Saturday, 23 June 2018

1997 New Zealand Wine Regions / Vineyards

In 1997, NZ Post wrote as they issued these stamps:- 
"New Zealand burst onto the world wine stage in the 1980s with striking Sauvignon Blancs that crammed more flavour into the glass than any other country had ever achieved with that classic French variety. Today's (1997) wines are riper and less green-edged in an easier-drinking style, but they are still considered to be some of the best in the world. New Zealand's climate and soils are the key assets that enable the production of outstanding table wines. Around the world, the finest wines are grown in regions with relatively cool climates where grapes are able to ripen fully but slowly, retaining their refreshing acidity while building up subtle aroma and flavours."

In 2018, when I am writing this, the wine industry of New Zealand has continued building from strength to strength. New Zealand's wine production has been undergoing rapid growth, averaging 17% per annum for the last 20 years. In 2017 New Zealand produced 285 million litres from 37,129 hectares (91,750 acres) of vineyard area, about three-quarters of which is dedicated to Sauvignon Blanc. Nearly 90% of total production is exported, chiefly to the United States, Britain and Australia, reaching another record of NZ$1.66 billion in export revenue in 2017. New Zealanders over the last ten years consumed a fairly constant 20 litres of wine per capita, about a third of which is imported from other countries, mainly Australia.

Personal Comment - New Zealanders should stop buying the cheap Australian wines dumped on our market here and start buying many of the quality New Zealand wines that can often be purchased at not much more than the Australian ones.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

1997 Royal Golden Wedding Anniversary

        Princess Elizabeth was born on 21 April 1926, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York. In 1936, on the abdication of King Edward VIII, the Duke and Duchess became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother) and Princess Elizabeth heir presumptive to the throne.
        The Duke of Edinburgh, formally His Royal Highness Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, was born on 10 June 1921, on the Greek island of Corfu. He is the only son of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. His mother was the sister of Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
        On the 20th of November 1947, cheered by the teeming throngs lining the entire length of the processional route, supported by crowned heads and invited dignitaries at the ceremony itself, and before millions more through the medium of television throughout the United Kingdom and abroad, Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh were married at Westminster Abbey, London.
        In January 1952 The Princess and Duke, on behalf of the King, left England for a tour of East Africa, Australia and New Zealand. However, on 6 February, while holidaying in Kenya, King George VI died. Princess Elizabeth immediately returned to England as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and she was crowned on 2 June 1953 in Westminster Abbey.
       In 1997 the couple celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary, 50 years of marriage. To mark this special anniversary, NZ Post issued a single stamp showing Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. The stamp was only issued on special miniature sheets of 10 x 40c stamps.

Monday, 18 June 2018

1997 Wackiest Letterboxes

A competition was launched in September 1996 with the aim of finding New Zealand's wackiest letterboxes. From Canterbury to the Coromandel, and from Wanaka to the Wairarapa proud mailbox remodellers sent in photos of their creations, in the hope of getting their letterbox on a stamp. Over 300 entries were received from which ten letterboxes were finally selected. The winner had to be interesting, creative and out of the ordinary, but also had to be "postie-friendly" and practical.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

2018 Round Kiwis.

        June 2018. I will remember it for the birth of my third child. I'm in the birthing home for a few more days and can't get around much yet. Allan was here and heard me complaining about being bored. "Write up the latest stamp issue," he told me "That will keep you quiet for a while." So I  went and checked it out.
         Oh wow! The round kiwis are back. One of the first larger pages I did for this blog was the story of the Round Kiwis. They became one of my favourite stamp designs. I have all of them in my stamp collection. Now there are another five to collect.
1988 Round Kiwi.                                                           2018 Round Kiwi. 

         New Zealand Post's popular Round Kiwi stamp has been refreshed for the eighth time, It has been 30 years since it was first launched in 1988 and so to celebrate, a new set was released. The issue features all five species of kiwi in their habitat - the brown kiwi, great spotted kiwi, little spotted kiwi, tokoeka and rowi – and in a range of vibrant colours. See our Round Kiwi Collection.
        These stamps are considered to be definitives so at present there is no date set for them being withdrawn. I am sure they will be more popular with collectors rather than used as general definitive stamps. I also would expect some of the earlier issues might increase in value as new collectors go back to add them to their Round Kiwi Collection.

