Saturday, December 29, 2012

Online Directory of Philatelists….





Indian Philatelists’ Forum has come out with an innovative idea of creating online directory of Philatelists. This directory is intended to facilitate networking among philatelists and members of forum. 

The Directory of philatelists will be divided in to two categories. (i) Philatelists residing in India (ii) Philatelists residing abroad and collecting on any aspect of Indian Philately.

An online directory of Indian Philatelists and Overseas philatelists interested in Indian Philately with their complete profile will be available on forum’s website. Indian Philatelists’ Forum respects privacy of its members and that’s why all data will be available only to the registered members. 

Philatelists interested in India and across the world will welcome this new innovative idea of making online directory. A web based data form is now available on forum’s official website and registration is now open.

Postal History of Kedah stamps from Malaysia



Earliest known prepaid items from Kedah

Pos Malaysia has issued a commemorative stamp collection on the postal history of Kedah in conjunction with the centenary issuance of the first Kedah stamps. Not many people know that Kedah pioneered the use of postal service in Malaysia 125 years ago. Pos Malaysia Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Khalid Abdol Rahman said it started when Siamese stamps and postcards were sent to Penang in 1887. "That is why Kedah is so special in philately history. The state had been producing its own stamps since 1912." "We are honoured to issue this historic collection and we want to share and create awareness among the public on the uniqueness of philatelic items that were issued in the old days," Khalid said.


The three designs in the collection are "Padi Sheaf", "Malay Farmer Ploughing" and "Balai Besar", which will be in denominations of 90sen each. The miniature sheet contains stamps in denomination of RM3, featuring the earliest known prepaid items from Kedah. The highlights of this collection are the use of the stamp on stamp printed design and the elliptical perforation methods rarely used in the stamp printing process in Malaysia.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2013 International letter-writing competition for young people



"Write someone a letter explaining why water is a precious resource"

The 2013 theme ties in with the International Decade for Action "Water for Life" 2005–2015.

Water serves a multitude of different purposes, and it is vital that we preserve this precious natural resource. Access to water is essential to ensuring the health and well-being of humans and the protection of nature.

The United Nations recently announced that the world had achieved the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water. Eighty-nine percent of the world population, or 6.1 billion people, now has access to an improved drinking water source. But 11% still does not.


  • Young people up to the age of 15 years may take part in the competition.
  • The UPU International Bureau (IB) cannot accept entries sent directly by schools or private individuals.
  • The organizers designated by member countries must respect the competition's organizational principles, which specify that they are solely responsible for organizing the national stage of the competition and therefore must provide all the parties concerned with their own contact details and not those of the IB.
  • The organizers should select their country's best composition (one composition per country or territory only) and send it to the IB no later than 30 April.

Submission of applications

All entries must be submitted by post, by e-mail or by fax to: +41 31 350 37 11.

All entries must include:

  • the composition (typed) in either Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish. If the original is handwritten, the organizer should type up the text on a computer and submit the original with a translation into English, French or Spanish (as preferred) of the original composition if it has been written in a language other than those mentioned above.
  • a cover letter from the organizing body.
  • a duly completed entry form, including the contact details of the candidate and the national competition coordinator; this form is available opposite to download.
  • a good quality digital photograph of the candidate, preferably in JPEG format (at least 300 dpi).

Presentation and content of entries

  • The compositions submitted must be recent, unpublished letters.
  • Compositions must be presented in the form of a letter ("Dear ……..", include the address of both the addressee and the sender, and end with a signature).
  • Entries must strictly respect the set theme.
  • Entries must strictly adhere to the number of words permitted in the original language (between 500 and 800).

Organizational principles

Each member country organizes a letter-writing competition for young people in its territory as suits it best, but preferably with the help of the national education authorities, and selects the best entry. The best entry is chosen in accordance with the general rules of the competition.

Participating member countries must send their best entry to the IB, together with all the required documents, to the IB by no later than 30 April.

