14 February 2016

Love is in the air.....Happy Valentine's Day !

This year’s Love stamp from Ireland issued on 11th February 2016,  is based on the theme the chain of love. The stamp features an interesting and unusual graphic design of hearts forming a chain.
The heart symbol we see here has been used to symbolise love for generations. Hunters reportedly scrawled the symbol on cave walls, though why they did this nobody knows. Ancient Egyptians believed that the heart epitomised life and morality while the Greeks suggested it controlled reason, thought and emotion.

Love Letter with Fountain Pen

Love letters are one of the ways people express their feelings of love. In our modern age of computers and the internet, this form of amorous communication is gaining entirely new forms, modes and dimensions.

We are dealing with a phenomenon that probably goes beyond the classic dimension of writing love letters, which, after all, was conditioned by the individual’s degree of literacy, sense for the written expression of romantic feelings and ability to create a suitable text. Love letters were – without exception – written by hand, using pen and ink. Love letters were not mere brief communications, but deeply considered sentences. They could even take the form of poetry, but in any case they were written with carefully chosen words and the finest calligraphy. Illiteracy, or other handicaps such as poor handwriting or a lack of dexterity with romantic content, resulted in the phenomenon whereby gifted individuals would write love letters on behalf of others. There were even books and manuals published with sample content to help people compose letters and express their romantic feelings.

Love letters are (were) therefore a lot more than the mere expression in words of one’s feelings towards a certain person. They represent excellent examples of interpersonal communication, and also varying degrees of literary creativity and sense for the visual design of a text, which in some cases even included illustrations full of romantic iconography and symbols.

13 February 2016

After My Stamps, now My Cancellations.....



- Naresh Agrawal

MY STAMP an innovative and attractive facility has now become popular in India which gives one to tag his/her photo/image or of some one, some place etc.  along with the stamp which becomes a part of the stamp known as “My Stamp”. This has been  quite appreciated and used by Indian people mainly stamp lovers. And  the least known “My cancellation” allows one to get a postal seal with a special message for specific occasion along with a personalized “My Stamp” .

Only  a few days back, a history had been created in philatelic field in India as according to me, the first ever “MY CANCELLATION” has been issued by Chennai Post office along with “MY STAMP” related same theme i.e. Royal Wedding Invitation of marriage of one of India’s prominent philatelist and stamp dealer Mr. V. Ethiraj’s son. This is a unique invitation. Many of us have been talking and thinking about such combination to come. But Mr. Ethiraj has become the first person to achieve, create and put it forward. He created this cover so beautifully and gracefully that it attracts attention of one and who looks at it. He has also chosen the perfect event to introduce this to the philatelic fraternity  and has been nicely put forward in a proper way mainly sending it through speed post. The stamp depicts photographs of to-wed couple i.e. Mr. Ramesh and Miss Dhivya  and the  cancellation depicts Chennai 690002  112016 dated 06.01.2016 (Name of the post office and Date of issue/application) and the message.

               The Beautiful Invitation Cover With “My Stamp” And “My Cancellation”
The subject matter of cancellation is bilingual i.e. Hindi and English which reads “शादी का निमंत्रण and “Marriage Invitation” on circular form with names of the Bride and Bride Groom in designer alphabets which reads “Ramesh weds Dhivya”. Thereafter below it the wedding date which reads 06.03.2016. The post office name to in bilingual i.e. Chennai and चेन्नई and then the pin code 69002 and then below all this is the date which reads 112016 (01.01.2016)
          My Cancellation  : Special Carrying Message

The MY STAMP shows a beautiful photo of the to-wed couple (bride and bridegroom) where in their names are also mentioned in English which is tagged with Rs.5/- stamp of Port Blair Island issued by India Post. It is a Speed Post Cover with Speed Post  registered label affixed on the front.

                          1.Speed Post  Mail    2.The venue : Rajah Muthiah Halls, Chennai

The cover is a multicolor cover with beautifully designed images highlighting large printing designer alphabets reading “Royal Wedding”, beautiful Monogram of Royal Wedding mentioning Prince Ramesh and Princess Dhivya & that of the venue. The venue so chosen is one of the the magnificent halls where last INPEX 2008 ,National Stamp Exhibition was held that is Rani Meyyammai & Rajah Muthiah A/C Halls, Egmore, Chennai - 600008. This shows an absolute philatelic dedication, concern and connection of Sri V.Ethiraj.  A great philatelist by heart, soul and mind.

