. First developed in the distant past, they assist humans and aliens in every way, from flying spaceships and providing power to spreading war and terror. Most droids speak only in electronic sounds to other droids and have their memory wiped when passed to a new owner. However, some droids escape memory wipes and can appear to develop personalities of their own and even form bonds with their owners.

The new stamps reflect the passion of the British public for the movies, and celebrate the major British contribution to the film series.

Maz Kanata
Deep within the fringes of the galaxy lies a secret castle hideaway presided over by the wise, boisterous figure of Maz Kanata. Over a thousand years old and an ex-pirate herself, Maz holds court within the galaxy’s underworld: smugglers, bounty hunters and thieves. Maz has also been a friend to Jedi, and her castle contains secrets that tell of one Luke Skywalker.

Faithful co-pilot and companion to Han Solo for many years, Chewbacca was one of the heroes of the Rebellion. Brought back into the orbit of the Resistance after many years of freelance adventuring, Chewbacca witnesses the tragic death of his best friend, Han Solo. All he has left is his ship, the Millennium Falcon, and a new companion, a Force-attuned loner named Rey.

Supreme Leader Snoke
A shadowy figure who leads the First Order, Snoke trained Kylo Ren in the dark side of the Force. He orders the creation of a giant planet-sized superweapon called Starkiller to destroy the New Republic government and commands Ren to hunt down the last Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker. Next, he issues a chilling command: Ren is ready to complete his training…

Small, flightless birds called porgs are native to the remote planet Ahch-To, where Luke Skywalker is living in exile. The planet is covered with water and rocky islands and is home to the ruins of the first Jedi Temple, where porgs have peacefully made their home. The birds are ill-prepared for the arrival of strangers when Rey and Chewbacca land there in the Millennium Falcon.

The plucky droid named BB-8 is a loyal companion to Resistance fighter Poe Dameron in the fight against the First Order. Assigned to Poe to provide flight assistance when piloting his X-wing fighter, BB-8 is separated from his master in a deadly battle with Kylo Ren. Forced to seek new allies, the droid runs into a scavenger named Rey and a renegade stormtrooper called Finn.

This trusty little droid has had an adventurous life, first on board Queen Amidala’s ship during the Battle of Naboo, then in the Clone Wars alongside Anakin Skywalker, and with Luke Skywalker in the fight against the Empire. In recent years, R2-D2 has been in a state of semi-retirement, secretly harbouring the only map that pinpoints the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker.

As a boy on Tatooine, Anakin Skywalker built a protocol droid as a helper for his mother. C-3PO became an expert in matters relating to diplomacy, but he was not equipped for a life of excitement, danger and adventure. Thrust into battles during the Clone Wars and the Rebellion against the Empire, this reticent, nervous droid has time and again helped his friends save the day.

A reprogrammed Imperial security droid with a bluntly honest way of talking, K-2SO is firmly on the side of the Rebel Alliance in the fight against the Empire. K-2SO’s ability to blend in when doing reconnaissance work behind Imperial lines is a distinct advantage. He can pilot many types of spaceship and scan and access Imperial communications systems.

Out in cinemas this December, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is the hugely anticipated next chapter in the Skywalker saga, following “The Force Awakens” – the UK’s biggest film of all time.

Bigalke Leaving APS for Linn’s

Jay Bigalke, editor of American Philatelist, the official journal of the American Philatelic Society, is leaving to return to his former employer and become Editor-in-Chief at Linn’s Stamp News.

He is shown in the center of the photo on the right, buying stamps August 11 at Americover 2017 in Independence, Ohio.

Bigalke has been telecommuting to the APS, coming to headquarters in Bellefonte, Pa., one week a month while living in central Ohio with his wife and two sons.

Bigalke became AP editor in late 2014 at the age of 32. He had been senior editor for digital media at Linn’s, which is also headquartered in central Ohio, in Sidney.

He is an active first day cover collector who has attended many first day ceremonies. On the left, he is shown servicing first day covers for the Circus Posters souvenir sheet at Baraboo, Wisconsin, in late 2014.

