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. 

Sunday, 11 February 2018

2007 Royal Diamond Wedding Anniversary

          In 1947, as the people of Great Britain were rebuilding their lives after the devastation of World War II, a Royal celebration heralded nationwide rejoicing throughout the Commonwealth. On 20 November, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (the elder daughter of King George VI, and soon to be Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) married the Duke of Edinburgh – an occasion we remembered in New Zealand as the couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
         New Zealand Post released this two value stamp issue commemorating this momentous milestone for New Zealand's Head of State. For not only was it a personal achievement for the couple, but Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England in 1066, was the first reigning sovereign to reach a 60th wedding anniversary. Included in this issue were a miniature sheet and two first day covers.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

2007 Clever Kiwis

Kiwis have a remarkable history of turning great ideas into reality – creating ‘world first’ products and techniques that transform the lives of people and businesses around the world. From road surfaces to kitchen appliances, computer technology to bungy jumps, motorbikes to underwater aquariums, we’ve seen the challenges and come up with the solutions. It’s ‘Kiwi can do’ at its best – and it was celebrated in these five stamps - they featured five of New Zealand’s most successful inventions.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

2007 Southern Skies

The 2007 Southern Skies was an issue of five stamps, each showing a scene from the night skies above New Zealand, set as a background to five famous astronomical telescopes. 

Getting away from the lights of the city reveals the true wonder of the night sky; constellations and star clusters; comets, planets and many deep space objects. The moon in all her beauty as she goes through her phases. All this, before we begin using binoculars or a small telescope. Then even more wonders appear to us like Jupiter and his four larger moons; Saturn and her glorious rings; splitting stars to reveal them as binaries (two stars orbiting each other). Then come the big telescopes which produce those photographs of nebulas with their amazing colours. 

Saturday, 3 February 2018

2008 Underwater Reefs

The 2008 Scenic stamp issue featured New Zealand Coral Reefs photographed by Dr Kim Westerskov. Kim Westerskov is a photographer and writer who specialises in images of aquatic and seashore life. He has a PhD in Marine Sciences from Otago University, and has written and illustrated seventeen books about the seas, sea-life, and Antarctica.

This issue features four amazingly beautiful stamps with bright vivid colours. Not sure why I have missed them before considering I even have the set in my collection.