Jury's decision and announcement of results

The IB will designate a jury responsible for assessing the letters selected. This jury will choose the best three entries, the authors of which will each receive a medal, and may also select up to five other entries, whose authors will receive a special mention.
The IB will inform the countries concerned of the results by letter.


The first three international winners will receive medals (gold for the first, silver for the second and bronze for the third) struck by the IB, as well as a certificate and other prizes offered by the UPU.
Member countries may also award additional prizes to their international prize-winners, at their discretion.
It is recommended that the prize-giving ceremonies be held on 9 October, the anniversary of the foundation of the UPU, to form part of the activities connected with World Post Day.


The IB will communicate the names of the prize-winners by letter as soon as it receives the results from the jury, in principle no later than early September of the competition year.

Visit : Universal Postal Union

Note : For more details Please contact Postmaster of  the  Head Post Office of your city.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas !!




Merry Christmas to all Members

and Readers of this Forum !!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Global Philatelic Library






The Global Philatelic Library website was awarded a Gold Medal at the recent IPHLA literature exhibition in Germany. Two new libraries have joined: the British Library (UK) and the Kohler Library (Germany). The British Library list allows people to see the index to the fabulous Crawford Library which contains many rare or unique items. This site now contains instructions in languages other than English.

The Global Philatelic Library has become a world-wide success as an international philatelic venture. The global-free access to philatelic research from partner libraries has established the library as one of the most significant philatelic developments to have ever taken place.

The Global Philatelic Library ( has become a world-wide success as an international philatelic venture. The global-free access to philatelic research from partner libraries has established the library as one of the most significant philatelic developments to have ever taken place.

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum hosted a celebration event this month to recognize Alan Holyoake, whose leadership helped spearhead the initiative, and the founding partners—Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum and Smithsonian Libraries in Washington, D.C., the Royal Philatelic Society London and the American Philatelic Research Library and the American Philatelic Society in Bellefonte, Pa. A total of 19 global philatelic libraries are now participating in the project, contributing more than three-quarters of a million philatelic records.

Officially launched June 1, the Global Philatelic Library website, hosted by the Royal Philatelic Society London, is a present-day reality due to the inspiration and dedication of its founding partners. Along with partner libraries around the world, the website establishes a single destination—a centralized gateway—by which philatelists around the world can search, locate and access philatelic research from partner libraries in real time, from any computer. Searchable listings of books and publications, as well as resource locations and access, are now one click away, providing an invaluable resource to those doing philatelic research.

“The amazing success of the Global Philatelic Library, in so quickly becoming the world’s number one information retrieval gateway enabling philatelists and researchers to gain access to the world’s major library and reference centers, justifies the trust initially given by the founding partners in supporting my proposals,” said Holyoake, internationally known philatelist. “I also wish to thank all those who have worked so hard in enabling this concept to become a reality.”

The Global Philatelic Library now enters a new phase, with a need to strengthen the gateway in order to meet the tremendous global demands being placed upon the existing infrastructure. Continued expansion of participating libraries from around the world and technical enhancements to the system will be priorities moving forward.

“This project has become a tremendous success, and one benefitting philatelists around the world,” said Allen Kane, director of the museum. “It was rewarding to celebrate the founding partners and acknowledge Alan Holyoake’s efforts in championing the initiative at such a special event.” The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum website at .

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Recent Philatelic Journals at a glance ...

Vadophil : Quarterly News Bulletin of Baroda Philatelic Society
Jul – Oct 2012
Recent issue of the Vadophil is available at

Editors : Prashant Pandya & Timir R Shah
GPA News : Monthly Newsletter of Gujarat Philatelists’ Association
December 2012
Editor :  Iliyas Patel
Stamps of India Collectors Companion : Digital Weekly of Stamps of India
Issues available at :
Editors : Madhukar Jhingan & Savita Jhingan

ITS Stamp News : Quarterly Stamp Journal of Indian Thematic Society
Oct - Dec 2012
Editor : Suraj Jaitly

