Stamps of the Year 1970
24 October 1970: 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Official First Day Cover
To mark the 25th anniversary of the United Nations (UN), a set of 2 stamps was issued. The UN is an intergovernmental organization, whose objective is to promote international cooperation and to create and maintain international order. The organization was established on 24 October 1945 after World War II with the aim of preventing another such conflict. When it was set up, the UN had 51 member states founding members. Today, there are 193 member countries.
7 April 1970: Mauritius Expo’70/ Osaka Official First Day Cover
Expo ’70 was a world’s fair held in Suita, Osaka, Japan, between March 15 and September 13, 1970. The theme of the Expo was “Progress and Harmony for Mankind.” Mauritius participated in the fair.
To mark this event, an official FDC was issued, using two stamps from the 1969 definite series on marine life. The two stamps, featuring a Blue Marlin and a Daurade, respectively, were overprinted with the words ‘Expo ’70 Osaka’.
2 May 1970: Lufthansa Inaugural Flight Mauritius-Frankfurt Official First Day Cover
An official first day cover was issued on 2 May 1970 to mark the German company Lufthansa’s inaugural flight from Frankfurt to Mauritius. This was a milestone in the tourism industry in Mauritius.
The two stamps illustrate the following:
- 20cs: A Lufthansa plane flying over the Morne Brabant mountain and hotel, in the south-west of the island;
- 50cs: A map of Mauritius in the background of a Lufthansa plane
The FDC illustrates the Morne Brabant mountain and the beach resort bearing the same time, a Lufthansa plane and the Coats of Arms of Mauritius.
A commemorative booklet was released by the Post Office
15 May 1970: Centenary of the Birth of Lenin Official First Day Cover
To mark the birth centenary of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, a set of two stamps were issued on 15 May 1970. Lenin was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. He was the head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924.
Under his administration, the Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Communist Party. Ideologically a Marxist, he developed political theories known as Leninism.
The two postage stamps illustrate statutes of Lenin as a school by on the 15cs stamp, and as the ‘founding father of the Soviet state, on the 75 cs stamp.
15 October 1970: Mauritius Port-Louis ‘Old and New’ Crown Agent Cover
An official FDC, with a set of 5 postage stamps, was issued on 15 October 1970 on the theme ‘Port-Louis: Old and New”. It illustrates the various transformations of Port-Louis, since the time of its creation by the French administration as the capital of Mauritius, to become a vibrant capital today.
The 5 stamps illustrate the following:
- 5cs stamp shows the old General Post Office building as it was before 1870. On the top left corner, the famous ‘Blue Penny’ stamp is shown;
- 15cs stamp shows the new General Post Office building since 1870, still in use today;
- 50cs stamp shows a horse carriage, which was used as mail coach in the 19th century;
- 75cs stamp is a view of the modern harbour of Port-Louis, as it was in 1970. It shows the docks, cargo ships and commercial buildings in the background;
- Rs. 2.50 stamps shows Port-Louis harbour as it was when Suffren arrived in 1783, in contrast with the modern harbour shown on the 75cs stamp.
A souvenir sheet was also issued on the same theme, with the same 5 stamps. An additional stamp without a value shows a map of Mauritius, illustrating the geographic location of Port-Louis, the capital and harbour, situated in the North West, and Plaisance, the location of the airport, in the South-East of the island.
15 October 1970: Mauritius Port-Louis ‘Old and New’: Souvenir Sheet
Stamps of the Year 1971
12 April 1971: Tourist Official First Day Cover
On 12th April 1971, a set of 4 postage stamps was issued on the theme ‘tourist’.
It features 4 postage stamps which display various assets of Mauritius as a tourism destination:
- 10 cs : shows a landscape scenery, with a waterfall with a rainbow;
- 15 cs: features another inland scenery of ordinary lifestyle at the time, showing women carrying wood on their heads, crossing a bridge surrounded by sugar cane fields, with montagne Trois Mamelles in the background;
- 60 cs: shows a beach scene, with tourists on the beach, ready to go for a boat trip in the lagoon; and
- Rs. 2.50: shows marine life under water, with small coloured fish and corals.
3 October 1971: Plaisance Civil Airport 25th Anniversary Official First Day Cover
In 1971, to mark the silver jubilee of the construction of Plaisance civil airport, a set of 4 postage stamps was issues. The first day cover enveloppe illustrated Mauritius as a crossroad for the Indian Ocean, through the various stop-overs covered by flights that came to Mauritius at that time. It also showed a picture of the airport and Air France planes, which was the first international airplane to come to Mauritius. The Rs. 2.50 stamp illustrated the first airstrip in Mon Choisy in the North, prior to the opening of Plaisance airport and the Potez 43, which was used to link Mauritius to Reunion Island.