        Kiwi are flightless, nocturnal birds endemic to Aotearoa. They emerge from their burrows after dark to forage noisily along the forest floor and sniff out worms and insects. Their nostrils are at the base of their bill and give the kiwi a superior sense of smell that makes up for its poor eyesight. Kiwi have been described as ‘honorary mammals’ because of their hair-like feathers, long tactile whiskers at the base of their bill, and their marrow-filled bones. Kiwi are also sometimes called ‘te manu huna a Tāne’ - the hidden bird of Tāne, the god of the forest. See our post on the Maori Legend - How the Kiwi Lost His Wings.

Friday, 8 June 2018

1995 Golf Courses

        The game of golf followed the Scots to New Zealand. It all began in Dunedin when a young whisky distiller named Charles Howden called a meeting to form a golf club in 1871. The game grew slowly when a surge in its popularity in Great Britain was mirrored in the colonies.
        In 1899 a national golfing body was formed in New Zealand. And over the decades the game has boomed, growing from strength to strength. In 1995 when these stamps were issued, nearly 113,000 registered golfers enjoyed the sport, year round. Just as New Zealand is well known worldwide for its beauty, so too are its golf courses. This special issue of golf stamps depicted four of the country’s most attractive golfing venues. Each of these courses provide a showcase for the natural splendour of their region.

The four stamps of the 1995 Gulf Courses issue.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

1990 - 1994 Stamp Exhibitions.

During the 1980s NZ Post began issuing special collectors miniature sheets to be sold at the stamp exhibitions they attended. Usually, these miniature sheets featured stamps that were currently on sale at that time, in some cases, they were overprints of existing miniature sheets but since they were actually separate issues we have decided to feature them together in this series of posts. 

This post will show all the special issues for stamp exhibitions that NZ Post attended during the period 1990 - 1994. It is most likely that we will not feature all of these issues on their own pages so they have been collected here.

1990 Stamp World London.
New Zealand Post attended the 1990 Stamp World Exhibition in London in May 1990. A miniature sheet was produced to commemorate the occasion incorporating the 50c 'Endeavour' stamp from the '1990 Heritage - the Ships' stamp issue, against a background design reproducing Captain Cook's early chart of New Zealand.
$1.30 - London '90 Exhibition Miniature Sheet with one 50 cent stamp.

Captain Cook's early chart of New Zealand featuring the 50c 'Endeavour' stamp from the 'Heritage - the Ships' stamp issue was produced to commemorate the 1990 Stamp World Exhibition in London in May 1990.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

2018 The Royal Wedding.

Early this evening, (Sun 20th May 2018) I got a text from our blog owner, Allan. 
               "NZ Post just issued stamps for Royal Wedding. Do you want to run with it?
                           Min sheet and six stamp images in our drop box.    Allan."

The opening for this issue on the NZ Post Website was: -
Millions around the world watched and celebrated as His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales and Ms Meghan Markle wed on 19 May 2018 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. New Zealand Post is honoured to mark this special occasion with celebratory stamps.
       Last night, we held a Royal Wedding Party and some of us watched well into the early hours of the morning. The day was beautiful and the wedding set in the chapel of a historic English castle. It was the true fairy story where the girl from America found and married her real prince.

      This wedding was different from the formal wedding of William and Kate, held in the centre of London in 2011. It was less formal, held in Windsor Castle rather than London. I felt it fitted the couple so well. Some have said her dress was plain and she wore hardly any jewellery but couldn't that be what she intended? This couple is no longer in the direct line to the throne so in many ways will have a freedom that William and Kate will never have. It seems like the Queen cut them some slack and allowed the royal protocol to be bent a bit too. But for a wedding of a modern couple in a family steeped in traditions, I think they got the balance about right. 

      We enjoyed those special moments of the wedding. The looks between them all the way through the wedding service. That look on the young page boy as he saw inside the chapel. It was like, "Wow!" The first married kiss. (I don't think it was as good as Kate and William's) The sermon by the charismatic preacher from the USA. I think he might have shocked a few royals. Ha! Ha! Those beautiful horses pulling the carriage. Yes, they know how to do it with flare in England. 