While I was writing this report, I could find on social media  that the same has already been published in one of the newspaper in Chennai. The news paper says “After personalized stamps, including those with selfies, customers can now own “My cancellation” on envelops with special messages.”

The Hindu, reputed English Daily News Paper of Chennai states that as part of the efforts to rekindle the interest in philately, the department of post is offering residents a chance to send letters with a personalized touch. The idea for the ‘My Cancellation” cover was born when philatelist Mr. V Ethiraj recently ordered Rs. 1 lac worth of  “MY STAMP” with a to-wed couple photos printed on them. He later sought for a special cancellation on the wedding covers too that would carry personalized stamps.

In an interview to the same paper Mr. Mervin  Alexander, Post Master General (Chennai City Region) said that the department usually released special cancellation covers commemorating an event along with commemorative stamps but they had  decided to offer the personalized cancellation cover as people would cherish the covers. As it is special facility, MY CANCELLATION” would  be available only for those who orders minimum of 100 sheets of MY STAMP on the same theme.”My Cancellation” facility would be offered  for Rs. 1500.00. He further added that they had planned to spread awareness among school children about MY STAMP, MY CANCELLATION and philatelic deposits. They would also Hold special camps for the children to own stamps.

While we thank Mr. Ethiraj for putting forward this new attractive facility before us, we also thank DOP for introducing and encouraging this facility. We hope this facility will gain momentum and would be used for so many occasions by so many people regularly.

We congratulate  the whole family  of Mr. Ethiraj in advance for this royal wedding.

- Naresh Agrawal, Bilaspur (C.G.) : email : nareshkumar1992@yahoo.co.in

12 February 2016

Bold issues from UNPA - Free & Equal – UN for LGBT Equality

Equality is a fundamental principle of human rights! Six stamps by UN Post support gay, lesbian or bisexual people

Date of Issue : 5 February 2016
Here is a a new philatelic issue by UNPA that promotes the UN Free & Equal campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. The new six stamps, which celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community, mark the first time that the UNPA has issued stamps with an LGBT theme. 
This issue promotes the UN Free & Equal campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. The new stamps, which celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community, mark the first time that the UNPA has issued stamps with an LGBT theme.

An initiative of the UN Human Rights Office, Free & Equal is a global public education campaign dedicated to raising awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination globally. Since its launch, the campaign has generated a stream of popular content and engaged millions of people in an effort to promote the fair treatment of LGBT people and generate support for measures to protect their rights.
Equality is a fundamental principle of human rights. All human beings – whoever they are, wherever they live, whomever they love – are entitled to enjoy the same basic rights, free from arbitrary interference. All States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, have a legal duty to promote and protect the human rights of all. LGBT people, like everyone else in the world, are entitled to live their lives free from fear, violence, discrimination and persecution.
UN Free & Equal recently celebrated two years of campaigning, in which the campaign’s message of acceptance and equality reached some two billion people. To learn more about the Free & Equal campaign, please visit www.unfe.org.

11 February 2016

After My stamp India Post offers personalized cancellations.....

As part of its efforts to rekindle an interest in philately, the Department of Posts is offering residents a chance to send letters with a personalised touch. Photo: Special Arrangement 

The Department usually releases special cancellation covers commemorating an event along with commemorative stamps

Chennai : After personalised stamps, including those with selfies, customers can now own ‘My Cancellation’ on envelopes with special messages.
‘My Cancellation’ allows the customer to get a postal seal with a special message for the specific occasion along with a personalised ‘My Stamp’, which allows their images to be printed on it.

As part of its efforts to rekindle an interest in philately, the Department of Posts is offering residents a chance to send letters with a personalised touch.
The idea for the ‘My Cancellation’ cover was born when a philatelist V. Ethiraj recently ordered Rs.1 lakh worth ‘My Stamps’ with a to-wed couple’s photos printed on them.
He later sought for a special cancellation on the wedding covers too that would carry personalised stamps.

The Department usually releases special cancellation covers commemorating an event along with commemorative stamps.

