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France begin Rugby World Cup countdown France begin Rugby World Cup countdown

France Post issue a new stamp on 14 April to begin the countdown to this year's Rugby World Cup which is being hosted by the French.

The competition kicks off in September and France will be issuing more stamps to commemorate the event, with 10 new stamps depicting different phases of play due to be released on 23 June. A further stamp will be issued in September as the 2007 World Cup gets underway.

The stamp issued on 14 April features the image of two Rugby players and the phrase 'Allez les petits' made famous by Rugby commentator Roger Couderc.

April 13, 2007

Australia: Signs of the Zodiac Australia: Signs of the Zodiac

Well known cartoonist and illustrator Mitch Vane has created a series of 12 cheeky and colourful stamp designs, interpreting two contrasting personality traits associated with each sign of the zodiac.

Issue date - 3 April 2007

April 09, 2007

AN Post: 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome AN Post: 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome

To celebrate the historic 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, a stamp, FDC & PNC were issued on 28 March 2007.

The stamp was designed by Steve Simpson and features an image of the European Union flag, onto which the signatories of The Treaty of Rome are superimposed. The background image is of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, which is located in the Piazza del Campidoglio where the Treaty of Rome was signed 50 years ago.

April 05, 2007

Austria: 80th Birthday of Pope Benedict XVI Austria: 80th Birthday of Pope Benedict XVI

Release Date: 2007/04/12

On 16 April 2007, Pope Benedict XVI will be celebrating his 80th birthday. It is two years since the German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope on 19 April 2005, choosing the name Benedict XVI. He is the 265th Pope in the history of the Roman Catholic Church and the 8th Pope from Germany.

April 02, 2007

Austria: Animals - Fire Salamander and Crayfish Austria: Animals - Fire Salamander and Crayfish

Self adhesive stamps in a set of 10, showing the fire salamander and a crayfish

March 31, 2007

Star Wars stamps revealed Star Wars stamps revealed

The fifteen new Star Wars stamps to be issued by USPS to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of the first movie have been unveiled.

The fifteen stamps span all six of the Star Wars movies and feature Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo and Chewbacca, Anakin Skywalker fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi, Queen Padme Amidala, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa with R2-D2, Emperor Palpatine, Darth Maul, Imperial Stormtroopers, Boba Fett, The Millennium Falcon, an X-wing fighter and C-3PO.

March 31, 2007

Maltapost to release Coastline Maltapost to release Coastline

Maltapost release a special new album on 29 March bringing together all stamps issued since 2000 with a coastline theme.

Contained within the album are sets of canceled stamps and 16-stamp sheets featuring Seahorses, Seashells, Castles and Towers, Lighthouses, Sailing and Military Architecture.

In addition to the stamps, the album pages contain detailed text and annotations explaining what each stamp is depicting.

March 29, 2007

USPS unveils 'forever' stamp USPS unveils 'forever' stamp

An image of the Liberty Bell, an icon of American freedom and independence, will adorn the U.S. Postal Service's new forever stamp.

The design of the stamp was unveiled Monday at the National Postal Forum, a gathering of companies in the mailing industry.

The forever stamp goes on sale April 12 at 41 cents. The rate for first-class postage rises to 41 cents May 14.

The stamp, which will carry the word "Forever" instead of a price, will remain valid for sending a letter, no matter how much rates go up in the future.

That will eliminate the annoyance of buying one- and two-cent stamps to make up the new rate when prices rise, and folks who want to hedge against inflation could lay in a supply of the stamps for long-term use.

"Who said nothing lasts forever?" Postmaster General John E. Potter said in a statement.

He said the Liberty Bell was selected because it resonates as one of the nation's most prominent and recognizable symbols associated with American independence.

March 27, 2007

Poland commemorate Treaty of Rome signing Poland commemorate Treaty of Rome signing

Poland Post have issued a new stamp marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.