2 November 1971: Mauritius Third Commonwealth Medical Conference Official First Day Cover
The third Commonwealth Medical Conference was held in Mauritius in November 1971. To mark this occasion, an official FDC, with a set of two postage stamps were issued.
The two stamps show the following:
- 10cs stamp illustrates Princess Margaret orthopaedic centre at Victoria Hospital, Candos;
- 75cs stamp shows an operation theatre at SSR national hospital in Pamplemousses.
The envelope illustrates the SSR National Hospital situated in the North of the island in the district and village of Pamplemousses.
Stamps of the Year 1972
24 March 1972: Royal Visit to Mauritius, Official First Day Cover
5 June 1972: 1st African Insurance Conference, 5 – 9 June 1972, Special Cover
26 June 1972: 150th Anniversary of Port-Louis Theatre, Official First Day Cover
17 November 1972: Pirates and Privateers, Official First Day Cover
During the seven years war (1756-1763) Napoleonic wars between France and England, “Isle de France” became a base from which French corsairs, enlisted by the French East India company, organised successful raids on British commercial ships. The raids continued until 1810 when a strong British expedition was sent to capture the island.
In 1972, a series of 4 postage stamps was released to illustrate some of the most famous pirates and privateers that operated in the Indian Ocean and notably in Isle de France.
- The 15cs stamp features a pirate dhow entering the river Tamarin;
- The 60 cs stamp shows an image of a hypothetical treasure excavated in Mauritius;
- The R. 1 stamp features Francois Thomas Le Même and his ship Hirondelle, which he armed for privateering during the Napoleonic war and from which he successfully attacked and captured 2 British vessels, which he brought back to Isle de France; and
- The Rs. 2.50 features Robert Surcouf.
Stamps of Year 1973
10 April 1973: 5th Anniversary of Independence, Official First Day Cover
A set of 3 postage stamps was issued to mark the 5th anniversary of independence on 12 March 1973.
On the three stamps:
- 15cs: features the University of Mauritius;
- 60cs: represents Tea Board building, one of the main agricultural sectors in the 1970s; and
- Re. 1.: represents the Bank of Mauritius. The stamps include a picture of Sir. S. Ramgoolam on the top right hand side.
25 April 1973: OCAM Conference, Official First Day Cover
21 May 1973: FUEL Inauguration of Union Flacq Post Office, Special Cover
20 November 1973: 25th Anniversary of the World Health Organisation, Official First Day Cover
27 November 1973: World Meteorological Organisation Centenary, Official First Day Cover
May 1973: S.A.I.L Special Cover
Stamps of the Year 1974
21 March 1974: Bicentenary of the Birth of Robert Surcouf, Official First Day Cover
Robert Surcouf was a particularly famous privateer (or corsaire). He operated in the Indian Ocean between 1789 and 1801, and again from 1807 to 1808 and captured over 40 prizes. He became very rich as a ship-owner. In January 1814, he became a colonel in the National Guard of Saint-Malo. A stamp was issued in 1973 to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Surcouf. The stamp shows the capture of a 40-gun British vessel Kent by Surcouf onboard his 18-gun brig Confiance, which made him famous.
18 April 1974: Bicentenary of the Death of P. Commerson, Official First Day Cover
8 September 1974: Sri Swami Sivananda Jubilee Spiritual Mission, Special Cover
23 October 1974: 8th FAO Regional Conference on Africa, Official First Day Cover
4 December 1974: Centenary of the Universal Postal Union, Official First Day Cover
Stamps of the Year 1975
6 March 1975: Artistic Aspects of Mauritian Life, Official First Day Cover
5 December 1975: International Women’s Year, Official First Day Cover
Stamps of Year 1976
26 February 1976: Drought in Africa, Official First Day Cover
2 July 1976: Port Louis Harbour, Official First Day Cover
A set of 5 postage stamps was issued on 2 July 1976 picturing 5 vessels which play an important role in Mauritius.
- A 10cs stamps shows the Pierre Loti, a mailing vessel part of Messageries Maritimes (together with 3 other vessels: Ferdinand de Lesseps; Labourdonnais and Jean Laborde). The ships were routed from Marseille, to Port-Said, Djibouti, Mombassa, Dar es Salaam, Majunga, Nosy Be, Diego Suarez, Tamatave, Reunion and Mauritius;
- A 15cs stamp featuring the Secunder, 1907, the former iron 3-masted screw steamship Ardengorm, built by Ramage and Ferguson, at Leith, in 1881.
- A 50cs stamp, featuring the Hindoustan, a steamship, which entered into service between India and Suez in 1842. It’s route was extended to Singapore 2 years later
- A 60cs stamp features the St Géran sailing in 1740;
- Rs. 2.50 shows the Maen, which was the vessel of which the first Dutch Governor, Gooyer, reached the shores of Mauritius on 7 May 1638.
