Among the hundreds of stamps recently added to PostBeeld’s Freestampcatalogue I discovered items that took me back to a previous article published on April 29th, 2014, entitled ‘Tin Can Mail’.
A wonderful lady, Betty Billingham, provided most of the information for the article and I thoroughly recommend a visit to her website, to not only read about her fascinating life history but also to view her photo gallery, as she is an extremely accomplished photographer.
The stamps below were issued in 1982 to celebrate Christmas and the Centenary of the Tin Can Mail.
While we’re on the subject, 2013 saw the issue of more Tin Can Mail commemoratives (see below)
Unfortunately Tin Can Mail was discontinued in 1983, when an airstrip was constructed and the service was taken over by airmail. Tonga then issued the stamps shown below to commemorate the inter-island service.
The island nation of Tonga consists of about 150 islands, 36 of which are inhabited. With a population of about 120,000, Tonga is ruled by a royal family that goes back to 1831.
The Heilala Festival celebrates the flowering of the heilala, Tonga’s national flower. But for many years, the Heilala Festival also coincided with the birthday celebrations for Tonga’s King George Tupou IV. Since the king’s death in 2006, the festival now includes the birthday of Crown Prince Tupouto’a Lavaka. The week-long Heilala Festival features many events, including a Miss Heilala Pageant, parades of floats, processions and music festivals. Reproduced below are 1991 Heilala Week stamps.
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