Canada and India Present Joint Issue Marking Diwali, Festival of Lights

Canada Post and India Post have joined hands to issue stamps in two basic designs that celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, an important annual observance for many Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains in Canada and around the world.

The joint issue is a historic first between the postal services.

The stamps were unveiled today, September 21, in a ceremony at Toronto City Hall by Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra; Vikas Swarup, the high commissioner of India to Canada; and Toronto Mayor John Tory.

“The Diwali stamps express our pride in Canada being a land of diverse faiths, customs and celebrations,” Chopra said. “It is fitting that this historic first joint issue celebrates the strong relationship between Canada and India.”

Canada issued two domestic-rate stamps now available, about a month ahead of Diwali celebrations, which will be held from October 19 to 23. . A stamp with a red background is the Canadian design, while one with a gold background was designed by India Post. The souvenir sheet (shown above) has a Canadian international rate stamp and an Indian stamp.

The designs heavily feature the colors of red and gold and a flame within a candle called a diya.

Diwali, a five-day celebration, begins on the 15th day of Kartika in the Hindu calendar. Its main theme is the triumph of light over darkness. The celebration traditionally includes fireworks. In Canada, people often light candles in their homes, while in India, they light small clay lamps filled with oil; illumination is believed to ward off evil and attract happiness and good fortune. Believers also display colorful geometric rangoli patterns to decorate entrances. Families and friends also share sweets and gifts with one another and with those in need.

The stamps were designed by Doreen Colonello of Entro Communications and India Post, and printed by Lowe-Martin. The Permanent domestic-rate stamps measure 30 mm by 35 mm.

American Philatelic Society Names New Editor

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania — Today, the American Philatelic Society announced that Martin Kent Miller of Greer, South Carolina would become the new Editor for the Society. Miller will serve as Editor of the APS flagship publication, The American Philatelist, a monthly journal dedicated to stamp collecting and the Philatelic Literature Review, the quarterly publication of the American Philatelic Research Library.

Miller, 49, joined the APS in 2008, but has been a stamp collector since 1974. His collecting interests include philatelic materials related to the USS North Carolina, the 1934–35 National Parks series, and a single-issue collection of the 1937 West Point commemorative. He is currently President and Founder of The Image Forge, a corporate communications firm in Greer in operation since 2003. In 2012, Miller branched out into the social media world as Co-Founder and Director of Marketing for Socialtopias in Charlotte, NC. He was Global Communications Manager for Michelin Aircraft Tire Corporation in Greenville, SC from 2000 to 2003 and Vice President and General Manager of Hell Gravure Systems, North America in Schaumburg, IL and through their relocation to Inman, SC.  Miller holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Harding University in Searcy, AR where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

“We’re excited to have Martin joining the team,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the APS, “He brings a wide range of experience in publication, marketing, and branding to our organization. We hope to leverage his talents not only with the publications, but leading the way in growing our online presence to promote the APS and the hobby.”

While Miller’s primary responsibilities will be managing the two publications of the APS and APRL, he will also lead the efforts to revamp the APS website and develop the online strategies for promoting the APS and the hobby to a whole new audience.

“Philately has always been the unifying point of my varied interests — art, design, printing and history,” commented Miller. “I’m honored to now have the opportunity to combine my professional experience with the hobby that holds my love and passion.”

Miller officially joins the APS team on October 1, 2017, but will begin working with current Editor Jay Bigalke immediately.

Christmas Carols Stamps October 5

Christmas Carols
Christmas Carols

The Christmas Carols forever stamps will debut October 5 nationwide. The first-day ceremony is scheduled to take place at noon at the American Stamp Dealers Association’s Fall Stamp Show. The ceremony will be in the Rheinlander Gallery of the New York Hilton Midtown,  1335 Avenue of the Americas, 6th Ave. and West 53rd St., New York, New York.

The ceremony participants include U.S. Postal Service Brand Marketing Executive Director Christopher Karpenko; American Philatelic Society American Philatelist Editor Jay Bigalke; and U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Director Mary-Anne Penner.

Here is some additional information on the Christmas Carols stamps from the U.S. Postal Service:

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the Holiday season with four new Forever stamps featuring images that illustrate a major theme of each of four beloved Christmas carols: “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls,” “Silent Night” and “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.” Familiar lines from each song highlight the individual stamps. The shades of blue in the backgrounds of the stamps evoke the evening scenes from the four carols. This booklet of 20 stamps includes five of each design. The late Howard E. Paine was the art director. Artist Steve McCracken of Winchester, VA, created original art for the project.

Classic Children’s Books Featured on New Stamps from Royal Mail

Classic children’s books known as Ladybird Books are featured on a new set of stamps issued September 14 by Great Britain’s Royal Mail.

The publishing house traces its roots to 1867, but became a true brand in 1940 when Wills and Hepworth’s publication of what is considered its first title: Bunnikin’s Picnic Party: A Story in Verse for Children with Illustrations in Colour. The book featured stories in verse written by W. Perring, accompanied by full-color illustrations by A. J. (Angusine Jeanne) MacGregor.

With paper rationing in force at the start of World War II, the business designed a pocket-sized hardback of 56 pages that could be produced from a single sheet. The size was 7 inches by 4 5/8 inches and the classic format was born. The publisher found this was an economical way of producing books, enabling the books to be retailed at a low price which, for almost 30 years, remained at two shillings and sixpence.

Since then, the publisher has released more than 650 titles with its heyday of production in the 1960s and ’70s. Ladybird began publishing books in other formats in 1980. Most of the remaining titles in the classic format were withdrawn from print in 1999, when the factory in Loughborough which specialized in this format closed.

The eight stamps — two each of differing denominations — are printed as se-tenant pairs. Three books are shown on each stamp, 24 in all. Each stamp shows a different category of books: Achievements, Adventures from History, Early Tales and Rhymes, Hobbies and How it Works, Key Words Reading Scheme, Nature and Conservation, People at Work, and Well-loved Tales.

Each stamp measures 41 millimeters by 30 millimeters and are printed via lithography by International Security Printers. Royal Mail is selling the stamps via several products, including first-day covers, a souvenir sheet, and presentation pack.

More information is available at the Royal Mail website.

 

 

Snowy Day Forever Stamps October 4

“The Snowy Day”
“The Snowy Day”

The United States Postal Service will issue The Snowy Day forever stamps October 4 nationwide. The stamps are based on a children’s book by Ezra Jack Keats.

The first-day ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, New York. The event is free and open to the public.

The following individuals are scheduled to participate in the ceremony: U.S. Postal Service Government Relations and Public Policy Acting Executive Director Roderick N. Sallay; Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson; Award-winning children’s and young adult author Andrea Davis Pinkney; and Ezra Jack Keats Foundation Executive Director Deborah Pope.

Here is some additional information on the stamp issue from the U.S. Postal Service: The U.S. Postal Service showcases Ezra Jack Keats’ most beloved story, The Snowy Day. Written and illustrated by the celebrated children’s author, it was one of the first prominent 20th-century picture books centered on an African-American child. Each of the four new stamps in this 20-stamp booklet features a different illustration of main character Peter exploring and playing in his neighborhood while wearing his iconic red snowsuit. The images include Peter forming a snowball; sliding down a mountain of snow; making a snow angel; and leaving footprints in the snow. Art director Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, designed the stamps.