Saturday, 19 May 2018

2018 World War I Commemorative Book Series.

          "100 years ago, the shape of New Zealand began to change forever, as we followed King and Empire to serve in the First World War. What was meant to be a ‘great adventure’, soon affected every New Zealander at home and abroad, with 18,500 New Zealanders never to return. To commemorate this important centenary and honour those who served, New Zealand Post is issuing official stamps and legal tender commemorative coins."
         That was the opening statement for this series of issues from the NZ Post website. This was the beginning of a complex series of issues spread over five years. Each year a collector book was produced to go with the stamps and tell the story behind the New Zealander featured each year. Five books together with their collector bookcase. 

Friday, 18 May 2018

2018 Back From The Brink. - 1918.

       The beginning of hope. In this, the final instalment of this World War I series we see the end of the war and things beginning the long road back towards normal although they would never be the same as they were before the war. During World War I, things had changed, the world had changed. Back in New Zealand, families were coming to terms with the knowledge many young men would never return. Many women, who had enjoyed new freedom outside the home, working in employment, job situations never opened to them before the war didn't want to return to being a house-wife. 

All ten stamps on a special miniature sheet.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

2018 Maui and the Fish

Maui and the Fish - Te Ika-a-Maui.

       The first time I can remember hearing this story was on the Sunday Children Request show, on the radio station, 1ZB. This and How the Kiwi Lost His Wings became favourites of mine when they appeared on the show. These days, of course, television has taken over children's entertainment on a Sunday morning. 
        So being born in New Zealand, I grew up with many of these stories but being a Pakaha (White European), I didn't have much contact with Maori mythology once I became an adult. When I began this blog I soon discovered there were many stamp issues with Maori Mythology themes. Since then, the richness and complexity of the Maori culture became a source of fascination and intrigue.  

         New Zealand has issued two other stamps telling the story of Maui and the Fish. These can be found below, at the bottom of this post, or via links from our index page New Zealand Maori.

NZ Post describes this issue:- 
        Māui and the Fish - Te Ika-a-Māui is one of many tales of the mischievous demigod chronicled for centuries across Pacific cultures. Despite the considerable distance between islands such as Hawaii, Tonga and even New Zealand, the similarities between many of the legends are uncanny.
        Many versions of this story exist as it has been passed from generation to generation. We present this story with words by Louis Armstrong, Cultural Education Lead for the iwi of Raukawa in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa.

        Since, I do not understand much te reo Maori, when I came to layout this page I debated as to whether I should include the Maori versions captions of this story under each stamp as they appeared on the NZ Post website. Finally, I decided the value of adding the story in two languages was worth doing. 

Saturday, 21 April 2018

1995 Famous New Zealanders

For such a small nation, New Zealand has produced a surprising number of great achievers, famous in a wide spectrum of endeavours and deserving of their prominence and respect in the eyes of fellow New Zealanders and the rest of the world. 

The full set of six stamps.

Redeemable Tear-tabs for Collectable Souvenir Cards
These stamps were issued with small removable tabs next to each stamp. (See the set of stamps above.) Each tab measured 10mm x 30mm. These tabs were perforated like the stamps and carried the promotional message 'Stamp Month October 1995'. These tabs were for a special promotional offer - customers could collect 10 tear-tabs and send them in (affixed to an entry card) to receive a souvenir card in return.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

2018 Reconnecting New Zealand.

        This is a spectular set of stamps. They have used the pictorial format to produce six large stamps showing the work and scope of this large project. The subjects of trucks, trains and diggers would appeal to thematic collectors as well. There are also some great photos on the covers and miniature sheets too with lots of good information regarding the views on each stamp in the presentation packs. Well done NZ Post!