Mervin Alexander, Postmaster General (Chennai City Region), said: “We decided to offer the personalised cancellation cover as people will cherish the covers. As it is a special facility, My Cancellation will be available only for those who order a minimum of 100 sheets of My Stamp on the same theme.” My Cancellation facility will be offered for Rs. 1,500.
While a good number of people are visiting the Philatelic Bureau at Anna Road head post office campus to get their personalised stamps, the facility offered online has not gained much patronage yet.

Since May 2013, nearly 16, 300 sheets of My stamps have been issued at Anna Road HPO.
A sheet comprising 12 stamps costs Rs.300. However, of this, only 60 were booked online through Chennaipost website.

The Department has earned a revenue of nearly Rs. 49 lakh through the My Stamp initiative. Officials of the postal department said lack of awareness among customers could be behind the poor patronage of the online facility for ordering My Stamp.
More people are opting for photographs to be printed than ‘selfies’ on stamps.

Philatelic deposits being promoted

“We plan to spread awareness among school children about My Stamp, My Cancellation and philatelic deposits. We will also hold special camps for the children to own stamps,” said Mr. Alexander.

The Hindu  11 February 2016

Contributed by : Swamynathan R

Stamps that glow in the dark...


Date of Issue : 2 March 2016

Here is a new set of  stamps with a Miniature sheet to be issued by New Zealand on 2nd March 2016.The bio-luminescent beauty of the New Zealand native glowworm is a sight to behold, and it can be found throughout Aotearoa. This stunning stamp issue pays tribute to this awe-inducing insect with an exciting twist - the stamps glow in the dark. The photography featured on the issue is from New Zealand photographer Joseph Michael's 'Luminosity' series. 
Despite what the name suggests, glowworms aren’t true worms – they’re the larval stage of the fungus gnat. The fungus gnat can glow at all stages of its life (except in the egg stage), but it’s during the larval stage that it shines the brightest. The famous blue-green ‘glow’ is a chemical reaction created in what is the glowworm equivalent of the human kidney. The total life cycle of the fungus gnat takes around 11 months, with the glowworm stage being the longest in the life cycle, averaging around nine months.
The New Zealand native glowworm is scientifically known as Arachnocampa luminosa, and although it is most spectacular when seen in caves, it’s common outside caves too, favouring damp, warm conditions with a good supply of food.

The photographs featured on these stamps have been taken by New Zealand photographer Joseph Michael, whose Luminosity series came to global attention in 2015. These stunning photographs were taken using long exposure techniques and were shot over many long nights deep in the glowworm caves of the North Island.
This visually striking stamp issue “New Zealand Native Glowworms” features four gummed stamps as well as a $2.00 self-adhesive stamp. The stamps have been printed using glow-in-the-dark ink to replicate the effect of glowworms in the wild ‒ simply expose them to sunlight and then step into a dark space to see the stamps light up.

10 February 2016

Stamp on President’s International Fleet Review...

 International Fleet Review...

Date of Issue : 6 February 2016

A commemorative stamp on International Fleet Review was released by President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Visakhapatnam on 6th February, 2016.

In addition to Commemorative Stamp, First Day Cover and Brochure, the Department of Posts has also released a booklet (folder) in commemoration of past President’s Fleet Reviews titled “AIKYA”. The booklet contains write ups, photographs and images of stamps brought out on the occasion of past President Fleet Reviews. The booklet was released by Member (Planning), Postal Services Board, Mr. Shekhar Kumar Sinha in presence of Mrs. Sharda Sampath, Postmaster General, Visakhapatnam, Mr. M. Sampath, Postmaster General, Vijaywada and Commodore Amit Vikram on 7th February 2016 at the function held at Visakhapatnam. The booklet is priced at Rs. 325 and can be obtained from Philatelic Bureau, Visakhapatnam.

A special pack consisting of first day cover, block of 4 stamps and a brochure was also released by Department of Posts. The Department of Posts had established two stalls, one at slipway jetty and another at IFR 2016 village in Visakhapatnam.

