Monday, May 14, 2018

Post Europ Announces new Contest

PostEurop is proud to announce the launch of the "Most Beautiful EUROPA Stamp" competition for this year. This year's EUROPA theme "Bridges" will bring us on a timeless journey between different architectural and structural styles, while showing us some of the most amazing engineering works that can be found throughout Europe.

When you look at the sociological evolution of the European society throughout the centuries, it is easy to see that some of this development has been accomplished with the help of great engineering works such as bridges. These structures have played an important role in helping populations to bypass natural obstacles, travel more freely in between territories and also to get their much-needed supplies quicker. This led to more comfort, stability and cultural exchange among them. With the evolution of time, new building techniques and new forms of architecture have been implemented in the construction of bridges, thus producing a widely diverse type of structures.

Today, it is quite interesting for us to observe the authentic diversity of works that have been built, and if we look beyond their functional role, it is enlightening to see that bridges can also be a source of endless inspiration for the new generation of engineers, architects, photographers and artists.  With that in mind, PostEurop is inviting all enthusiasts to connect with this beautiful theme, explore the beautiful diverse 2018 EUROPA Stamps on www.posteurop.org/europa2018 and cast a vote for their favorite stamp.   

"Given the role that bridges had in the development of Europe and the contribution which they have to the European landscape, it is with great pleasure that in this year's competition we can see so many unique and beautiful entries. This type of topic allowed designers to explore and develop multiple concepts, as different artistic techniques can be applied. Every time we look at a bridge, we can find a mixture between modern and ancient architectural styles, which can be easily transported into a beautiful stamp." According to  Agnieszka Trzaskowska, Chair of the PostEurop Stamps & Philately Working Group .     

View and Vote for Your Favorite EUROPA Stamp Today We invite you to view all of the beautiful entries and vote for your favorite stamp.  on www.posteurop.org/europa2018www. The online competition will end on 9 September 2018 and the winning stamps will be announced at the PostEurop Plenary Assembly to be held on 3 October 2018 in Georgia. Their are a great variety of stamps to choose from.  The come from the Island of Aland to Vatican City. So check them out and select you favorite from among all the entries.

 

More about EUROPA Stamps Since 1956, EUROPA stamps have been a symbol of Europe’s desire for closer integration and co-operation. These special stamps are issued by the European postal administrations/enterprises and bears the EUROPA logo, a PostEurop registered trademark.  Since 1993, PostEurop has been the responsible organisation for issuing EUROPA stamps and each year, philately experts within the Philately working group organize the competition among other philately initiatives.  See more information on www.posteurop.org/europa2018. 

My thanks to Cynthia Wee-Neumann  Communications Manager for Posteurop.org for the above information..
POSTEUROP is the association which represents European public postal operators. It is committed to supporting and developing a sustainable European postal communication market accessible to all customers and ensuring a modern and affordable universal service. Our Members represent 2 million employees across Europe and deliver to 800 million customers daily through over 175,000 counters.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Finland Celebrates their Defense Forces

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Finnish Defense Forces,  the Posti  Group Oyj (The Finnish Post Office's Official legal name)  will issue a stamp booklet with six stamps presenting the history and present day of the Army, Navy and Air Force. The stamp booklet will be issued on the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces on June 4. Orders for the booklet in Posti’s online shop will open on National Veterans’ Day on April 27.
“The stamp booklet is a fine part of the visibility of our anniversary. The stamps selected for the booklet tell the story of how the three branches of the Finnish Defense Forces, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, have evolved over the last one hundred years. However, the ability of the Finnish Defense Forces has never been measured only by weapons and equipment, but by the skill of our fighters,” says Eero Karhuvaara, Public Information Chief of the Finnish Defense Forces. Posti has previously also issued anniversary stamps on the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the Finnish Defense Forces in 1968 and 1993, respectively.
Pairs of pictures represent the development of the military branches
A working group consisting of representatives of Posti and representatives of the Finnish Defense Forces Photograph Archive and military branches as well as a special expert, Captain Kai Varsio, who is an expert in both military history and philately, took part in the design process of the stamp booklet. The graphic design of the stamps was done by Timo Berry. “Stamps related to military equipment, such as warships, are internationally popular among philatelists who specialize in a specific theme. It’s great that Finnish military equipment stamps will now also be available,” says Kai Varsio. Three pairs of pictures that clearly show the development of the devices and equipment of the Army, Navy and Air Force from the first years of the Finnish Defense Forces to the present day were chosen for the stamp booklet.
“Hundreds of photographs were available for the stamps. It was confirmed during the design process that documentary photographs were the most suitable for stamps,” says Timo Berry.
The Air Force history stamp depicts a Thulin D type reconnaissance aircraft that was donated to the Finnish Air Force in 1918 by Eric von Rosen, a Swedish nobleman. The present-day high technology equipment of the Finnish Air Force is represented by a Boeing F/A-18C Hornet defense fighter.