         It took one year, one month, and one day to reopen State Highway 1 after the magnitude-7.8 Kaikōura Earthquake on 14 November 2016. Freight trains had returned to the railway just 10 months after tracks had been thrown into the sea. In all, 1,700 people worked more than 2 million hours to move mountains and reconnect the communities isolated by the quake.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

1995 Farm Animals Booklets

        Finding this booklet was a major find for me. I collect New Zealand stamps connected with farming. It's a thematic collection on a subject I am very knowledgeable about since I am the manager of a large farm. With this booklet, I was able to add another 10 stamps plus two complete booklets to my collection. The stamps are colourful and cover a wide range of animals you might find on a farm. The one that stands as missing is a cat, they are always there, useful for catching mice etc. 

An overlapping set of the 10 45c stamps. (1st issue)

       The export of sheep, wool and dairy products has brought New Zealand billions of dollars and continues to do so today. Back in the 1960s, the majority of New Zealand farms would have been stocked with most of the animals featured in this booklet - horses, pigs, fowls, ducks and turkeys. Advances in technology and transport and a higher standard of living meant that by 1995, more specialised farming practices without the varied range of animals of previous decades. 
       Deer and goat farms were a relatively new phenomenon in 1995. Deer farming for their meat has been a big export earner whilst goats also became an important economic sideline for many farmers who were diversifying. Today, in 2018, this trend of change has continued with a large increase in dairy farming in recent years.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

2005 Cafe Culture

A place to meet friends… an oasis for the weary… a people-watching vantage point… a romantic hideaway… even a mobile office. For almost a century, cafés have fulfilled an important role in New Zealand society, constantly evolving with the times. The decades may have passed, but the café's place in everyday life has rarely wavered - perhaps because its form and function have always changed to reflect the society of the day. The so-called 'café culture' is literally a moving feast, from the comparatively quaint tea rooms of the early 20th century to the coffee-literate, Internet-connected counterparts we know today.

The stamps, produced in the shape of a coffee cup, were supplied as a strip of five stamps, comprising one stamp of each denomination, as well as sheets of 25.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

1995 Nuclear Free New Zealand

In August 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese cities were destroyed and thousands of civilians killed; countless more died of radiation. The nuclear age had dawned.
Nuclear weapons have never been used in anger since, but the world has shuddered at the ugly mushroom shape of test blasts and once or twice has teetered on the edge of nuclear catastrophe. With the end of the Cold War, humans have stepped back from the brink but the United States, Britain, the former Soviet Union, France and China had stockpiled nuclear weapons and more countries are becoming capable of producing nuclear weapons.

$1.00 - Nuclear Free.
New Zealand Post issued this special stamp featuring the international peace symbol to communicate New Zealand's opposition to nuclear weapons and nuclear testing and its hope that the world will one day be nuclear-free.
I personally do not like the look of this stamp but I think it is that appearance that makes the stamp standout.

Monday, 19 March 2018

1994 Beach Cricket Booklet

Beach Cricket Booklet.
One of the most popular summer pastimes in New Zealand is to go down to the beach - swim, sunbathe, picnic and have a game of beach cricket. It only needs a softball and a piece of wood for a bat, a few sticks for the wickets and the fun begins. This game bears little resemblance to the cricket of the stadium or even the village green - there are few rules, no age limits and as many people as care to can play at once.

NZ Post issued this booklet as part of marking this important milestone in the history of cricket in New Zealand. 

Sunday, 18 March 2018

1994 Centenary of the New Zealand Cricket Council

        This most English of games was introduced to this country by missionaries - an early report mentions a game having been played at the Waimate North mission station in the Bay of Islands in 1835. British immigrants also brought the game with them as they settled in their new country. 
      By the 1860's and 1870's inter-provincial competitions were being contested, English and Australian tours were taking place and the popularity of the sport continued to increase. It became clear that its administration needed to be formalised on a national basis and therefore, on 27 December 1894, the New Zealand Cricket Council was introduced. 

       One hundred years later the game is still as healthy and strong as ever and is one of the most popular sports in New Zealand. Women's cricket emerged in the 1920's and a national Women's Cricket Council was established in 1934. In 1992 the Women's Cricket Council was merged with the board of New Zealand Cricket giving men's and women's cricket a single administration in this country.

       NZ Post marked this event with this issue of four stamps and a ten-stamp booklet. This post is about the main issue while the booklet can be found via the link below. This post of four stamps also included a First Day Cover and a limited edition First Day Cover.

