Monday, March 31, 2014

Canada Post Rate Increase

Canada Post raised their postage rates today. Domestic rates increased from $0.63 to $0.85 : a 35% increase. Similar increases were made to our US and International letter rates. And if you go to a post office and buy a single domestic rate stamp, they will charge you $1.00.

On the day they made the announcement last year, all domestic rate stamps were pulled from sale. These were the so called "P" stamps that are always valid for the domestic letter rate no mater when they were purchased or what was paid for them. Guess they figured the rate increase was high enough that there would be a run on domestic rate stamps so they pulled them. I see they are all back on sale now, at the new rate.

Since there are still a lot of old $0.63 stamps out there, this $0.22 stamps was issued as make-up postage. In some ways, this stamp represents a historical event in the evolution of Canada Post. A time when they had to take drastic measures to survive. The biggest change will be the phasing out of home mail delivery, replacing all residential mail boxes with community mailboxes. It will be like having an outdoor post office box. It is the end of an era and to me, that's what this stamp symbolizes.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Davis Station, AAT

Sent to me by the postmaster at Davis Station. It's actually an Australia Post issued maximum card, first day postmarked with a stamp from the AAT Mountains issue from a year ago. The postmaster postmarked it again, marked it on the back as well, and I guess added the extra postage and put it in the mail. Nice.

Turin, Italy

Vineyards of Italy postmarked with an "International Women's Day" commemorative postmark by the Philatelic Club of Torino.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Princess Elisabeth Station

This is from Belgium's Princess Elisabeth Station in the Antarctic. Mail from this ultra modern station is sent out by ship through Cape Town in South Africa.

The station sits up on a rocky ridge (a Nunatak) known as Utsteinen, in Queen Maud Land, over 200km from the coast. The base has accommodations for up to 16. During the summer months, several research teams setup camp behind the station.