The Army history stamp presents the close combat training of a private using a firearm equipped with a bayonet in the 1920s.

 The present-day stamp depicts an infantryman wearing the latest combat gear.


The history of the Navy is represented by the first warships built in Finland in the 1920s,


 a submarine and a coastal defense ship. The ultra-modern Finnish-made missile boat Hanko was chosen to represent the present-day equipment of the Finnish Navy.


A photograph of a Finnish conscript was chosen for the cover of the stamp booklet to remind us of conscription and the human side of national defense.


Symbols of the Finnish Army, Navy and Air Force have also been used to illustrate the booklet.
First day of issue event in Senate Square on June 4


The first day of issue event of the Finnish Defense Forces 100th Anniversary stamp will take place in the Finnish Defense Forces 100th anniversary celebration pavilion in Senate Square in Helsinki on Monday, June 4.
The new stamps and first day covers will be sold at the event. First day of issue cancels will be available between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Timo Berry will be signing his work between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
For further information, please contact             
the Posti MediaDesk, tel. +358 (0)20 452 3366 (Mon–Fri, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Posti Group Oyj, Postintaival 7 A, PL 1, 00011 POSTI, HELSINKI, Uusimaa 00230, Suomi

All stamps available for sale are featured in Posti’s online shop.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The ATA releases new Checklist


News for Immediate Release

Here’s a Spook-tacular Halloween treat from the American Topical Association: a free topical checklist to download from the ATA website. Again this year the ATA is offering the gift of a checklist to members and nonmembers alike. The 2017 topic is Ghosts.

This has become a popular tradition, according to Vera Felts, ATA executive director. Past years’ lists have included the characters of Charles Schulz, candy, gingerbread, turkeys and Halloween. Like all ATA checklists, this one includes country, date of issue, denomination and description of stamps and other philatelic items picturing or related to ghosts—everything needed to find them for a mini-topical collection.

The ATA dATAbase of 1200+ checklist topics was developed by Karen Cartier, and is maintained by Dominic Sgro and Beth Scully. This year’s free holiday list was augmented by past ATA president, Jack André Denys and Halloween Spook-tacular Study Unit members Denise Lazaroff and Jean Stout.

It’s easy to get the free checklist: Go to the ATA website at http://americantopicalassn.org.
Click on the “enter” tab, and you will see the link to the checklist with images of spooks on stamps. Or mail an addressed, stamped envelope to ATA Office, PO Box 8, Carterville, IL 62918-0008 for a printed copy. Have a frightfully good time!
__
Vera Felts, Executive Director
American Topical Association
PO Box 8, Carterville, IL 62918-0008  USA                                 
618-985-5100
americantopical@msn.com
americantopicalassn.org

Saturday, August 26, 2017

August 2017 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Death of Elvis Presley

 

To mark this event several stamp will be issued to commemorate this event.

Follow this link to see them 

To see Elvis's Bio Click here

Elvis Presley's home Graceland in Memphis, TN  is the second most visited family home in the United States. The most visited is the White house in Washington D.C.