The treaty established the European Economic Community (EEC) and was signed on 25 March 1957 by France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The stamp released by Poland Post features the flags of all the current member states of the European Union and features the words "Together since 1957". A first day cover is also available, bearing the date that each country joined the EU.

March 26, 2007

Northland 2007 Exhibition Northland 2007 Exhibition

Between 30 March and 1 April 2007, Whangarei will be hosting Northland 2007 a national stamp exhibition that coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Whangarei Philatelic Society.

To honour the occasion, New Zealand Post is issuing an exhibition miniature sheet first day cover, featuring an image of Whangarei Harbour and the official Northland 2007 logo. The first day cover depicts the marina at Whangarei harbour.

March 22, 2007

Abolition of the Slave Trade 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade 1807

Royal Mail commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Slave Trade Act 1807, which led to The Abolition the Slave Trade, with a series of six stamps.

The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act of 1807 was the successful culmination of many years tireless campaigning by the Abolitionist movement. The growth of Abolitionism began in Britain towards the end of the eighteenth century and ultimately produced one of the most successful reform movements in history.

The Abolition of the Slave Trade issue features six stamps, issued in se-tenant pairs, which combine contemporary portraits of key individuals from the Abolition movement, set against backgrounds linked to their work. Eighteenth-century Britain dominated the transatlantic slave trade. In that century some 11,000 slaving voyages were undertaken by British ships carrying more than 3 million Africans across the seas to a life of servitude. In the second half of the century concern about the trade and treatment of African people started to become a social issue and the Abolition Movement grew.

Date of issue: 22 March 2007

March 21, 2007

Living Shells  Cocos (Keeling) Islands Living Shells Cocos (Keeling) Islands

There are more than 600 known species of shells around the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Many are inhabited by beautiful and unusual living creatures, which we rarely get to see.

While Cocos (Keeling) Islands are located in the Indian Ocean, 97% of the known species of shells come from the Pacific Ocean.

50c - Oriental Moonsnail
50c - Pearly Nautilus
$1.00 - Partridge Tun
$1.45 - Giant Clam

March 20, 2007

Austria: Congratulations Austria: Congratulations

Letters written in person and cards as we generally know them have lost out in popularity to what are now known as the new media. but nevertheless there are still occasions when the modern forms of communication appear inappropriate - in particular those that do more than just transmit news such as those that give expression to human affection, for instance congratulations.

Most people will be unaware that the greeting card dates back to the end of the Middle Ages, when nuns would send painted or embroidered religious pictures to their closest relatives. Today there are so many different motifs, all with one single message, namely to congratulate the recipient. The new Congratulations Stamp is a charming reference to the happy occasion, which it highlights with a cheerful drawing of a bouquet of flowers. Incidentally, the stamp does not have a nominal value. It always corresponds to the standard rate for the first postage class, even if there is a change in postage rates.

Release Date: 2007/03/30
Number of Copies: 5.000.000
Design: Thomas Kostron

March 19, 2007

Mourning Mourning

In response to many requests expressed over some time now, the Austrian Post Office is issuing a definitive in the form of a Mourning Stamp. Like the Congratulations Stamp shortly to be released, it does not bear a nominal value, which means that it can always be used for the standard rate for the first postage class irrespective of any change in postage charges.

The picture chosen for this particular definitive is the "Queen of flowers", the rose. It is a symbol of mourning for a loved one. Ever since antiquity it has been a sign of love and expresses man's yearning for a better life. Roses and graves have also been inseparable since antiquity, and cemeteries are occasionally referred to as rose gardens. Even today, roses are placed on the grave at the burial as a sign of affection for the deceased, while white or red roses decorate the wreath and it is not unusual for a rosebush to twine itself around the gravestone.

March 17, 2007

The Lead-Up to WIPA 2008 - Gloriette The Lead-Up to WIPA 2008 - Gloriette

The occasion for "WIPA 2000" was the "150th anniversary of the first Austrian stamp". It was on 1 June 1850 that the first stamps were issued in Austria, five stamps being issued in Austrian currency, 1, 2, 3, 6 and 9 Kreuzer, and five stamps in Italian currency, 5, 10, 15, 30 and 45 Centesimi, intended for use in the territories in Veneto and Lombardy that belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time.