Journal of The Army Philatelic Society

Editor – Col Jayanta Dutta

Rainbow Stamp News : Monthly e – Newsletter
December 2012 issue available at :

kanpur 2
Editor : Jeevan Jyoti

Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Review…

Flag 2 image

The Indian National Flag unfurled through Philately By Sekhar Chakrabarti

image Book Review by  Ilyas Patel 

Editor - GPA News

I have just gone through a very well researched, decently composed and thoughtfully illustrated color book titled “The Indian National Flag unfurled through Philately” written by Sekahr Chakrabarti. Sekhar Chakrabarti is an active philatelist and working on this topic since long. The book is published by Niyogi Books, New Delhi and is priced at Rs 495/-. It is available in Ahmedabad at Natraj Book Store with 10% discount.

This book was given to me by my friend and a vivid collector of Indian National Flag Prakash Jambudi to refer and write a review for it. Being actively associated with him for this theme, I am aware that it is a very difficult theme to develop for want of sufficient philatelic material and even more difficult to write a book for want of supporting literature. In spite of all these difficulties, Chakrabarti has adventured in this field which suffers from many gaps and unanswered issues. His Herculean efforts have resulted in an innovative book with fascinating history of our national flag through the medium of philately. The author did an excellent but a balancing job linking history with philately and put up a brilliant story in a very lucid manner. It is a well known fact that the story of our national flag is also a story of Indian National Movement for total independence. In the process of total independence, the process of evolution of a national symbol such as a flag played a pivot role in public awakening and subsequent mass movements for civil disobedience. In this sense, it is a very good book on philatelic history of our national independence.

The book begins with historical background through Indian Epics and legends and gives brief account about flag and its appearance in our religious scriptures. From there the author takes us on a tour to the age of discovery and arrival of the European flags in India. The author has given exhaustive information about the arrival of the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British as well as the French and their efforts to establish their colonies in India and their respective flags. The author has also touched the flags of our princely states but cleverly in very brief not to deviate from the main topic.

With this brief historical account, the author takes us to the historical background for the evolution of our national flag. The quest for a distinctive Pan-Indian flag covers those who conceived the initial idea of flag making and their respective contribution in this evolution process. Their die hard attempts to symbolize it paved a way for the birth of a Swaraj Flag. From Swaraj Flag to the evolution of our national flag today is precisely covered in chronological order with illustrations of all who contributed to it. The author has not forgotten to mention the topic like flag hoisting and its importance as a matter of national pride.

The author has devoted separate chapters for other aspects of flag; flag related events, its use in sports, at sea, at international forums, in military as well as its legal aspects, etiquettes and protocol. All these chapters are covered with relevant illustrations and brief account of it is given. Being a research scholar he has not forgotten to give chapter wise references to make it a well documented book. The bibliography and detailed index makes it a worth reference book and indicates a dedicated efforts of the author.

Though vexillology is a bit boring theme for philatelists due to limited scope for its development, Sekhar Chakrabarti’s painstaking research and a dedicated pursuit of philately has made his work a very well illustrated philatelic cum historical reference. It is fully colored finely composed and decently printed book worth to refer at a first glance. I personally congratulate the author for his maiden efforts on this theme. With this Sekhar Chakrabarti has also enrolled his name in the elite group of philatelic authors in India. His efforts are worth to be saluted like our National Flag. Jai Hind! Well done and Good Luck.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New books on Philately..



The Indian National Flag unfurled through Philately

By Sekhar Chakrabarti

A new book by noted philatelist Mr Sekhar Chakrabarti, " The Indian National Flag unfurled through Philately ” been published by Niyogi Books, New Delhi.

This book in the form of possibly the first and only authoritative book on the history of the Indian National flag, exposed through philatelic articles, till date.... This book is very useful for those who are interested in Indian history as well as those who are curious about the Indian National flag, its background, development and true meaning...and for those collecting stamps on Flags !!