“Under Jay’s leadership, the APS raised the standard of The American Philatelist from good to great,” APS executive director Scott English told The Virtual Stamp Club in e-mail. “Even though he is leaving our team, Jay is an APS member and collector to the core. We look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Youngblood Adds Two Top Jobs

Well-known philatelic writer and editor Wayne Youngblood — and one of the most-popular people in U.S. stamp collecting — is the new editor of two top publications: American Stamp Dealer & Collector and Collectors Club Philatelist. The latter is published by the Collectors Club in New York City.

The former is a glossy magazine which, despite its title, is aimed at a more casual audience and possible news stand sales.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity and extremely indebted to current editors Randy Neil (who founded ASD&C) and Gene Fricks,” the current editor of the Collectors Club Philatelist, Youngblood posted on Facebook.

Said the American Stamp Dealers Association, publisher of ASD&C, in a press release, “Wayne’s reputation and accomplishments in the hobby make him the perfect choice to take the magazine into the future.

“Wayne, one of the most recognized names in the U.S. philatelic community, is a lifelong stamp collector who began before the age of 8 and never stopped. He has been an APS member for more than 40 years, serving nearly a decade on its board of directors. He also serves as an expertizer for American Philatelic Expertizing (for more than 25 years), and is the longest-term instructor at the APS Summer Seminar on Philately, where he has been lead instructor of the Stamp Technology course for more than 25 years.”

Youngblood was elected at the American Philatelic Society Board for the first time as a Director-at-Large in 1997 at the age of 35.

His philatelic writing career began as a staff editor for Linn’s Stamp News, then as Editor of the co-owned Scott Stamp Monthly. He later moved to the rival Stamp Collector newspaper, and became publisher of owner Krause Publications other hobby/collectible publications, ranging from comics and toys to records and movies.

Youngblood is the author of 10 books (including eight on history and historical photography) and has had thousands of articles published throughout the philatelic world.

He currently edits the American Topical Association’s Topical Time journal and Duck Tracks for the National Duck Stamp Collectors Society. He continues to write regularly for several publications (including American Philatelist, Linn’s and The international Philatelic Exporter) and is in-demand as a philatelic speaker.

In addition to belonging to numerous philatelic organizations, Youngblood serves on the board of directors of the Arizona Philatelic Rangers and has been inducted into the APS Writers Unit #30 Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs Hall of Fame. Although his primary expertise lies in stamps, Wayne, who is now an independent author, editor, and dealer, also has a strong interest and knowledge base in historical documents, autographs and vintage photographs. He has served at numerous appraisal fairs specializing in these areas for about 20 years.

Among his collecting interests are errors, freaks and oddities; fakes and forgeries; and the secret drop boxes of the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos.

Shimon Peres (Israel 2017)

Israel will issue a stamp honoring the late Shimon Peres on September 12, 2017. From Israel Post:

Shimon Peres 1923-2016

Shimon Peres – world renowned statesman, ninth President and Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and a man who embodied action, vision and hope.

Among the founding fathers and pioneers of the State of Israel, Peres dedicated his early years to building Israel’s military deterrence and defensive capabilities and for several decades, relentlessly devoted himself to the pursuit of peace before leading Israel on the path toward becoming a global superpower in the fields of technology and innovation.

An intellectual and man of profound knowledge and wisdom, he composed numerous poems, articles and books.

In a career spanning more than sixty years, Peres loyally served the State of Israel. He held several key senior positions including President of the State of Israel, Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Foreign Minister, Minister of the Treasury, Interior Minister, Minister of Absorption, Minister of Transportation and Communications, Minister of Information, Minister of Regional Cooperation and Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Chairman of the Opposition.

Shimon Peres was born Szymon Perski on August 2, 1923 in the town of Wiszniew in Belarus and made Aliyah (immigration to Israel) to Eretz Israel in 1934. He attended the Balfour and Geula schools in Tel Aviv and later the Ben Shemen Agricultural School. In 1941, Peres was sent to undergo agricultural training at Kibbutz Geva with the Ben Shemen group. Together with them, he joined Kibbutz Alumot in the Lower Galilee and during his early days, worked as a shepherd and a dairy farmer. Peres married Sonya (nee Gelman) in 1945 and they had three children – Prof. Tsvia Walden, Dr. Yonatan Peres and Nehemia (Chemi) Peres, and later eight grandchildren and three great- grandchildren. Sonya Peres passed away in 2011.