Austria was not the first country to issue stamps, an honour claimed by England, where the "Penny Black" was issued as the first stamp in the world on 6 May 1840, followed two days later by the equally old but considerably less famous, "Penny Blue".

The first stamps on the continent of Europe were issued in 1843 in the Swiss cantons of Zurich and Geneva, with Brazil following suit in the same year. Austria was the eleventh country to issue stamps.

"WIPA 2000" took place in the Austria Center Vienna from 30 May to 4 June 2000. It was held under the auspices of the FIP (Federation Internationale de Philatelie), while the FEPA (Federation of European Philatelic Associations) acted as patron. This Vienna International Stamp Exhibition comprised all competition classes at the highest international level. In order to counteract the megalomania of the World Exhibitions in recent years, WIPA 2000 was limited to 2,700 frames of one square metre each. The competition showed the best collections in the world. For the first time at a WIPA, collections were also presented in the "open class", capturing the interest of many a visitor. One particular attraction was the "rarities cabinet", while another, but by no means the only one, was the "Bordeaux Letter". This is the only letter bearing both a Red and a Blue Mauritius, and is probably the most expensive philatelic item of all times. However, Austrian rarities were also on display, such as the "Yellow" and "Vermillion" Mercuries, the Lombardy-Veneto counter sheet issues of 1850 and many other world rarities. The official stamp programme of the Austrian Post Office was spread over three years, and the surcharge proceeds made a positive contribution to the WIPA 2000 accounts. The "Basilisk" souvenir block that was given free with the admission ticket was very popular.

March 16, 2007

New Harry Potter stamps New Harry Potter stamps

France Post issue a new set of stamps on 17 March featuring characters from the hugely popular Harry Potter saga.

The stamps feature the eponymous boy wizard as well as his school friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

The seventh and final Harry Potter book entitled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is published 21 July whilst the fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, opens 13 July.

March 16, 2007

Austria: Patron Saints - Klemens Maria Hofbauer Austria: Patron Saints - Klemens Maria Hofbauer

Klemens Maria Hofbauer, the patron saint of Vienna, worked as a baker's boy in Znojmo in order to finance his studies. He joined the Redemptorists in Rome, and was ordained at the age of 34. His work in Warsaw was extremely successful until he and his fellow Redemptorists were ordered to leave the city by Napoleon, a measure that meant the destruction of his life's work, the St. Benno pastoral care centre.

In September 1808, the 57-year-old Hofbauer, now Vicar General of the Redemptorists, came to Vienna, where Baron Penker, his friend and benefactor, helped him acquire a post as auxiliary priest in the Church of the Minor Friars. From 1809 to 1813 he was virtually condemned to inactivity, only rarely being permitted to preach and hear confession. However, he began to work discreetly, becoming spiritual counsellor to many people. In July 1813, Archbishop appointed Hofbauer confessor to the Ursulines and director of the Church of St. Ursula in Johannesgasse. The post also involved the use of a house in Seilerstatte that Hofbauer turned into the centre of his activities, the house becoming a spiritual centre for young people, in particular for students.

With missionary zeal, Hofbauer became aware of the pastoral needs of the city. Although Vienna was 97% Catholic in terms of baptism, religious life was at a low point during the age of anticlerical enlightenment (Josephinism). Under police observation, Hofbauer preached the gospel as a means of reviving the faith of the Viennese. In his sermons, he used simple but effective words to reach the hearts of his congregation. His personal conviction infected the population, who soon thronged to hear the "Angel of Vienna". Hofbauer's religious activities were not limited to the pulpit, and he spent many hours each day in the confessional, where he achieved most of his conversions. Hofbauer was particularly talented for this type of spiritual care, a leader of souls and a counsellor to people from all walks of life.