President’s international Fleet Review

A Naval Fleet Review is a long-standing tradition followed by Navies all over the world. It is a grand occasion when every operational ship is spruced up, proudly displaying its crest and its company in spirit of loyalty and allegiance to the country. The idea of a Review was perhaps conceived as a show of naval might or an inspection of readiness for battle at sea. It still has the same connotation, but assembling the warships for peaceful purposes is now the norm of modern times. Later reviews were used as a celebratory demonstration for victories in battle or for other special occasions. Sometimes ships have sailed across seas to participate in fleet reviews of friendly nations. These reviews inspired the sailors to avow their allegiance to their country and preserve it sovereignty. It is indeed a strong bond which links seafarers of the world and often follows exactly the same drill even on different continents.

Post independence, traditionally, the President, as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces reviews the Fleet once during his tenure. In this most formal of naval ceremonies, ships, submarines and aircrafts from all the Naval Commands, ships from the Indian Coast Guard and vessels from the Merchant Navy(during war /adversities some of the merchant ships also join to support the Naval effort in fighting the enemy), are ceremonially dressed up with families embarked, and anchored in lines at the precise spot allotted to them. Where International Fleet Review’s are conducted even Foreign War ships from friendly countries take part in the ceremonial event.

After a 21 gun salute, the President embarks on the Presidential Yacht, distinguished by the Ashoka Emblem on her side and reviews all the ships by cruising past them. Each ship is manned by her ship’s company, dressed sparkling white ceremonial uniforms. In a moment that stands still in time, white caps are doffed in unison in a grand salutation. The resounding sound of three “jais” echoes over the waves, carrying the promise of the allegiance of each and every sailor and officer to the Nation and the President, their Supreme Commander. It is this bond that will carry them through the adversity of war and make the supreme sacrifice, if needed.

          The present Fleet Review, which is the 11th review, was held on the East Coast for the second time. The First Fleet review in the East coast was held in 2006 and reviewed by President APJ Abdul Kalam. Incidentally this is the second International Fleet Review  held in India and the first in East Coast. The last international Fleet review was held in Mumbai in 2001 reviewed by then President Dr K.R.Narayanan. For the present International Fleet Review, all the Indian Naval ships and war ships from friendly countries submarines, coast Guard and Merchant ships and vessels will be anchored in Bay of Bengal off Visakhapatnam harbour and will be reviewed by President

Pranab Mukherjee on 6 February, 2016

4 Stamps and First Day Cover issued for Fleet Review 1984

Stamp and First Day cover issued in Fleet review 1989 

Stamps and First Day cover issued during International Fleet Review Mumbai 2001

President’s Fleet Review 2006 Visakhapatnam 

Stamps and First Day cover of President’s Fleet review 2011 , Mumbai

Cdr G.Sriramarao,I.N(retd) is a philatelist, and Numismatist  of National Repute,exhibited his collection on the theme of Music and the Indian Navy in the Naval section of Visakha Museum from 4 to 8 Feb 2016.

Philatelic Notes from  Cdr G.Sriramarao,I.N(retd)

Here is 'My stamp' issued by postal department during 'President's Review'. The entire 5000 sheets produced  were booked by Indian Navy and we had to approach them and register with them to get my stamp. This was sold for Rs.240 compared to the normal 300 Rs charged for my stamp.

 In the my stamp I am  in the typical Modi Jaket and head gear which we wore during the International city parade. I was one of the 8 retired officers selected to take part in the parade. As a souvenir I made this my stamp for me.

Secondly the First day cover of PFR with a stamp of Rs.5 was sold for Rs.16. This to my knowledge is the first time in the history of India post that a first day cover was sold for Rs.16 with a stamp of Rs.5.. Further they issued another cover with cancellations of both IFR and Naval base Visakhapatnam sold for Rs.21.

The stamp used in the My stamp is different from the stamp released on 6 Feb by President of India.

This stamp in my stamp is different and has the submarine at the rear of the Air craft carrier and the aircraft in the right hand just on top of air craft carrier where as in the original stamp submarine is in front of air craft  carrier and the the  aircraft is on the right hand corner. The stamp used in my stamp also has My stamp and Indian Navy inscribed in it and where as in the original stamp International fleet review is mentioned.

The postal dept in addition to the special Commemorative folder issued on IFR and sold for Rs.320 also put up on sale  the same folder with all the stamps issued so far on President's fleet reviews totaling 21 stamps for Rs.3000(though none went for it due to the exorbitant cost).

The special Folder with FDC  & four stamps and information folder was sold for Rs.200 . It contains 4 stamps of Rs.5 each one FDC and one information folder(total cost 41).

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