To my cover-exchanging friends, please try as much as possible to
as these give a more personal touch to the cover
the Philippine postal service damages the cover with scribbling that highly devalues the aesthetic value of the cover, which is what I am after
or at least same themes when sending covers, but it is okay if this is not possible or if this would be expensive, and
not too small, but maybe around 4"x6" or something like that; big envelopes are not very attractive unless they have many stamps.
Thank you!



Today I post a wonderful cover from far-off Guyana, a small country on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Historically, "Guyana" or "Guiana," which is believed to mean "the land of many waters," referred to a landmass north of the Amazon River and east of the Orinoco River. The area was then divided by European colonial powers into five: Spanish Guiana (now eastern Venezuela), Portuguese Guiana (now northern Brazil), British Guiana (Guyana), Dutch Guiana (Suriname) and the present French overseas department of French Guiana. British Guyana, which is now known simply as "Guyana," gained independence from the Crown on 26 May 1966.

The $60 stamp on the far right celebrates the Apollo 18, the last of the Apollo missions, which was launched on 15 July 1975. This last mission was known as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, one of two Apollo Applications Programs projects (the other being the Skylab of 1974-75). The project involved a docking in Earth orbit between a Command Service Module (CSM) and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft. The mission lasted from July 15 to July 24, 1975. Although the Soviet Union continued to operate the Soyuz and Salyut space vehicles, NASA's next manned mission would not be until STS-1 on April 12, 1981.

While this event was indeed a milestone for mankind, its connection to Guyana escapes me. In fact, the connection between the themes on quite a few of the Guyanese stamps issued and the history and culture of Guyana as a country escape me as well.

Moving on, to the left of the Apollo stamp is a stamp issued on 2007 to commemorate the Concorde's flights with the Red Arrows, the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force. This stamp in particular (one of two designs, the other also showing a Concorde-Red Arrow exhibition in 1985) shows the flight of the British Airways G-BOAG with the Red Arrows as well as the QE2. This happened at the Sunday formation flight at the 1985 Royal international Air Tattoo.

Here is a link to a nice video clip showing one of the Concorde's other exhibitions with the Red arrows, this one is a fly-by at the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002. (Warning: the sound may be a bit loud, so turn down your speakers if you feel you should)

One curious thing about the chops on this cover is that the postmark used at the Rose Hill Town PO to cancel the stamps have a bold line running down its center. Was this done intentionally to apply heavy cancels in an effort to curb postal fraud, or was the stamper damaged and somehow split in half (god knows how or why)? One clue is that the line isn't very smooth, which makes me lean toward my second hypothesis.

Also, notice the "Inward Registered Mail" label attached to the cover in Hong Kong. This one says "Lift" and I am not sure if that is an instruction printed on the label to tell the postal worker that he should lift on that side to get the label or if it is a special postal service term whose meaning I have yet to find out.

One thing I like about registered mail service in Macau is that it often goes through Hong Kong and you get these interesting labels and frankings. On other covers, I sometimes get chops telling me that the cover was received in bad order. A pity that the cover was received in bad order, but had it not been received in that condition, I wouldn't get the chop!

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