Friday, June 13, 2014

Olympic Torch


The 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games heralded a number of firsts in Olympic history. Held from 22 Nov to 8 Dec 1956, it was the first to be held in the Southern Hemisphere, also the first time Australia had hosted this world's most celebrated sporting event.

One of the most glorious sights of the Games was the lighting of the Olympic Flame on 22 Nov 1956. The Olympic Games symbolises the light of spirit, life and knowledge. Australia Post issued a set of 4 stamps then to commemorate the XVI Olympiad - one of the stamps depicting an Olympic Torch.

The Olympic Torch stamp has been reproduced, in contemporary 'stamp on stamp' design, as part of Australia 99 Olympics Day celebrations on 22 Mar 1999.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 22 Mar 1999
Postmark : Melbourne VIC 3000
Denomination : AU$1.20
Stamp Size : 26mm x 37.5mm
Paper : Harrisons
Printing Process : Offset lithography

A LIL' NOTE

So far, Australia has hosted the Games twice - Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Early Navigators of Australia

Tasman, Cook and Flinders
Dampier, King and Bass
The exploration and mapping of coastal Australia was the work of many great navigators over two centuries. Six of these great navigators who helped put Australia's coastline on the map are being featured in above two special miniature sheets issued by Australia Post.

The stamps shown on these miniature sheets were first released in 1963-64 as the Early Navigators in Australian Waters stamp issue, and were re-issued in 1966 with new denominations for the introduction of decimal currency.

Abel Tasman (c. 1603-59) - Tasman discovered and named Van Diemen's Land, and also charted the northern coast of Australia from Cape York Peninsula to Port Hedland.

Captain James Cook (1728-1779) - James Cook sighted Point Hicks, who also sailed north and made numerous landings before claiming British possession of the eastern coast.

Captain Matthew Flinders (1774-1814) - Flinders circumnavigated the continent from 1801 to 1803, and charted large sections of the coast. He published a General Chart of Terra Australis in 1814.

William Dampier (1651-1715) - In 1688 Dampier led the first British party known to have landed successfully on the Australian coast.

Philip Parker King (1791-1856) - King charted the coast previously unexplored by the late Matthew Flinders. King published in 1824-25 a set of 8 charts, when combined with Flinders' chart, showed almost the entire Australian coastline.

George Bass (1771 - c. 1803) - Bass explored the southern coast of New South Wales. He and Flinders proved that a strait, later named after Bass, separates Van Diemen's Land from the mainland.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 19 Mar 1999
Postmark : Melbourne VIC 3000
Denomination : 6 x 45c
Stamp Size : 37.5mm x 26mm (Tasman, Cook and Flinders stamp design)
Stamp Size : 25mm x 30mm (Dampier, King and Bass stamp design)
Paper : CPL
Printing Process : Offset lithography

A LIL' NOTE

Above miniature sheets are issued to coincide with Melbourne World Stamp Expo, Australia 99. With a theme celebrating Australia's maritime heritage, the following series of stamps were issued :


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sailing Ships of Australia


Australia Post issued four Sailing Ships of Australia stamps in 1999 to celebrate Australia's maritime history. All sailing ships featured in this issue have played a significant role in Australia's maritime history.

45c stamp - Polly Woodside, built in 1885, is one of only two of her type still afloat in Australia. It was primarily involved in coastal and intercolonial trade between Australia and New Zealand. Covered more than 800,000 nautical miles in her trading career, the Polly Woodside now has a pride of place at the Melbourne Maritime Museum.

85c stamp - Alma Doepel, built in 1903, is the last of its kind in Australia. It was a commercial ship trading mainly along Australia's eastern coast. Restored in 1980s, she now sails in Port Philip Bay.

AU$1.00 stamp - The Enterprize, a replica of the topsail schooner, was purchased by John Pascoe Fawkner in 1835 and was sent across Bass Strait where her mooring in the lower reaches of the Yarra on 30 Aug 1835 established the birth of Melbourne.

AU$1.05 stamp - Lady Nelson was the first to sail from the west through Bass Strait, initiating the shorter route from England to Sydney. It was also instrumental in establishing the first European occupations in Tasmania. The replica of Lady Nelson, built in the late 1980s, now sails regularly around Tasmanian waters.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 19 Mar 1999
Postmark : Post Melbourne VIC 3207
Denomination : 45c, 85c, AU$1.00 and AU$1.05
Stamp Size : 30mm x 30.5mm
Paper : CPL
Printing Process : Offset lithography

A LIL' NOTE

Melbourne played host to an international showcase of stamps and stamp collecting, Australia 99, from 19 to 24 Mar 1999. Above commemorative stamps were launched on the opening day of Australia 99.

