Sunday, 28 December 2008

COVER FROM USA


This cover arrived from Michigan state, USA, sent by Mike. Different but nice stamps on the cover. Issued in April, 1990 a stamp celebrating Marianne Moore a Modernist American poet and writer. Also from 1990, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, one of five stamps in a series of five celebrating US coastal lighthouses.
On October 2, 2008, the US Postal Service issued a souvenir sheet of 10 commemorative stamps named Nature of America: Great Lakes Dunes. Great Lakes Dunes is the tenth stamp pane in the Nature of America’s educational series that features the beauty and complexity of major plant and animal communities in the United States. On the cover two bird 42-cent stamps from the souvenir sheet.
One of the most beautiful of the rugged shelled mollusks is the Frilled Dogwinkle, which is found along the Pacific coast from Alaska to California. Its tightly coiled shell is sculpted into many ridges and spines which gives the shell its frilled look. U.S Postal Service issued a 22 cent stamp in April,1985 featuring its shell.

COVER AND FDC FROM SWEDEN

My friends Ken and Gunilla from Sweden sent me eight nice FDC on my thematic collection Blindness /Blind. Here is a sample of them:
Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to graduate from college.
Helen Keller was not born blind and deaf; it was not until she was nineteen months old that she contracted an illness (possibly scarlet fever or meningitis). The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her deaf and blind.
In 1887 Helen’s father contacted the Perkins Institute for the Blind, located in Boston. The school delegated teacher and former student Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired and then only 20 years old, to become Keller's instructor. It was the beginning of a 49-year-long relationship, eventually evolving into governess and then eventual companion. Starting in May, 1888, Keller attended the Perkins Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan moved to New York to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf and Horace Mann School for the Deaf. In 1896, they returned to Massachusetts and Keller entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College. In 1904, at the age of 24, Keller graduated from Radcliffe magna cum laude, becoming the first deaf blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Keller went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. She is remembered as an advocate for people with disabilities amid numerous other causes. She was a suffragist, a pacifist, a radical Socialist, and a birth control supporter.


This FDC issued in 1990 celebrates 100 years of Braille in Japan. A blind Frenchman called Louis Braille (January 4, 1809 – January 6, 1852) was the inventor of braille, a worldwide system used by blind and visually impaired people for reading and writing. Braille is read by passing the fingers over characters made up of an arrangement of one to six embossed points. His system was officially recognized in France two years after his death, in 1854. It has been adapted to almost every known language. Japanese braille is a braille code for writing the Japanese language. It is based on the original braille system. In Japanese it is known as tenji, literally "dot characters".
In 2009 it is celebrated the bicentenary of Louis Braille's birth and many postal administrations have already planned issuing stamps about it.
The first Braille stamp (with letters embossed in Braille) was issued here in Brazil in 1974 to commemorate the 5th World Council for the Welfare of the Blind in Sao Paulo.

Monday, 15 December 2008

COVER AND POSTCARD FROM FRANCE

Eric Contesse, stamp partner from Lyon sent me this cover with a stamp celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fifth Republic (issued in October 2008) and stamps of the lighthouse block issued in November 2007.
The Fifth Republic is the fifth and current republican constitution of France, which was introduced on October 5, 1958. The Fifth Republic emerged from the collapse of the French Fourth Republic, replacing a parliamentary government with a semi-presidential system. Charles de Gaulle and his supporters proposed a system of strong executive presidents elected for seven-year terms. The President under the proposed constitution would have executive powers to run the country in consultation with a prime minister whom he would appoint from each elected parliament.
The Place Bellecour is a large plaza in Lyon. Formerly known as the Royal Square, the Place Bellecour is located between the Rhone and the Saone rivers in the Presqu'ile district. In the center of this square (one of the largest in all Europe) is the famous statue of Louis XIV on horseback, made in 1825. In the background, atop the Fourvière hill, the Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière looms impressively over the city of Lyon. It was built between 1872 and 1896 and was included when the whole historic center of Lyon was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

POSTCARD FROM MACAU

The Guia Fortress is a historical military fort, chapel, and lighthouse complex in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, in China. The complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Historic Centre of Macau.
The fort and chapel were constructed between 1622 and 1638, after an unsuccessful attempt by the Netherlands to capture Macau from Portugal. The lighthouse was constructed between 1864 and 1865, the first western style lighthouse in east Asia or on the China coast. The lighthouse stands at 91 meters tall, and has a light visible for some 20 miles in clear weather conditions. The complex was built upon the highest point on Macau, Guia Hill, and named after the same location. At the top of the lighthouse, there is a circular observation platform, where the lantern is installed. The light transmitter is accessed by a spiral flight of stairs inside. The tower has a simple rustic exterior, in keeping with Guia Chapel lying adjacent. Guia Fortress, along with the chapel and lighthouse are symbols of Macao’s maritime, military and missionary past.