For details Contact : Niyogi Publishers - website :



Year Book of Indian Philately

By Madan Middha

The “Year Book of Indian Philately” is considered as a necessary reference book among the Indian Philatelic Literature, a contemporary guide for the philatelists interested in Indian philately, and a “must” addition to the library of every philatelist interested in any aspect of Philately. The book contains articles by noted philatelists Mr Ashok Bayanwala, Naresh Agarwal, Rajesh Paharia and Jeevan Jyoti on different branches of Philately. It covers details of philatelic activities of the year 2011 like Postal history, new issues, Postal stationery,Club News, exhibitions and many other important aspects of Philately.

For Book Contact : Madan Middha (Editor)
email :


Date : 10 - 15 May 2013 
The Venue 

The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne is the venue for the World Stamp Exhibition which will commemorate the Centenary of the Kangaroo Stamp issued as the first Commonwealth postage stamp.

Located in the beautiful Carlton Gardens on the edge of Melbourne's CBD the Royal Exhibition Building will provide the ideal setting for this international event. It is close to many accommodation options and has excellent public transport access.

With its meticulously restored opulent interior, expansive galleries and soaring dome, the Great Hall offers the perfect setting for Australia 2013 FIP World Stamp Exhibition. The venue has all the required modern services and facilities to successfully conduct this major event.

In July 2004 the Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding Carlton Gardens were inscribed on the World Heritage listing, the first building in Australia to have achieved this status.
The City of Melbourne was recently awarded the honour of 'World's Most Liveable City".

Sunday, December 9, 2012

THAILAND 2013 – World Stamp Exhibition


 THAILAND  will host THAILAND 2013 – World Stamp Exhibition under the concept “Arts and Happiness”  to promote value of Thai artisans’ works from various branches.

In this regards, they have launched the 1st series of commemorative stamp displays unique Thai folk arts and crafts from each region. Other series include 2nd series displays Traditional arts and Royal crafts and 3rd series displays contemporary arts.


Mr Rameshwar Das Binani is the National Commissioner for Thailand 2013 from India. email :


Venue: Siam Paragon Hall 1-3 Siam Paragon Shopping Complex
Bangkok, Thailand

Date: August 2-14, 2013

Host: Thailand Post Co., Ltd.
in joint collaboration with The Philatelic Association of Thailand
under the patronage of H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (P.A.T.)




Official Logo for 2013 World Stamp Exhibition

  • Various shades of colors represent each science of arts.
  • A round shape reflects our world and the universality.
  • Arranging like flower’s petals means the feeling of liveliness and cheerfulness like a blooming flower.
  • Cog rim of petals like a stamp shows the entity of the exhibition.




kin 2

Kinnaree & Kinnorn

The official mascot for 2013 World Stamp Exhibition is adapted from Kinnaree, a half-bird half-woman character in Thai literatures, who lives in Himmaparn forest. She is perfectly beautiful with delicacy, full of happiness and joyfulness. The figure of Kinnaree is always found in architectural works, especially at the main entrance of a building to show the warm welcome and hospitality.

Read More…

Friday, December 7, 2012




BRASILIANA-2013.WORLD STAMP EXHIBITION  will be held in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 19 to 25 November, 2013. It will be organized by the Brazilian Enterprise of Posts & Telegraphs (ECT) and the Brazilian Federation of Philately (FEBRAF), with the patronage of the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP).

Mr. Rajesh Kumar Bagari  has been nominated as National Commissioner  from India for BRAZIL 2013. Email or




Sugar Loaf Mountain, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, is one of the most beautiful tourist point in the world. On October 27th, 2012, Brazilian Posts  issued a souvenir sheet (with two stamps) to celebrate the centenary of its cable car and commemorate Brasliana 2013.

Brasiliana 2013


During the "Salon du Timbre-2012", in Paris, Brazilian Posts issued a sheet with 12 personalized stamps to promote BRASILIANA-2013. Each stamp depicts a tourist point of the State of Rio de Janeiro and has, together, the logo of the exhibition.




Source :image "Fédération Internationale de Philatélie"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Do you know…???

