Monday, September 30, 2019

TAAF, Alfred Faure via Marion Dufresne

From the research station Alfred Faure on Possession Island in the Crozet Archipelago. Like the cover I received from Port-aux-Français last week, this too was carried there and back by the French research vessel Marion Dufresne during OP2 of 2019. I wouldn't be surprised if I get another one soon from Martin-de-Viviès. Perhaps a blue envelope. I still have no memory of preparing these or sending them down there.

A cachet on the back implies OP2 was also scheduled to stop Tromelin Island. I wish I had known that when I prepared this. It's not always a stop for the Marion Dufresne and a cover from Tromelin,  carried by the Marion Dufresne, would have been nice to receive.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

San Ġwann, Malta

The stamps are from the third in an annual series that commemorates the Feasts of Malta.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

TAAF, Port-aux-Français via Marion Dufresne

From Port-aux-Français, the "capital" of the Kerguelen Islands. Carried there and back by the French research vessel Marion Dufresne during its second tour of 2019 through the French southern lands. I don't remember sending this down there but I must have sent it early last year. The "Ectemnorhinus viridis" stamp (a weevil) is from 2018.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Last order from Postphil?

Possibly maybe my last order of stamps from Iceland Post's "PostPhil". With Iceland Post losing money and Postphil operating at a loss since 2014, the decision was made to shut Postphil down. What does that mean? It means no more philatelic sales. Fewer stamp issues or none at all. And stamps that are issued will be difficult to obtain because Iceland Post will no longer have a philatelic bureau. I understand there are a few possible scenarios for the future of stamps in Iceland but for now it doesn't look good.

This is the official statement from the Postphil website:

Dear customer,

In an effort to help stabilize Iceland Post’s economic situation, the company’s board has decided to close Postphil in its current form at the end of this year. Postphil has been operating at a loss since 2014. Revenue has decreased significantly due to a fall in the number of customers, while operating costs have remained the same.

As things stand today, there are no certainties regarding the number of stamp issues in the coming years. However, it is certain that there will be a reduction in the number of issues and the number of issue dates per year.

Best regards,

The staff at Postphil

This is what was in my last order. There was a time when I used to regularly purchase mint stamps and FDCs from places like Iceland. Back when the Canadian dollar was stronger and I had more disposable income. But it's been quite a while since I've purchased stamps from Postphil. In fact, I probably stopped around the time their revenue started falling. Too many self adhesive issues and the costs were getting way too high for a casual collector like myself. I'll probably place another order after the Christmas issues are available, before the office gets shutdown for good.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Ridgeway, Ontario

The Battle of Ridgeway took place 2 June 1866. The Fenian Brotherhood in the United States felt they could cause trouble in Canada and use that as leverage to force the UK into negotiations for Irish independence. About 700 Fenian insurgents crossed the Niagara river near Fort Erie and were confronted by Canadian forces just outside the current-day village of Ridgeway. The Fenians won the battle but as reinforcements flooded into the area they were forced to retreat back across the river where they were apprehended by US authorities.

On the back of this envelope is a postmark showing the Point Abino Lighthouse. This is a short distance south-west of Ridgeway on Lake Erie at the southern tip of the Point Abino peninsula. The interesting thing about this lighthouse, other than its Greek revival architecture, is the fact that it's built on the water. Only when water levels are low on the lake, or when it freezes, can you walk out to the lighthouse without getting wet. The land on Point Abino is private and controlled by a home owners association who negotiated that the lighthouse not be directly accessible over land when it was built in 1917. Road access on the peninsula is also restricted but registered guests are allowed to walk to the shore by the lighthouse during the summer months.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Kock, Poland

From the town of Kock in eastern Poland. The bird stamp on the right is the 2019 Europa stamp from Poland featuring a common chaffinch (fringilla coelebs).