A special feature of this issue is a tab next to the Polly Woodside 45c stamp with the Australia 99 logo printed in black and gold.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cocos Jukongs


Once commonly used by the Cocos Malays of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the traditional wooden Cocos Jukong is a version of the Malay sailing boat. Motorised aluminium or fibreglass boats are now the norm.

Five days of jukong racing takes place on the lagoon side of Home Island during Hari Raya festivities. Up to 50 boats compete for prize money in as many as five categories, with between nine and twelve jukongs competing in each race.

Each boat is crewed by three to six people, depending on the wind conditions.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 11 Feb 1999
Postmark : Cocos (Keeling) Islands 6799
Denomination : 5 x 45c
Stamp Size : 26mm x 37.5mm

A LIL' NOTE

The Territory of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, also called Cocos Islands and Keeling Islands, is a territory of Australia, located in the Indian Ocean. The population of Cocos Islands is generally split between the ethnic Europeans on West Island and the ethnic Malays on Home Island.

Friday, June 6, 2014

International Year of Older Persons 1999


The United Nations designated 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons to promote independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment & dignity for older persons. The proclamation was launched on 1 Oct 1998 by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Australia has adopted "Australia - Towards a society of all ages" as the overall theme for the International Year. This theme recognises the importance of fostering inter-generational activities and understanding to create a balance between tradition and innovation in economics, social and cultural development.

The International Year of Older Persons provide a unique opportunity for all to recognise and celebrate the valuable contribution older people make to the nation, to communities and to families.

Numerous events took place within the United Nations and in member countries to mark this event. One of such events is the issuance of commemorative stamp to celebrate this important event.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 11 Feb 1999
Postmark : Caloundra QLD 4551
Denomination : 2 x 45c
Stamp Size : 37.5mm x 26mm

A LIL' NOTE

Since 1959, World Refugee Year, the UN has designated specific years in order to draw attention to important issues. For instance, 2004 was the International Year of Rice and 2008 was the International Year of Languages, just to name a few.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Romance


Flowers are a time-honoured expression of goodwill and affection. The red rose has been traditional face of romance, and the Greetings stamp series by Australia Post continues with some beautiful red roses in this Romance stamp issue.

Perfect for Valentine's Day, this stamp issue is also equally suitable and appropriate for many other occasions, such as sending birthday cards, good wishes, wedding as well as party invitations.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 4 Feb 1999
Postmark : Darling Heights QLD 4350
Denomination : 45c
Stamp Size : 37.5mm x 26mm

A LIL' NOTE

The color red itself evolved from an early primal symbol for life into a metaphor for deep emotion. In Greek and Roman mythology, the red rose was closely tied to the Goddess of Love.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Australian Legends 1999


The Australian Legends stamps are issued to commemorate Australia Day. Meanwhile, the Australian Legends Award honours Australian who have made a significant contribution to the development of the Australian identity, through a lifetime achievement in their chosen field.

The Australian Legends Award 1999 goes to Arthur Boyd, AC, OBE. With a career spanning more than 50 years, he was a leading Australian painter of the late 20th century. Boyd cast his vision across a broad landscape of ideas and traditions, both real and mythological.

This stamp issue is of 2 stamps - a portrait of Boyd taken by British photographer Clynt Granham; and Boyd's painting Nebuchadnezzar on fire falling over a waterfall.

Sadly, Boyd passed away on Apr 1999 at the age of 78.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 22 Jan 1999
Postmark : Nowra NSW 2541
Denomination : 2 x 45c
Stamp Size : 37.5mm x 26mm
Paper : CPL
Printing Process : Offset lithography

A LIL' NOTE

The Boyd family artistic dynasty includes painters, sculptors, architects and other arts professionals. Boyd's grandfather, parents, uncles, brothers and sister are all arts professional. Boyd's wife is also a painter, as are their children Jamie, Polly and Lucy. Indeed such artistic talent runs in the family.

Besides being honoured the Australian Legends Award in 1999, Boyd was earlier awarded the Australian of the Year in 1995.