Pre-sale of Commemorative Stamps in Belgium




Recently a Registered Cover from Belgium was received on my address. This Cover is franked with a Souvenir Sheet issued on the subject, ‘Promotion of Philately – The grand-Place of Brugge’ and few ATM stamps. As these stamps and Souvenir Sheet are related to my favourite theme of “UNESCO – World Heritage”, so I was delighted to get such cover. Actually the stamps of this Souvenir sheet depict the World Heritage Monuments in and around the Market Square of Brugge. The historic city centre of Brugge was enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage in 2000. Besides that, this Souvenir Sheet was beautifully designed with the lace work of Bruges in the background. Paper of one corner is so finely cut that it looks just like actual lace work.

Grand Place, Brugge

To get more information on this issue, the official website of the Belgium Post philately was visited. It was surprising to note that the date of issue for this Souvenir Sheet is mentioned at Belgium Post website as 29/10/2012. From the pictorial postmark over this cover it is evident that this cover was mailed on 27.10.2012. For me, it was as like the premature issue used before release date. But when the friend in Belgium who had posted this cover on my address was contacted, I got the information, which is having philatelic importance and I could not resist sharing this information with other friends.

Like, in India, each and every new Bollywood cinema is being released only on Friday, every new commemorative stamp in Belgium is being released on Monday only. It is a tradition in Belgian philately that a pre-sale is being organized on the Saturday before the general date of issue of any new stamp the next Monday, in one city somewhere in the country. In this case the city of pre-sale was, appropriately, Brugge. Philatelists in Belgium, generally, prefer to get the pre-sale for their collection, while the official nationwide First Day of Issue - where pictorial postmark are used in the central post office at Brussels - is not generally attended.

Lastly, I would like to know from any reader of this post that if any such tradition is prevalent in any part of world. If it is so, it will be my pleasure to get any related information either through this blog or through email.

- Pradeep Kumar Mallik – Patna

email :


Monday, December 3, 2012





A National Philatelic Exhibition INPEX 2013 will be held at the World Trade Centre, (Expo Center), Cuffe Parade, Mumbai-400 005 from 21st February to 25th February, 2013.
The exhibition is being held by The Philatelic Society of India with the patronage of PHILATELIC CONGRESS OF INDIA, the apex body of Philately in India, and the active support of the Department of Post and other Philatelic Societies to celebrate the 115 years of the Society’s active existence.
INPEX 2013 is a National Exhibition with 800 frames and about 90-95 dealers booth from all over India, from 21-25 February 2013 at World Trade Center Mumbai. A souvenir com Catalogue will be published. There will be cover release every day. Please visit for details such as prospectus and booking of stalls etc. of Inpex 2013.Participant can down load entry forms and dealers can down load booth application forms from it.Rates of advt. in souvenir and other sponsor ship details are also there.
The exhibition will provide an opportunity to philatelists residing in India to enter their outstanding philatelic collection in the Competitive Class.
The exhibition will consist of INVITEE AND COMPETITIVE classes. In the Invitee section collections of eminent individuals and national institutions will be exhibited. The Competitive section will also include a championship class and will be open only to those collections which have won at least a Gold Medal in a previous National or International World Philatelic Exhibition.
For details contact email  :

All Communications, Registered letters or Remittances to be sent to:

Mrs. D. M. Pittie,

The Secretary, Inpex 2013,Philatelic Bureau,G.P.O., Mumbai-400 001.


Dhirubhai Mehta,
President,Philatelic Society of India, 
Mobile No.: 09892786222 

Mrs. Damayanti M. Pittie,
Philatelic Society of India, 
Mobile No.09930367660 

Exhibitors desirous of participating in the exhibition should apply in the prescribed form in duplicate. The entry forms duly filled in and signed should reach the Secretary Inpex 2013, latest by 20th December, 2012.
Introductory page and synopsis of the exhibit should be sent with each application. Such forms will be available from the Secretary, Inpex 2013, Philatelic Bureau, G.P.O., Mumbai-400 001, or on
website :

