It was an ambition come true for me and the Isle of Man Stamps & Coins division of Isle of Man Post Office to produce a sheet of stamps featuring 27 postal administrations within the Commonwealth. Each of the 27 Posts came together to produce a unique stamp sheet to mark the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the role of Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Sheet of Stamps was officially issued on Friday 27th November when the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting opened in Malta. I was very honoured to have had the opportunity to present a framed set of the stamps to Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma in Malta on 25 November, via the Commonwealth Secretariat.
On receiving the stamp sheet, Mr Sharma said: “I am delighted to receive these stamps from the Isle of Man Post Office on behalf of the participating countries which are spread throughout the Commonwealth. The stamp sheet clearly demonstrates the affection they all have for HM The Queen Head of the Commonwealth. These countries are to be congratulated in their efforts to bring this project to fruition in the year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Secretariat. In the year HM The Queen became the longest reigning monarch, Her Majesty remains well respected and long may she remain the Head of the Commonwealth.”
It is unprecedented for 27 independent postal administrations to come together and produce a sheet of stamps like this. The principle of the sheet is that, like the Commonwealth, each participating nation is equal. Participating postal administrations include Kenya, New Zealand, Antigua, Barbados, Tanzania, St Kitts, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos, Ghana, Grenada, Zambia, Tuvalu, Sierra Leone, Falkland Islands, Cook Islands and Tristan de Cunha. It’s been a delight to work with our colleagues in all corners of the Commonwealth to bring the stamp sheet, the first of its kind in postal history, to life. It is also an honour that it has been endorsed by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
More information on the Commonwealth sheet of stamps can be found on the Isle of Man Post Office website.