05 October 2013

Sweden–China Joint Issue




Swedish and Chinese Posts launched a joint issue having a table tennis theme. Jan-OveWaldner, Swede table tennis player,is well-known in both countries and is a natural part of this stamp project.

Six-times world table tennis champion and 1992 Olympic gold medalist Jan-OveWaldner has become the first living foreigner to appear on a Chinese postage stamp.

“There is an enormous demand for the stamps,” Waldner told the Swedish news agency TT. “They’ve already sold three million and they have 13 million more to sell.

“This is huge, it doesn’t get much bigger than this in China. It’s an honour to be on a stamp.” Swede Waldner is one of the best-known foreign sportsmen in China where table tennis is hugely popular.

His career ended in 2012, at the age of 46, after almost 30 years and a series of world and European titles plus the gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics.

New Stamps from Ireland…


Irish Volunteers and modern faces of Ireland


A Stamp commemorating the centenary of the Irish volunteers was issued on 3rd October by An Post. The 60c stamp  features a group of uniformed Irish Volunteers from Waterford.

The Irish Volunteer Force, or Óglaigh na hÉireann, was originally formed in 1913 to defend the application of the Home Rule Bill to the whole of Ireland.

It divided into two a year later with the outbreak of World War 1; the majority formed the National Volunteers who favoured enlisting to fight in the war in the hope of being rewarded with Home Rule, and the remaining Irish Volunteers, led by Eoin MacNeill, stayed in Ireland.

The Irish Volunteers were forced underground after their active part in the 1916 Rising. In the War of Independence which began in 1919, they became known as the Irish Republican Army.

The new stamp set showcasing Ireland's diverse society

The new stamp set issued on 3rd October showcases Ireland’s diverse society. In contrast to the black and white image on the stamp that marks 100 years of the Irish Volunteers, four new faces star in the collection that celebrates Ireland’s integrated society.

These faces are (clockwise, top left) Garda Dongdong Zheng from China, also a member of An Garda Síochána stationed in Swords, Nigerian native Sammy Akorede, a Luas Revenue Protection Officer, Anna Garciaz who is Polish and works in Marketing with Permanent TSB and hurling player Christian Tshibangu, a student at St. Colmcille’s SNS in Knocklyon.

An Post referenced the 2011 Census on the release of these new stamps, which indicated that there are almost 600,000 non-Irish nationals living in the country. Since this time, over 30,000 of these new Irish have been awarded Irish citizenship.

It also added that the influx of migrants has helped shape a more socially and culturally diverse society and along the way transformed Ireland into a more inclusive multicultural nation.

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