Klemens Maria Hofbauer died in Vienna on March 15 1820, aged 69, and was buried in the romantics' cemetery at Maria Enzersdorf. It was only after his death that the Redemptorists were permitted to work as a religious order in Vienna. In 1862, Hofbauer's body was transferred to the Church of Maria am Gestade. He was canonised by Pope Pius X in 1909, and has been the patron saint of Vienna since 1914.

March 15, 2007

Forthcoming Scouts stamps unveiled Forthcoming Scouts stamps unveiled

Royal Mail release a new set of stamps on 26 July to mark the centenary of the Scout movement as part of this year's Europa issue.

The stamps have been designed by illustrator Jez Fry who is half Japanese and employs a style similar to that of Japanese Manga animated productions.

1st Class: 11 of the 12 astronauts who walked on the Moon were once Scouts
46p: The youngest climber of the highest peaks on all 7 continents was a Scout
48p: 450,000 UK Scouts take part in community projects every year
54p: Adult Scout volunteers give over 360 million hours of time each year
69p: The first non-stop solo flight around the world was made by a Scout
78p: Scouting is the largest youth movement in the world with 28 million members

March 14, 2007

Ireland Series 2007 - Castles Ireland Series 2007 - Castles

On 9 March 2007 An Post issued four stunning stamps for the Ireland Series 2007 - Castles. One Castle from each Province is featured in the collection.

March 11, 2007

Hungary: The Customs and Finance Guard Hungary: The Customs and Finance Guard

Hungary Post is marking the 140th anniversary of the foundation of the Customs and Finance Guard by issuing a regular stamp.

The stamp shows the arms on the shako of the Hungarian Royal Finance, Customs and Tax Guard, and the building of the former Customs Palace. In the background there is a detail of a shako and an officer's sword. The first day cover's main motif is a contemporary uniform, while in the background there are documents and other typical motifs. The post-mark shows a stylised officer's shako.

March 10, 2007

Alderney Ramsar Alderney Ramsar

On 25 August 2005, the United Nations officially recognised Alderney's west coast and the Burhou Islands as wetlands of worldwide importance. It became the first designated Ramsar site in the Bailiwick, Guernsey followed with its own site on 1 March 2006. The site - entitled Alderney West Coast and the Burhou Islands - extends to 1,500 hectares (some 600n hectares more than mainland Alderney) and includes the waters from the island's west coast out to the northern gannet colony Ortac, the Burhous and the islets and reefs that surround it, as well as Les Etacs.

March 10, 2007

Austria: Customs - Easter Rattles Austria: Customs - Easter Rattles

The Ratschenbuam mostly altar-boys and girls roam the streets from Maundy Thursday to Easter Saturday, announcing the times of prayer with their rattles and cries, at a time when the church bells are silent. According to an old tradition, the church bells in Catholic regions are not rung on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday. The cheerful nature of the sound of bells does not fit the mood of mourning on these days, during which the liturgy focuses on the memory of the suffering and death of Christ. The bells stop ringing after the Gloria in the mass on Maundy Thursday, and are said to fly to Rome. They are replaced by rattles that call the faithful to prayer at the times when the bells are usually rung. It is only at the Gloria of the Resurrection Mass that the bells once again ring out with their festive sound.

The rattles were already in use at the time of Charlemagne in the 8th century, and in fact date back to the sixth century, before there were any church bells. The rattles were used not only for purposes of announcements, and the "walking with the rattle" derives from a Germanic religious practice. This "heathen noise" was intended to waken sleeping nature, and the louder the rattling, the faster spring would return, or so it was believed.

There are different types of rattle according to their design. The basis is a resonance body made of wood. Turning the rattle causes sprung boards or wooden hammers to hit against a ribbed cylinder, making lots of noise. The exception is the flapper mostly used in church, where a wooden hammer is hit against the resonance body by the movement of the hand.