In a joint issue (June 2008) Macao and Singapore Postal Administrations released a complete set of eight stamps featuring a selection of popular dishes of their cuisine. Talking about Macao cuisine, it is a Chinese-style cuisine with the inclusion of Western (Portuguese) features, blending the two styles together in a unique and singular cuisine.
Thank you, Diana for the postcard and all information on it.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

COVER FROM BELGIUM


Belgium Post Office issued in 2006 a nice set of four lighthouses (phares) stamps.The first brick lighthouse on the European continent was built in Nieuwpoort in 1284, but it did not endure the two world conflicts of the twentieth century. The lighthouse keeper who took the in 1963 and was never replaced.The Blankenberge lighthouse is probably the best well known among the general public. it was built at the end of the promenade dike in 1954. Together with the Nieuwpoort and Oostende structures, this 32.5-metre-high lighthouse, whose beacon can be seen 20 sea miles away, was built to replace the lighthouse blown up by the Germans at the end of the Second World War. The last keeper left in 1970 and his former home has been turned into a maritime museum.Lighthouse Lange Nelle (Tall Nelly) in Ostend, 65 meters in height and with a range of 27 sea miles, was built in 1949. The striking blue-white tower has a modern, imposing appearance. it is built of concrete and switched from gas to electricity in 1953. A mechanism with weights is used as a backup during power cuts. The lighthouse tower was completely restored in 1994.Lighthouse Hoog Licht (High light) in Heist was Belgium's first all-concrete building when it was constructed in 1907. Located behind the dunes, this 30.5-m-high structure is visible from 11 sea miles distance. With the expansion of Zeebrugge harbor in 1970 the lighthouse lost its function, as the light was extinguished for good. Listed as a monument, this lighthouse was completely restored in 2003-2004. Thank you Thomas for the cover and these mint stamps.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

COVER FROM ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

Today I received a special (and so expected) cover from the Caribbean island nation Antigua and Barbuda. That's because of the stamps about glaucoma promptly added to my thematic collection "Blind/blindness on stamps". The first "World Glaucoma Day" in March 6th, 2008 was a global initiative of ophthalmologists, glaucoma patients and groups to enhance global glaucoma awareness. Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause progressive damage of the optic nerve and if untreated, may lead to irreversible blindness. Optometrist Dr. Jillia Bird was responsible for leading the multiple local activities aiming at increasing glaucoma awareness, such as newspaper articles, radio and television coverage, public glaucoma "screening" campaigns in public places and "open-door" days at glaucoma clinics and hospitals. And the Postal Service made a significant contribution issuing the nice set of stamps below:

Dr. Jillia, congratulations for your successful job and thank you for the nice stamps. I really enjoyed them! Visit World Glaucoma Day web site at http://www.glaucomapatients.org/index.php

Saturday, 27 September 2008

COVER FROM FRANCE


Thank you Eric for this nice cover presenting lighthouses from France. Cap Fréhel is a peninsula in Côtes-d'Armor, in northern Brittany, which extends off the Côte d'Émeraude into the Golfe de Saint-Malo. No towns or villages are situated on the peninsula however two lighthouses, one from the 17th century and the other one from 1950, are located at the tip of it. The Cap is located 8.5 km from the town centre of Fréhel. The white lighthouse and Ar Men, the last one before the New World, is located on the west side of the Island of Sein, coast of Brittany, and guide the ships along this maritime route, where reefs and violent currents once caused so many shipwrecks. It was built in 1867 but actually it was only finished in 1881. Port Camargue is situated 20km away from Montpellier and 40 km from Nîmes. There is located the Espiguette Lighthouse near the fishing port of Le Grau-du-Roi.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

FDC FROM PORTUGAL


André from Portugal sent me this nice FDC issued in June 2008 that highlights six lighthouse buildings from Portugal and its Açores and Madeira islands. The first historical reference to Portuguese lighthouses dates back to around 1515 - the lighthouse at Cape St. Vincent convent and predecessor of the present-day lighthouse, which is equipped with the most powerful optic ever used in Portugal. It was the Age of Discoveries (Brazil was discovered by Cabral fleet in 1500). Portugal, having a long shoreline with many harbours and rivers flowing westward to the ocean, had been an ideal environment to raise generations of adventurous seamen and lighthouses came to guide them.
Thank you a lot ( Muito obrigado, caro amigo!)

Thursday, 18 September 2008

STAMPS AND FDC FROM POLAND


Andrzej from Poland sent me these nice lighthouses stamps issued in Poland in May 2006 and in June 2007 with their respective FDC. The lighthouses of the Polish seaside constitute beautiful and interesting examples of ancient architecture and technology. Most are usually architectural monuments open for tourists but still serve seamen. The first part of th issue(2006) present the constructions from Stilo, Krynica Morska, Gaski and Niechorze. In 2007 Polish Post presents four lighthouses in its new set of stamps: Hel, Kolobrzeg, Rozewie and Gdansk. I enjoyed them a lot. Thank you.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

"BLIND ON STAMPS" COLLECTION

Here is a sample of my most recent thematic collection: blind on stamps. A rich theme where we can find, for instance, Louis Braille, the French man who devised the Braille system. In 2009 we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth and postal services worldwide will certainly issue commemorative stamps on that date. Guide dogs, oftalmology, causes and prevention of blindness, famous blind persons and many other subject areas compose my collection. I collect mint stamps, FDC, miniature sheet...everything about this theme.

Monday, 1 September 2008

LIGHTHOUSE FDC FROM LITHUANIA


Received from Virgilijus
Lighthouses on stamps are one of my main thematic collections. Lighthouses date from the first few centuries AD. The first known lighthouse was the Pharos of Alexandria and during the Roman Empire ages many lighthouses were built along the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Atlantic coasts. The revival of the commerce in the 12th century gave another lighthouse building impulse.
The modern lighthouse dates from the early 18th century. Along the Scandinavian and Baltic coasts there are many lighthouses built because of the intense maritime navigation.
The lighthouse of Pervalka was built in 1900 and is used for navigation purposes in the Curonian Lagoon. The lighthouse of Uostadvaris was built in 1873-1876 and at present is not in operation