Monday, 12 March 2018

1994 25th Anniversary of The First Moon Landing

On 21 July 1969 (New Zealand Time) man first set foot on the moon. The American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the commander of Apollo 11, watched by millions of television viewers around the world, stepped off the ladder of the lunar module, Eagle, on to the moon. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," he said.

Our school teacher brought a TV into the classroom and we watched in wonder as this historic event unfolded. First, there was the launch of the giant Saturn V that carried the tiny capsule with the first men who would walk on the moon. Daily, we followed their progress until finally, they came to the point where the lunar module separated for the trip down to the moon's surface. The first time they stepped out on to the surface came when we were supposed to be at school. So lessons were put aside as we watched those grainy black & white images of Neil Armstrong stepping out onto the lunar surface.

$1.50 - Neil Armstrong / First Man on the Moon.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

1994 Wild Animals.

        It seemed strange that NZ Post would go off and feature animals from other countries like in this issue but there is a good explanation. Wild animals have always been a source of fascination amongst children and it was this subject that was selected for the 1994 stamp issue that coincided with Stamp Month - a month-long promotion each year that promotes stamp collecting among children,

        The ten animals were carefully selected as being ones that children would recognise most readily. Most of them can also be found in zoos in New Zealand. Each stamp also presents a mini-lesson in geography, with a small map showing where each animal comes from.
        The Polar bear, Siberian tiger and Giant panda are found in three of the most forbidding regions on earth. Each has evolved to cope with harsh climatic extremes. The mountains of central and western China are the panda's only known habitat. Also rare is the magnificent Siberian tiger, the largest member of the cat family.
        Africa means wild animals to many - the animals chosen from the jungles and open, grassy plains were the giraffe, African lion and African elephant along with the Plains zebra, the White rhinoceros and the hippopotamus. The spider monkey is found in the forests between Mexico and the southern part of the Amazon basin.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

2007 Centenaries

          Ours is a unique country that’s recognised around the world for its caring nature, love of sport and innovative spirit. In 2007, four significant organisations that have helped shape our culture of today celebrated their centenary.

Se-tenant Block of four 50 cent, one $1, one $1.50 and two $2 stamps.

          NZ Post marked these events by this issue of eight stamps with each organisation being represented by two stamp showing scenes from 1907 and 2007. The stamps have been designed with the older scenes being in one colour reflecting the photography of that time and the new scenes being shown in the full colour of modern photography.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

2018 New Zealand Cycle Trails

         The global financial crisis in 2008 hit New Zealand hard, so much so that the government held an emergency jobs summit. Politicians and businesspeople were pulled together to come up with plans and schemes that would create jobs and boost the economy. One of the more successful ventures was a strategy to build cycle trails all around New Zealand. Not only would this produce jobs for then and in the future, it would also give Kiwis a great way to see all that New Zealand had to offer.

         The New Zealand Cycle Trail incorporates 22 great rides through some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking landscapes. From restored heritage trails, epic swing bridges and curious wildlife to luxury accommodation and good food, the cycle trail offers something for everyone. Many of the trails can be broken up and done across multiple days, or even just tackled a section at a time if you’re after a day trip. The difficulty of each trail varies with the location and terrain; some roll with the landscape while others follow pre-forged paths that were once railway lines or horse tracks. Regardless of the style of trail, difficulty level or length of the journey, you’ll experience New Zealand’s landscape in a unique way.

         In early 2018 NZ Post issued this set of six stamps featuring six of the best of these cycle trails. The portrait format they chose is ideal for displaying some of the beautiful scenery found on these trials. Of course, there was also the usual First Day Covers and Miniature Sheet. There was also a presentation Pack including all three of the collector items above plus lots more information regarding each track. 

Monday, 5 March 2018

1980s Stamp Exhibitions

During the 1980s NZ Post began issuing special collectors miniature sheets to be sold at the stamp exhibitions they attended. Usually, these miniature sheets featured stamps that were currently on sale at that time, in some cases, they were overprints of existing miniature sheets but since they were actually separate issues we have decided to feature them together in this series of posts. 
This post, one of a series I'll be doing, will show all the special issues for stamp exhibitions that NZ Post attended during the 1980s. It is most likely that we will not feature most of these issues on their own pages so they have been collected here.