Rattling, today practically only to be found in rural districts, also involves the right cries intended to remind the faithful of the need to pray. The most popular cry is: "Wir ratschen, wir ratschen zum Englischen Grub, den jeder katholische Christ beten muss."

On Easter Saturday, according to an old tradition, the rattlers ask for eggs or Easter gifts. The donations raised by the rattling are often used to finance a trip, an additional motivation for the children to go rattling whatever the weather.

March 09, 2007

La Societe Guernesiaise La Societe Guernesiaise

Formed in 1882 to encourage the study of history, natural history, geography and geology of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, La Societe Guernesiaise has been a prime instigator in the conservation of the islands' natural environment and in the preservation of their historic buildings and monuments. Nowadays, 125 years after its inception, La Societe owns or leases 50 separate areas of land, which totals 400 vergees (177 acres). As well as these areas of outstanding natural beauty, La Societe manages important areas of land for the island's government, the States of Guernsey, and became incorporated by Order in Council in January 2004.

La Societe's function can be favourably compared to those of UK wildlife trusts. However, its activities encompass a much broader spectrum, including archaeology, astronomy, botany, entomology, family history, geology and geography, history, historic buildings, marine, nature conservation and ornithology.

This set of ten self-stick stamps cover La Societe Guernesiaise's broad range of interests and celebrate 125 years of essential work conserving and preserving the Bailiwick's rich landscape.

March 09, 2007

Battle for the Falklands Battle for the Falklands

On 19th March 1982 a group of Argentine scrap metal merchants raised their country's flag on South Georgia, Falkland Islands. The Royal Navy Antarctic patrol vessel HMS Endurance was despatched to remove the camp on 25th March but was prevented from doing so by the Argentine Navy corvette, ARA Guerrico. On 2nd April 1982 Argentine Forces invaded the Falkland Islands. The British Government responded immediately by organising Operation Corporate, despatching advanced elements of a Task Force southwards to recover the islands.

On 1st May operations opened with bombings - the Black Buck raids - on Stanley airfield by two RAF Avro Vulcans from Ascension Island and on Stanley and Goose Green airstrip by nine Sea Harriers from HMS Hermes. Two separate British naval forces - surface vessels and submarines - and the Argentine fleet soon came into conflict. The first loss was the ARA General Belgrano on 2nd May. Two days later, the task force lost the destroyer HMS Sheffield to an Exocet missile strike.

On 21st May British forces landed on beaches around San Carlos Water; within a few days 3 Para attacked Darwin and Goose Green. On 8 June LSL Sir Galahad and LSL Sir Tristram came under attack by Argentine FAA A-4 Skyhawks; later known as the Bluff Cove Disaster. After several skirmishes including the Battle of Wireless Ridge and the Battle of Mount Tumbledown, the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, Mario Menendez, surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore of the Royal Marines on 14th June.

Guernsey Post:

"Our set of six stamps feature aspects of the Battle for the Falklands; troops setting off for the Falkland Islands on the QEII; landing at San Carlos Bay; Harriers flying over SS Canberra; Lt Col H Jones charging towards his place in the British history books; the Sea King helicopters evacuating men from the burning Sir Galahad; troops silently march towards Port Stanley. Our souvenir sheet features San Carlos Water, almost enclosed by hills, otherwise known as Bomb Alley."

March 08, 2007

From jelly to icebergs... Canada Art series stamps feature Mary Pratt From jelly to icebergs... Canada Art series stamps feature Mary Pratt

Two works by Canadian contemporary realist artist Mary Pratt, "Jelly Shelf" and "Iceberg in the North Atlantic", will adorn two new stamps as part of Canada Post's continuing Art Canada series.

To create the photorealism effect in the painting "Jelly Shelf" depicted on one of the stamps, Pratt carefully eliminated any traces of brush strokes. Much of Pratt's work focuses on things found in the kitchen. In a recent interview, Pratt said "My role seems to have been to make people see things that are around them all the time; to help them find the beauty of simple things."

