As a stamp collector, I find, it is most interesting hobby and educative tool for learning about stamps, its issuing countries and their people, their history, science and geography. History of the world can be learnt through the process of collecting stamps as it depicts from the kings and queens to present day democratic leaders and famous persons. The first the two penny black and the two penny blue stamps were released by Britain in 1840 with the picture of Queen Victoria. Since then the famous institutional famous persons from Kings and Emperors of England and many other Countries to John F Kennedy President of USA and Jawaharlal Nehru first Prime Minister of India have been featured on stamps of many countries. Institutional personality category thematic stamps on khadi cotton Dhoti clad Mahatma Gandhi and blue bordered coarse cotton white sari clad Mother Teresa are most popular stamps issued by many countries and collected by many people worldwide. The first commemorative stamp first day cover and portraying The Mother by India was released on 27 August 1980. A literature sheet was also published on her life events.
Mother Teresa was Albanian Roman Catholic nun and missionary and was born in Skopje then part of Kosovo Vilayet in Ottoman Empire on 26th August 1910. She came to India on 6th January 1929 as a teacher at Calcutta. She was enlightened with Devine command on 10th September 1946 while travelling to Darjeeling on train and therefore left teaching and plunged into bustling in Calcutta for the care of the poorest of the poor. She founded Missionaries of Charity at Calcutta on 7th October 1950 which in course of time spread into worldwide order with 1800 nuns 250 brothers and thousands lay coworkers in the service of the sick and the poor in 30 countries. Leprosarium, Children home, Havens for woman, the handicapped and the Calcutta had more than 1000 nuns servicing in 60 centers and more than 200 worldwide centers including Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Jordan, Venezuela, Great Britain and Australia.
She was awarded The Padam Shri Award and The Magsaysay Award in 1962, She received The Pope John XXIII peace Prize in 1971, The John F Kennedy International Award in 1971 The Jawaharlal Nehru Award for international Understanding in 1972 and Order of St Francis Of Assisi in 1974.She was further awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1979 for her and her associates noble work in the service of suffering people worldwide.
In the honor of the Mother many countries of the world including USA, Britain, San Marino and India depicted her magical portrait on stamps for the daily use and on special stamps, covers, booklets miniature and souvenir sheets.
The Vatican City will release a special commemorative stamp on mother Teresa on the grand occasion of her canonization. India and many other countries of the world will also bring out attracting stamp on the occasion in honor paying tribute to the great work done by her and her associates for the mankind.
Collectors around the world are delighted and eagerly waiting for adding the stamps of the great personality of the Mother in their album pages for the new stamps issued on the day of her canonization the 4th September.
I was attracted to the saintly persona of Mother Teresa and her humanitarian activities when I first visited her centre at Doranda when I first joined my postal department in 1962 in Hinoo Post Office in the western side of the BPM ground and in front of the forest office. Present day the Post offices have upgraded to Doranda head Post Office. It further attracted me when I constructed a small house at Bajra Bariatu Village where her centre Radha rani was functioning.
So far I remember, she was first living Indian on whom postage stamp was portrayed in 1980
Collecting topical thematic stamp and making a good attractive a page from the Mother`s stamps the saint of the gutters the mother is popularly known. Mother Teresa will be declared a saint by the Vatican on September 4. Her magnetic charm exists even decades after her death and it is reflected on the stamp from all over the world that includes Argentina, Macedonia, Germany and Austria Apart from stamps, Indian Government had released two coins during her birth centenary with face value of Rs 100 and Rs 5. The Postal department on the occasion brought out a 45 rupees speed post souvenir sheet in 1997 as well as first day covers, postcards and brochure in 1980 when Nobel Prize on her was presented to The Mother the saint of Gutter as called by local people.
The stamp collection is unexpectedly popular all over the world and the collectors who are popularly called philatelists are collecting stamps issued world over that are of their choice. The choice is the topical or thematic collection. There are wider subject that depicts on the stamps by countries showing their peoples and wildlife to animals birds butterflies fish aircraft cars railways ships space craft travels games and sports.
People started collecting stamps almost immediately the first stamp was issued by Britain in 1840.
The first collection in the world was made by a young lady in England who wanted to decorate her dressing room wall with wall paper when she received a stamp affixed envelope, found the stamp very attractive portraying queen Victoria, she advertized in papers for the used up stamps and in return received a large number of used stamps. She decorated her wall and the dressing table beautifully. This inspired many people towards the stamps collection and used them in the manner they thought suitable. Gradually, it becomes famous and most popular. In course of time when collection attracted serious persons like French Austrian aristocrat Philip von Ferrari during 1850 and 1917 who assembled the stamp collection. And many men who followed him called the assembled stamp a game of hobby at the beginning of 20th century.
Several European Monarch King George V of United King Dom and King Carol II of Romania were serious stamp collectors. King George V possessed most important stamp collection and was president of the Royal Philatelic Society. Queen Elizabeth II was not very serious stamp collector but she entered into control of a good stock of collection of British and commonwealth stamps and first day covers as the stocks of King George v were passed on her.
The 32nd President of the United States of America, Franklin Delanco Roosevelt was very serious stamp collector. He designed several American commemorative stamps. Pandit Jwahar lal Nehru was also very fond of stamp collection and an enthusiastic collector. He said the stamps are messengers of democracy and a bridge between him and the people.