21 February 2011

Club News .....

Centenary Celebrations of World's First Airmail 18th Feb. 2011 - 2012

Hundred years ago, an important event took place in India and history was written. Around 5pm on February 18, 1911, French pilot Henri Pequet loaded a sack of 6,500 cards and letters on a two-seater bi-plane stationed at a polo field in Allahabad and soared into the evening sky. The flight to Naini lasted barely 13 minutes; the plane flew a mere five miles. But history had been made. This was the world's first official airmail. Among the letters was one written by Motilal Nehru to his son Jawahar; some were addressed to England's King George V.

To commemorate the occasion 100 years later, India Post re-enacted that historic moment through a special flight between Allahabad and Naini on Feb 12, which also marked the beginning of Indipex 2011, the world philatelic exhibition in the Capital Out of all this glory, an eminent philatelist from Patna, Bihar Mr. Pradip Jain has made his country proud. For past 30 years he has done extensive study and research in the field of Indian Airmails . His collection "Indian Airmails Development and Operations (1911 -1942)" has received numerous accolades and awards world over. For his collection he has received 7 large gold medals in the past, once best collection award at Italia 1998 and recently Gold with Best collection award at London 2010. He has also authored a book by the same title in which he covers his entire research. This book was released by ex-President, Shri, A.P.J Abdul Kalam in the year 2003. Further, to commemorate and showcase this historical event, he has donated from his collection, a rare 1911 World First Airmail Flight cover to the Simithsonian Museum U.S.A. which is put on permanent display and is viewed by thousands of visitors.

Most importantly, in the World Philatelic Exhibition - INDIPEX 2011, held in Delhi from 12th to 18th February 2011, his collection had been invited for COURT OF HONOUR which was viewed by the President of India Shrimati Pratibha Singh Patil on 12th February 2011. This was a great moment for India because of achievements of Mr. Pradip Jain. Finally, American Airmail Society has decided to appoint him in 2010 as a member of the Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame (AHF). Taking into account his outstanding and dedicated research on Indian Air Mails, his leadership in Aerophilately in India, his volunteer work in all other aspects of philately in India and his involvement in international Aerophilately all combine to make him a most commendable member of the AHF. He has become the first Indian receive such an honour.

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