  ******************************************************

American Topical Assn honors the August 1917 Eclipse 

The ATA is releasing a cacheted envelope for the Great American Eclipse on August 21, which will move from across the US from Oregon to South Carolina.  The ATA Office is "next door" to Carbondale, Illinois, the site of the longest eclipse duration, and also is in the totality path of the April 8, 2024, eclipse moving from Texas to Maine and beyond.  The ATA cachet was designed by Amanda Morgenstern of Morgenstern Design, our "house" designer.  An informational card will be included in the cacheted cover.  It is available in these formats:


• Uncancelled with Eclipse stamp (order by Aug. 14 if you wish to receive it to cancel it yourself on Aug. 21)
• Canceled with Carbondale Eclipse postmark of Eclipse stamp (will be mailed to you in outer envelope with additional Carbondale Eclipse postmark)
Cost is:• $4 for cachet with Eclipse stamp (add 50c for postage or enclose addressed, stamped envelope)

• $5 for cachet with $1.15 Moon Forever stamp (add 50c for postage or enclose addressed, stamped envelope)
• $3.50 for blank cachet; apply stamp of your choice
Order from:  ATA Office, PO Box 8, Carterville, IL 62918-0008
Or email:  americantopical@msn.comPayment by check or by PayPal to americantopical@msn.com

The EUROPA 2019 theme is…

PostEurop would like to announce that in 2019 the most beautiful EUROPA stamp competition will be based on the theme: “National Birds”.
During the last Stamps & Philately Steering Committee Meeting that took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, our Members had the chance to review the votes received for the 2019 theme of the EUROPA stamp competition.
Among  the many different themes that were submitted, “National Birds” was the theme that obtained the highest number of votes from our Members for 2019.  The 2018 EUROPA theme, “Bridges”.  The Theme for the
current year 2017 is "Castles". 

 A first for the 2017 competition is the launch of their first ever EUROPA Stamps Instagram Competition, from 1 August to 9 September 2017. Having in mind the theme for 2017 of "Castles" we would like to invite you all to participate in this special competition. See the entries here

Anita Häggblom Chair of PostEurop’s Stamps & Philately WG said: "It is with great pleasure that I welcome National Birds as the EUROPA 2019 theme. In a time marked by climate change, the World is facing many ecological challenges when it comes to protecting and preserving wildlife, for a sustainable future. Birds are not only amazing creatures that grazes the sky, they also play an important role in monitoring our planet's ecosystem.  Therefore, I am very happy to see that EUROPA will have such a fascinating theme, which will also help to promote the European Ornithology which reflects the magnificent biodiversity that we have throughout Europe."   
An announcement on the EUROPA 2020 theme, will be made during the autumn period.  So stay tuned for more EUROPA stamps news, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite "castle":  For more information about the current  POSTEUROP  competiton please go to  this address for more info and to enter the 2017 competition.


 
More about EUROPA Stamps
Since 1956, EUROPA stamps have been a symbol of Europe’s desire for closer integration and co-operation. These special stamps are issued by the European postal administrations/enterprises and bears the EUROPA logo, a PostEurop registered trademark.  Since 1993, PostEurop has been the responsible organisation for issuing EUROPA stamps and each year, philately experts within the Philately working group organise the competition amongst other philately initiatives.  See more information on www.posteurop.org/europa
-End-
For more information, please contact:
Cynthia Wee-Neumann
Communications Manager
T: +2 2 773 11 92
E: cynthia.wee@posteurop.org
POSTEUROP is the association which represents European public postal operators. It is committed to supporting and developing a sustainable European postal communication market accessible to all customers and ensuring a modern and affordable universal service. Our Members represent 2 million employees across Europe and deliver to 800 million customers daily through over 175,000 counters.
Find us also on:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Finland releases new Spring Stamps on May 5


Itella Posti Oy, Finland's Postal Corporation will issue stamps featuring traditional Finnish musical instruments on Monday, May 5. A code hidden in the image has a link to a brand new music video of Sibelius Academy’s Folk Big Band with a smartphone or tablet. Other spring stamps feature a national park, summer landscapes, and a bunch of violets.

Traditional instruments with a modern touch
The 2014 EUROPA stamps represent national musical instruments. Sanna Mander, a new name among stamp designers, has illustrated two thoroughly Finnish instruments: the accordion and kantele. Mander’s approach to the traditional theme in the stamps is modern and personal. The Europa: National Musical Instruments self-adhesive sheet contains ten 1st class stamps.
Mander considers traditional folk music a continuum that links the past with the future. She says that in the stamps she depicted musicians in the moment in which music and the surrounding nature merge into one. “One is playing in a field covered with notes, another is in a forest with notes rising to form the tops of birches.”        

