Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stamp News Australasia

When I was in Australia, in January, I had the opportunity to read the current issue of « Stamp News Australasia », the main philatelic publication of the southern hemisphere. When I came back to France, I decided to subscribe to this publication as it is impossible to find it here in France. So since February, I receive every month the latest issue. Here is the cover of the April issue that I got recently.

Why do I speak about it today? Because I would like to tell you something surprising about it.  I am a subscriber of various philatelic publications that I received from various places in the world. Usually I receive the paper with a plastic cover. Sometimes I got them wrapped in a paper cover (such as Topical Times the publication of the American Topical Association). But none of them are franked with real stamps as you can imagine. But when I get Stamp News Australasia, it is in a large cover franked with stamps! Yes. Here is the example of the last one I got, bearing not less than fifteen stamps!
This is so exceptional that I though it deserved being shared here in this blog. I do not know how many peple have subscribed to this publication, but I’m really impressed that they take the time to use real stamps on their mailing…
As usual, I have spent some times finding information about the stamps used on the cover. Some of them gave me a hard time as they don’t have any indication of the year of issue, but I succeeded in identifying all of them.
Let’s starts by the 1 AUS dollar stamp located in the left top corner. The stamp has been stuck upside down. It is part of a set of three stamps issued on the 14th of September 1988 to celebrate the summer Olympic Games of Seoul.  The stamp pictures the Rhythmic Gymnastics, a discipline that has been added to the Olympic Games in 1984 in Los Angeles. The stamp pictures one of the five objects used in the Rhythmic Gymnastics, the hoop (the four others being the rope, the clubs, the ball and the ribbon).
The next stamp on the right is part of set of five stamps issued on the 28th of Sepetember 1994 dedicated to Australian Zoo animals. The stamp pictures the Asian elephants. The full set has been issued in the form of a souvenir sheet. This souvenir sheet has been overprinted for several philatelic exhibitions. You can see the full sheet and the overprinted versions on my website at http://www.philatelic-frog.fr/stamps/australie/australia.html
Below the two previous stamps is a block of four of the stamp that I had the hardest time to find in my catalog. It is part of a set of four stamps issued on the 24th of October 1979 about Sport fishing. The stamp pictures the surf fishing.
Below the block of four, you can see a pair of a stamp that is part of a set of four stamps issued on the 19th of August 1981. The full set pictures fungi. The stamp on the cover pictures the Armillaria luteobubalina, commonly known as the Australian honey fungus.  This mushroom, identified only in 1978, is responsible of a disease that attacks eucalyptus tree. This mushroom is edible but must be cooked to remove the bitter taste.
Then you can see a block of six stamps on the right part of the cover. This stamp has been issued on the 20th of January 1982 to celebrate the Australian day which is celebrated on the 26th of January.  I find the design of this stamp rather surprising.
The last stamp is a stamp from the Australian Antarctic Territory (stamps from ATT are also valid for postage in Australia). It is part of a set of five stamps issued on the 20th of July 1988. The set is about environment conservation and technology. It pictures hourglass dolphins and a boat called the Nella Dan.
Also to be noticed on the cover the large postmark from The Patch post office. The Patch is a small village located in the suburb of Melbourne in Victoria State.
It was really a pleasure to get this cover and I really salute Stamp News Australasia for still using real stamps on their mails. After all, this should be the same for all philatelic publications, don’t you think so? If a philatelic newspaper does not encourage using stamps by showing the example to be followed, this is a pity…

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