The "Iceberg in the North Atlantic" painting, featured on the second stamp resides at the Canadian Embassy in Washington. Pratt says she worked on this painting while waiting for a hip replacement. It is a mixed media piece, in which watercolour, chalk pastels and oil pastels are used.

March 08, 2007

HEC Montreal gets a degree of recognition from Canada Post HEC Montreal gets a degree of recognition from Canada Post

On March 12, Canada Post will issue the HEC Montreal commemorative stamp, the latest addition to the series on post-secondary schools launched in 2003. The domestic rate stamp commemorates the first 100 years of HEC Montreal, a school of international renown.

March 07, 2007

Year of the Surf Lifesaver Year of the Surf Lifesaver

2007 marks 100 years since the birth of the Surf Bathing Association of NSW, an organisation that brought standardisation to surf lifesaving instruction, regulations and practice.

This issue also includes Australia's first lenticular (moving image) stamp.

March 06, 2007

New Zealand Native Wildlife New Zealand Native Wildlife

For a small country, New Zealand has a diverse array of plants and animals that can not be found anywhere else in the world.

Tuatara - 45c The ugly-but-beautiful tuatara is proving a fascinating specimen for scientists studying the evolution of lizards and snakes the tuatara's closest living relatives. Tuatara are often referred to as 'living reptiles' because they have remained mostly unchanged in their 200 million years of existence.

Kiwi - 90c The kiwi is perhaps New Zealand's most recognisable icon a flightless bird whose closest relatives are the emu and the cassowaries. This shy, nocturnal creature is noted for the proportions of its eggs, which can be up to a quarter the weight of the female and for its long beak, with nostrils at the end to help it sniff out prey.

Hamilton's frog - $1.35 The Hamilton's frog (Leiopelma hamilton) is named after Harold Hamilton, who first collected the species. The Hamilton frog is one of only four belonging to the ancient family and is found on only two small islands, in the Marlborough Sounds.

Yellow-eyed penguin - $1.50 With a current population of around 4,000, the yellow-eyed penguin (or hoiho) is one of the world's rarest penguin species. It is found only in southern New Zealand, Foveaux Strait and on Stewart Island and the Auckland and Campbell Islands. Solitary breeders, the penguins maintain the largest territory size of any of their kind, sometimes up to one nest per hectare in forested areas.

Hector's dolphin - $2.00 The Hector's dolphin is named after Sir James Hector, the curator of the Colonial Museum in Wellington who examined the first specimen found. Today, this smallest sea-living dolphin is also the rarest dolphin in the world, with three genetically distinct populations.

Date of issue: 7 March 2007

March 06, 2007

Austria: Zaganelli Austria: Zaganelli

Paintings from the late middle ages and the early renaissance are to be found amongst the treasures of the Princes of Liechtenstein's collections in Vaduz and Vienna. Furst Johann II von Liechtenstein acquired the painting "Portrait of a Lady" in 1882 as a work by the artist Anselmo da Foli. After the Second World War, the royal family was obliged to sell a number of works from its collection as a means of escaping its financial difficulties. The paintings sold included the "Portrait of a Lady", but in 2003, Furst Hans Adam II bought the painting back again from a private collector in Switzerland.

The "Portrait of a Lady" was probably painted around 1500, and is today attributed to the Italian painter Bernardino Zaganelli da Cottignola (1470 1510). It shows a young woman in a red dress with a fine hairnet, a head band and a pearly necklace with a pendant made of precious stones. Attention is drawn to the features of the woman's face, the skin being modelled in subtle shades of grey. The light comes from outside, shining on the pearls and caught in the precious stones of the pendant. The naturalist approach primarily concentrates on the tangible details, while the large areas of the woman's clothing lack structuring, a typical sign of the early renaissance.

What is particular noticeable in this portrait by Zaganelli is the neutral, dark background. In both the Netherlands and in Italy, it was usual to paint a background in the form of a panorama landscape.