Sanna Mander is an award-winning graphic designer from Helsinki. Her colorful work is familiar among Finnish as well as international customers. Mander has produced illustrations for print media, children’s books and household textiles. Her clients include Itella, Paulig, New York Magazine, and Volkswagen.
An identifier that can be scanned with the CEE App application is hidden in the images of the National instruments stamps. Users who have downloaded the app only need to align their smartphone or tablet with the stamp and directly access the web to watch a video on YouTube with Folk Big Band, Finnish folk musicians from the University of the Arts Helsinki Sibelius Academy, performing. The video was made as part of the extensive and long cooperation between Itella and Sibelius Academy.

 
The stamps’ CEE App application works on all Android and iPhone phones and tablets. Customers can download the application free of charge from either Apple's App Store  for the Mac version or Google Play for the Android version. The application will also be released for Windows devices during May. 
For the Google Play link for internet explorer Click here
 
In the impressive video by Magneetto Media Oy, Folk Big Band performs Konsta Jylhä’s schottice in D minor, arranged for the kantele and accordion in line with the theme of the stamps.

For those who do not possess a smart phone or IPAD or have access to the CEE application I asked Tommi Kantola who is the Product Manager for Itelia Posti for the link for this video. Thanks  Tommi! click here

 
“Various types of accordions and stringed instruments similar to the kantele are common in many countries, but Finnish folk music is quite unique in the world with its Slavic influences,” says Petri Prauda, lecturer in folk music at Sibelius Academy and artistic director of Folk Big Band, consisting of up to 40 musicians.

National park series ends with the by showing the natural wonders of the lakeland archipelago.

The fifth and last stamp in the series introducing Finnish national parks will be published in May. The stamp depicts the Linnansaari National Park which was established in 1956 and protects the valuable nature of Saimaa island and beautiful landscapes of the Saimaa lakeland archipelago. The 1st class Linnansaari National Park stamp designed by Teemu Ollikainen will be published in a self-adhesive booklet of ten stamps.
Linnansaari is one of the best habitats for the Saimaa ringed seal and offers one of the densest osprey populations in Finland. The 40-kilometer long and 5–10-kilometer wide national park comprises over 130 islands. A dense coniferous and mixed forest begins behind the shore cliffs visible from the lake. One of the most popular sites in Linnansaari is Linnavuori, a magnificent vantage point. 

Now visit the park from the air

 
 
And on the ground
 
 
    
Six summer landscapes in credit card size

Another new stamp designer for the spring is Janne Gröning, who has photographed traditional Finnish summer landscapes for six stamps. The 1st class Sweet Summer stamp will be released in a handy foldable self-adhesive booklet in credit card size. The booklet also contains Priority stickers. The graphic design of the Sweet Summer stamps comes from Tero Jämsä

The themes include sunsets, lakes and the sea, fields, and forests. With his photographs, Janne Gröning wants to relay relaxing and therapeutic nature experiences to all who cannot or do not have the time to visit nature themselves. The views featured on the stamps were photographed in Iniö, the lsland of Keistiö, the shore of Lake Näsijärvi, Nauvo, and the Salo region. 

To see some of  Janne's photos click here
 
Theme of the spring flower stamp is a bunch of violets
A flower stamp is traditionally released in the spring; this year, its theme is a violet. Illustrated by Leena Airikkala, the 1st class Bunch of Violas stamp will be published in a sheet of ten stamps. Flowers are an evergreen favorite in stamps. The last violet-themed stamp was released in Finland in 2003.
The plant theme is familiar to Airikkala. Her Apple Blossom stamp was selected as the most beautiful Finnish stamp in 2005. In addition to stamps, Airikkala has illustrated children’s books and magazines, and designed corporate graphics. She has held several exhibitions in the Nordic countries and France, among others. 
 
 
 
To see some of Leena's other work Click here

 
For the technical details for all the stamps mentioned above click here

These stamps and many others are available for sale on Posti’s online shop:
www.posti.fi/goshopping

My thanks to the Finnish Post Office for the above info.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Swiss Post Office honors the Swiss Air Force

Yes, the Country of Switzerland has an Air Force. This is also a Swiss Navy and a Swiss Army.  I've see all of them in action during my trips to this central European country famous for its historic neutrality and home to many of the world's international organizations. Two stamp were issued on March 3,2014 commemorating 100 years of the Swiss Air Force. The 1.00 Swiss Franc stamp shows an F/A-18 Hornet jet fighter while the 1.40 Swiss Franc stamp shows a F-5 Tiger jet. The stamps will also be available in 10 stamp mini sheets.