Thursday, November 1, 2012

IPHLA - 2012

From Nov. 2–4, 2012, Mainz – the city of the Man of the Millennium Johannes Gutenberg – will host an International Philatelic Literature Exhibition (IPHLA). It continues the reputed name of the well-known IPHLA, which under this label took place for the first time in Frankfurt-on-Main in 1989. Exactly 150 years before 2012, the first German stamp album and the first philatelic catalogue were published in the city of Leipzig. These two print media of German philately opened an era that made stamp collecting a popular movement.
Just like the two preceding literature exhibitions of 1989 in Frankfurt and 2007 in Leipzig, IPHLA 2012 Mainz will be an international meeting. This becomes evident by the two patrons FEPA and AIJP who strongly support this literature exhibition by their competence and international relations.
IPHLA 2012 Mainz will be held in the generous and pleasant location of the remarkable city hall. The Gutenberg-Museum of the city of Mainz will be incorporated in the event as well.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

News of the week...

98 Years Old Bottle Mail : History of mail re-discovered

Normally with invent of new technological systems, sending message or mail takes literally no time. But in the initial years of sending messages, lots of innovative methods were used which included bottle mail too.Recently, a Scottish fisherman Andrew Leaper, found a bottle containing a message or bottle mail in Shetland sea while he was skipping his fishing boat. This drift bottle contained a post card which promised a reward of six pence to the finder - was released in June 1914 by Captain CH Brown of the Glasgow School of Navigation. Which was found after 98 years in safe condition.

It was in a batch of 1,890 scientific research bottles which were specially designed to sink to help map the currents of the seas around Scotland when they were returned. Only 315 of them have so far been found. Mr Leaper, 43, who found the bottle east of Shetland, explained: "As we hauled in the nets I spotted the bottle neck sticking out and I quickly grabbed it before it fell back in the sea. He further added that that was very exciting to find the bottle and he couldn't wait to open it.
The story of scientific drift bottles is a fascinating one and harks back to an area when in the beginning those were used to understand the complexities of the seas.
It is amazing that nearly 98 years on bottles are still being found and returned to the Marine Laboratory in such fantastic condition.

- Naresh Agarwal

Stamp and Coin Fair in Kolkata from 5 - 7 October 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Philatelic Knowledge


- Madan Middha

The India Post has introduced Remotely Managed Franking Machines (RMFMs) in place of existing Electronic Franking Machines with effect from 16.8.2010. Meter Marks or the frankings of the new machines are in Blue colour instead of the usual red and indicate class of article, pin code, authentication code, date of frank, mail item number, license identifier number,
frank value and a 2D bar code.
These are printed on the articles using the Inkjet technology, unlike the older machines fitted with impact printing/technique of franks. These are duplex marks having two parts, first details part on the left and second denomination part, on the right. Different components of these marks are explained hereunder :

1. Class of Article
P for Postcard, ILC for Inland Latter Card, L for Letter, BP for Book Post, RL for Registered Letter, SP for Speed post and so on.
2. Pin Code of the Originating Post Office
3. Date of Meter Franking
4. Authentication Code
The authentication code is seen in three settings in these meter marks. First is all numbers, the second is all alphabets and the third is a hybrid, having an alpha-numerical setting. It uses Hexa-decimal format i.e. formation with A to F alphabets and 0 to 9 numbers. The code contains an info-mix of License Identifier, Item Number, Frank Value, Date, Time of frank, Pincode and authenticates the frank. It is considered virtually unbreakable.
5. Mail Item Number
6. 2D Barcode
2D bar code contains important information encoded therein viz ascending and descending meter readings, class of article, number of items, pin code number, value of frank and license identifier number. 2D bar code can also be scanned to check the genuineness of the frank impression.
7. Sovereign Mark
8. Denomination (Value) of the Meter Mark
9. Users' License Identification Number
This number also has two parts, first a letter (9a), which denotes the initials of the original Equipment Manufacturer i.e. 'F' for Francotyp Postalia, 'N' for Neopost and 'P' for Pitney Bowes and after that (9b), six numeric digits which indicate serial number of the machine, which has made the mark..