As Minister of Defense in 1974, Peres negotiated the interim agreement with Egypt. As Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the 1980s, Peres conducted secret meetings with King Hussein of Jordan which constituted the basis of the historic peace agreement between Israel and Jordan. While serving as Israel’s Foreign Minister in 1994, Peres laid the foundation for future peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. In 1996, he pioneered the founding of the Peres Center for Peace, Israel’s leading NGO focused on developing and implementing innovative and cutting-edge peace building programs, in order to promote peaceful relations and co-existence between Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians.

In July 2016, Peres launched the National Israeli Innovation Center at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

Throughout his long career of dedicated public service, Peres initiated innovative projects in the Israeli periphery, establishing the city Nazareth lllit and many other enterprises in the regions of the Negev and Galilee. While serving as Prime Minister in the national unity government, Peres saved the Israeli economy with a crucial initiative which drastically reduced inflation from a staggering high of 400 percent and worked to promote national and international endeavors, both overtly and behind the scenes.

In 2007, Peres was elected by the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) to serve as the ninth President of the State of Israel, becoming the first Prime Minister to have also served as President. During his presidential term, Peres achieved unprecedented popularity and esteem among Israelis from all walks of life. His key goals were to strengthen Israeli society, promote Israel’s international standing and establish institutions that would promote innovative Israeli entrepreneurs and scientists.

Peres was recognized throughout the world as a leader of great stature, a statesman and visionary who represented the optimism, hope and glory of Israel. He achieved international acclaim for his years of work to promote the State of Israel on the global stage and his efforts to pursue peace. Alongside the honor of being awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, he was presented with countless medals and awards from prominent world leaders and religious figures, most notably, the Pope.

Shimon Peres passed away at the age of 93 on September 28, 2016.

The portrait of President Peres on the stamp is based on a photograph by Jonathan Bloom, courtesy of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.

Honoring Women’s Soccer Champs (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Orange Lionesses’ championship victory eternalised on silver postage stamp
The Hague, 7 August 2017 – PostNL is celebrating the Orange Lionesses’ championship victory with a pure silver postage stamp. This special issue portrays the amazing success of our untamed football ladies. PostNL has only issued silver postage stamps to commemorate a very select number of special events.

Women’s football victory on postage stamp
Stephan van den Eijnden, Mail Netherlands Commercial Director, on the new stamp: “Over the past few weeks, the Netherlands’ love for our untameable lionesses has grown ever stronger. That is due in part to their amazing success, of course, but also to the drive and enthusiasm that the Dutch European Championships women’s team has constantly displayed. We have enjoyed watching them play, and this pure silver postage stamp is a symbol of our pride in their achievement.”

PostNL has commissioned the Royal Dutch Mint to manufacture the postage stamp, which is made from pure silver. The stamp, in a deluxe storage box, is available for €25 via www.postnl.nl/Kampioen. The stamp will be produced in a limited run of 2,300 copies. The postage stamp has the ‘Registered Mail’ designation, and may be therefore be used to send letters as registered mail. The stamps are valid for an unlimited period.

U.S. Scott Catalogue Update (August 2017)

5203 (49¢) Sports Balls – Football
5204 (49¢) Sports Balls – Volleyball
5205 (49¢) Sports Balls – Soccer ball
5206 (49¢) Sports Balls – Golf ball
5207 (49¢) Sports Balls – Baseball
5208 (49¢) Sports Balls – Basketball
5209 (49¢) Sports Balls – Tennis ball
5210 (49¢) Sports Balls – Kickball
a. Block of 8, #5203-5210

5211 (49¢) Total Solar Eclipse

RW84 $25 Canada Geese Hunting Permit Stamp
RW84A $25 Canada Geese Hunting Permit Stamp, self-adhesive