The following article is by Laurent Savary of the Swiss Federal  Department of Defense.



Although balloons sporting the Swiss na­tional colours took to the skies in the early part of the 20th century, the first Swiss air squadron was not assembled until the start of World War One. However, its commander, cavalry instructor Theodore Real, had scarcely any resources at his disposal, and had to mobilize private air­craft owners, most of them from western Switzerland, who brought their own me­chanics with them. Three foreign aircraft were also requisitioned. From August 1914, the squadron was stationed in the balloon hangar on the "Beundenfeld" in Berne. However, the site was ill-suited to training the pilots, so, at the end of 1914, the squadron had to relocate to Diiben-dorf near Zurich. The pilots were seldom deployed during the war.It wasn't until the interwar period that the air force gained in importance, and, in addition to Diibendorf, other military airbases were established in Thun, Laus­anne and Payerne. The first fleet of air­craft ordered by official quarters were Hafeli DH-3s.    

In 1936, in the face of the increasingly critical international situation, the Swiss government decided to form an anti-air­craft defence. The airmen displayed tre­mendous resistance in defending neu­trality in Swiss air space until, in June 1940, three of them lost their lives above the Jura mountains. General Guisan then imposed a ban on Swiss interventions with fighter planes, which remained in force until October 1943. As part of the "reduit" strategy, the air squadron thendrew back to the Swiss mountains, where numerous runways were built. It did not resume active service until 1944, by which time thousands of fighter bombers were stationed throughout Europe. The air squadron's task was to intercept air­craft in Swiss air space and force them to land. It was a risky undertaking, as be­came all too apparent in 1944 when a Swiss aircraft was shot down by a US plane. Moreover, despite these interven­tions, bombs were dropped on a number of Swiss towns and cities, including Schaffhausen.  

During the Cold War, Switzerland pro­cured Vampire jet planes. Radar early warning and navigation systems rapidly evolved into a core element of the air force. In 1952, three Killer UH-12B helicopters were purchased for air transport. These legendary behemoths were based at mountain airbases such as Meiringen, Turtmann and Raron.     

 In the 1950s an attempt was also made to develop Switzerland's own fighter jets, but these ambitions had to be laid to rest after the failure of the P-16 and N-20 pro­jects. Instead, British Hunter aircraft were purchased. The acquisition of fighter air­craft always triggers fierce debate, as demonstrated by the popular initiative which, in 1993, sought to prevent the ac­quisition of the F/A-18 and the dispute surrounding the procurement of the Mi­rage fighter jet in the early 1960s, which massively exceeded the available budget. In the end, just over half the planned number of aircraft were ordered. Fearingthe spread of communism to the West, on the orders of the federal government, the terrestrial anti-aircraft defence purchased the "Bloodhound" guided missile system, which could be deployed swiftly and combat airborne targets at great heights. Sections of motorway have also been used as emergency runways since the early 1970s.   

Despite international tensions, in 1964, on the occasion of the National Exhibition and the 50th anniversary of the Swiss Air Force, the Patrouille Suisse was founded which, until 1978, operated exclusively in Switzerland. Eleven years later, another formation was created, the PC-7 TEAM. The fall of the Berlin Wall also entailed strategic adjustments for the Swiss Air Force. Deployments became more diverse and were extended to air policing and border surveillance tasks. The F/A-18 is indaily use as the "air police" and provides airborne support for the security forces at special events such as the G8 summit or the WEF. In April 1999, the Air Force deployed Super Pumas for the first time, to provide humanitarian aid in Albania. Similar missions have since been flown in Indonesia, Bosnia and Kosovo.


The stamps were printed by the 4 color offset process. The stamps have a size of 33 X 22 mm and were designed by Fredy Trumpi of Binz, Switzerland. Besides the stamps and mini sheets of 10 First Day Covers and Maximun Cards will also be available.

My thanks to Swiss Post and the Swiss Defense Department for the above info

To purchase these Stamps Click here


Mazimum  Card set

FDC with both Stamps

For more information on the Swiss Air Force Click here

Swiss Air Force Video1


Swiss Air Force Video 2