March 05, 2007

Island Jewels - International Stamps Island Jewels - International Stamps

Australia's coastline is surrounded by many fascinating islands and atolls. This international issue features five islands well known for their natural beauty, landscapes and cultural significance.

Maria Island, Tasmania - 10c
Rottnest Island, Western Australia - 30c
Green Island, Queensland - $1.30
Fraser Island, Queensland - $1.95
Kangaroo Island, South Australia - $2.60
Lord Howe Island, New South Wales - $3.85

March 05, 2007

British Formula 1 legends to be honoured British Formula 1 legends to be honoured

Royal Mail issue a new set of six stamps on 3 July featuring six classic British Grand Prix cars and their legendary drivers.

The stamps are as follows:

1st (34p)Graham Hill BRM
1st (34p)Stirling Moss - Vanwall
54p Jackie Stewart - Tyrrell
54p Jim Clark - Lotus
78p James Hunt - McLaren
78p Nigel Mansell - Williams

March 04, 2007

Norman Sayle RI Norman Sayle RI

Isle of Man Post Office is delighted to present this set of eight stamps showcasing the remarkable watercolours of Norman Sayle R.I. during the year in which he celebrates his 80th birthday.

For many years Norman inspired and encouraged generations of Manx art students as head of the foundation course at the IOM College. His 35 years as an art lecturer did, of course, enrich his vision and interpretation of the Manx scene but it was only after his retirement in 1989 that Norman decided to exhibit outside the Island. In 1994 he won the R.I. Medal for the best painting by a non-member at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London, and gained full membership in the same year. In the following years he won the third prize at the Singer & Friedlander / Sunday Times Watercolour Competition no fewer than three times, and in 1997 won the £15,000 first prize.

Norman is represented in many public and private collections and describes his work as follows:

"My aim is to express my devotion to the Manx countryside its grey churches, stone circles, slate walls by reconciling three components: the subject matter, the structure and the medium. In the end I want it to look as if the watercolour was speaking for itself."

Norman Sayle RI is printed in sheets of 25.

Date of Issue: 12th April 2007

March 02, 2007

Irish Wildflower Definitives IV Irish Wildflower Definitives IV

The stamps comprise the new 55c stamp featuring the Large-flowered butterwort, the Black bog-rush which appears on the 78c stamp while the 95c stamp features the Purple loosestrife and the Yellow flag appears on the 3c stamp.

March 01, 2007

First Taiwan stamps without 'China' First Taiwan stamps without 'China'

The first of the new controversial stamps issued in Taiwan which feature the country's name instead of 'Republic of China' went on sale Wednesday 28 February.

The state-owned 'Chunghwa (China) Post' also changed its name to 'Taiwan Post' on Wednesday in a move which has angered China.

Over 400,000 of the new stamps, which feature the new National 228 Memorial Hall, were sold on the first day of issue.

500 sets of the stamps were sold at the Taipei Post Office boasting a special postmark. With the laws not yet in place regarding the change in name, there is a chance that 'Taiwan Post' may have revert to 'Chunghwa Post'. If the name change is reversed, then the collectors who managed to obtain one of the 500 sets on Wednesday may well have purchased a rarity.

March 01, 2007

Canada Post's new lilac stamps signal the (hoped for) end of winter Canada Post's new lilac stamps signal the (hoped for) end of winter

Following on the successful Daffodil stamp issue of 2005 and Canadian Gardens stamps of 2006, Canada Post will issue on March 1 two domestic rate stamps featuring the lilac, that wonderfully fragrant harbinger of spring.

According to Montreal designer Isabelle Toussaint, the challenge of photographing the lilacs was to create a framing and colour that would complement the white and mauve lilacs and give a lush feeling of spring. She achieved this with a green and purple spring palette that emphasizes the natural tones of the flowers. Ms. Toussaint previously designed the refreshingly translucent Daffodil stamps that were issued in March 2006, and the Pets stamps issued in October 2005 to mark that year's Stamp Collecting month.

March 01, 2007

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