The first special issues for stamp exhibitions were overprints of existing miniature sheets such as the miniature sheet directly below but as you move down this page you will discover the beginning of a change from overprinted miniature sheets to sheets specially designed for particular exhibitions.

Zeapex '80 International Stamp Exhibition.
This miniature sheet was issued with and without the central overprint. It features three stamps from the 1980 Anniversaries. The issue makes the 125th anniversary of postage stamps in New Zealand and the stamps show copies of those original stamps 1855 Full-Faced Queens. Zeapex '80, the stamp exhibition held in Auckland, was part of these anniversary celebrations.

Zeapex '80 miniature sheet.
1980 Anniversaries miniature sheet with the Zeapex '80 overprint.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

2017 Matariki


      In 2017 NZ Post didn't issue the annual Matariki stamp issue. I was a bit disappointed as I've come to enjoy each Matariki issue for their interesting and colourful stamps. I understand why they did this because two other Maori related issues were released that year. See 2017 He Tohu and 2017 Te Reo Maori - Maori Language. We don't want too much of a good thing, do we? In the absence of a Matariki issue, I have decided to add my own Matariki post looking at Matariki and some of the legends behind it. When I started this I was looking for a great page of stamps but I could only find two stamps that actually showed Matariki / The Pleiades, so I had to settle on a post using just these two stamps. 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

2018 Wahine 50 Anniversary

          When the Wahine departed Lyttelton Harbour at 8.40pm on 9 April 1968, there were 734 passengers and crew on board. The overnight voyage to Wellington was nothing new to Captain HG Robertson: the often-turbulent Cook Strait was familiar in all its ill-behaved weather and swells. However, on this evening no-one was prepared for the raging storm that occurred when Cyclone Giselle swept down the coast, colliding with a southerly front. The result was one of the worst recorded storms in New Zealand’s maritime history.
          In the early hours of the morning on 10 April 1968, Wellington Harbour was encroaching on the near horizon. With the wind blowing at 50 knots, a common stiff breeze in Wellington terms, Captain Robertson made the decision to enter the narrow entrance to the harbour. On entering, the wind suddenly picked up and dramatically increased to a powerful 100 knots. Huge waves slammed the ship, forcing it towards Barrett Reef. With the radar system having failed, the Captain attempted to manoeuvre the ship back out to sea.
          The storm continued to wreak havoc, dragging the ship along the reef, causing further damage, and preventing rescuers from approaching it. Its ferocity also delayed the captain’s decision to abandon ship, as he believed that people would be safer on board.
          The first survivors began washing up on Seatoun foreshore, and others were plucked out of the water by boats waiting nearby. Most of those tossed into the waves were swept to Eastbourne’s rocky foreshore, where slips prevented rescuers reaching them quickly, and many suffered from being exposed to the harsh, deteriorating conditions. Many would ask how such a tragedy could occur right on the doorstep of the nation's capital. But it did and while the storm raged, many of the people in Wellington at the time went to watch the foundering of the Wahine unfold.
          News reports quickly spread across the country making this one of the most documented tragedies of our time. These stamps show the Wahine in all her glory and the sequence of how the day played out. The newspaper headings on each stamp are fictitious but acknowledge the role media played in telling the story.

Friday, 23 February 2018

2007 New Zealand Native Wildlife

Self Adhesive Se-tenant Strip of Five Stamps.

         For a small country, New Zealand has a diverse array of plants and animals that can not be found anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately though, many of our animals struggle to survive due to introduced predators, environmental changes and the modernisation practices of man – as a result their numbers have dwindled to such an extent that they are officially classified as ‘endangered’.
        Luckily, New Zealand is a nation of wildlife champions. We recognise and appreciate that these unique – and iconic – animals are as much a part of our nation and nationhood as we are. In this issue we celebrated their individuality, and their abundant charms with a unique artistic range of five vibrant stamps. What makes these stamps stand out as different is the fact they are round rather than the usual rectangle.