2 July 1976: Port-Louis Harbour, Special Cover
2 July 1976: Port-Louis Harbour: Souvenir Sheet
28 August 1976: Second Hindi Convention, First Day of Issue
22 September 1976: 22nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference, Official First Day Cover
15 December 1976: Moenjodaro Pakistan, Official First Day Cover
Stamps of the Year 1977
20 January 1977: 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, Official First Day Cover
7 February 1977: Queen Elizabeth Coronation Silver Jubilee, Official First Day Cover
On 7th February 1977, Mauritius Post Issued an Official First Day Cover to mark the silver jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II coronation. It was celebrated with large-scale parties and parades throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth throughout 1977, culminating in June with the official “Jubilee Days”, held to coincide with the Queen’s Official Birthday. The anniversary date itself was commemorated in church services across the land on 6 February 1977, and continued throughout the month.
This cover comprises of 3 stamps of 50cs; 75cs and Rs. 5. This series of stamps was part of an omnibus series across the Commonwealth.
This commemoration led to a number of private and commemorative covers, illustrated below:
(i) The Queen’s Silver Jubilee, the Westminster Collectors’ Society
(ii) Official Commemorative Stamps of Mauritius Honouring the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II
(iii) 1952 Silver Jubilee 1977, Special Cover
(iv) Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee – 1952 – 1977, Special Cover
22 September 1977: Mauritius Flowers’ Issue, Official First Day Cover
On 22 September 1977, the GPO released the first indigenous flowers set, comprising of 4 postage stamps, namely (i) 20cs, showing the “laine à crochet” or Hugonia Tomentaso, a woody endemic climber with beautiful hairy leaves. Its golden flowers appear usually in September/ October; (ii) R. 1.00 showing Bois Jasmin or Ochnacea, an endemic deciduous shrub which flowers copiously in December/ January. The white flowers, which usually appears before the leaves give a very attractive blossom to the forest of the plateau; (iii) Rs. 1.50 shows Dombeya (Dombeya Acutangula Sterculianceae), a very rare indigenous rather spreding shrub which gives a nice round shape. It has pink flowers in bifid cymes which covers the plant completely, giving it a splendid colourful appearance; (iv) Rs. 5, showing the Boucle d’oreille (Trochetia Blackbumiana Sterulianceae), a low level endemic shrub, which grows on the plateau. It flowers rather profusely and in some varieties they may be straitions on the pink petals. The rather large pendulous flowers are bell shaped and look similar to earings, hence the common name “boucle d’oreille”. It is referred as the national flower of Mauritius.
A Miniature sheet was also issued:
31 October 1977: Air Mauritius International Inaugural Flight, Official First Day Cover
To mark Air Mauritius international inaugural flights, an official first day cover and a miniature sheet were released on 31 October 1977. Four stamps included a 25 cs stamp, a 50 cs and a 75 cs stamp, all showing the twin otter planes. The Rs. 5 stamp represented a Boeing 707, which left for the first time for London on 31 October 1977. The emblem of Air Mauritius is the red-tailed tropical bird (Paille en queue), which is also featured on the 50cs stamp.
A souvenir sheet was also issued on that occasion.
31 October 1977: Air Mauritius International Inaugural Flight: Souvenir Sheet
Stamps of the Year 1978
12 March 1978: Mauritius New Definitive Stamp Issue – 1 – Official First Day Cover
This definitive issue stands out as being the only set released during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II that does not not depict Mauritian nature. This set of 20 postage stamps was issued on 12 March 1978 to mark the 10th anniversary of Independence and is therefore a combination of a commemorative and a definitive issue. The stamps illustrate some of the main events in the history of Mauritius from its discovery to independence.
Four covers were issued with five postage stamps each. The first cover illustrates the following:
- 35cs illustrates the Official Act of Sovereignty by the French, who took possession of the island on 1715, renamed Isle de France. This demonstrates the strategic importance of Mauritius;
- 50cs depicts Port-Louis, which was built around 1736 under the directions of Governor Mahé de Labourdonnais;
- 60cs pictures Pierre Poivre, one of the key figures of Mauritian history. He was responsible for the introduction of a variety of spices and created the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden;
- 70cs is a map of Mauritius, drawn by the astronomer and geographer Abbé de la Caille, who made a detailed survey of Mauritius and his observations were introduced in a amp of 1763;
- Rs. 15 depicts the independence celebrations on 12 March 1968. On that day, the Mauritius flag unfurled for the first time.
12 March 1978: Mauritius New Definitive Stamp Issue – 2 – Official First Day Cover
The second cover includes 5 stamps:
- Rs. 1.25 which shows the ball of Lady Gomm and one of the celebrated first day covers of the Post Office issue;
- Rs 1.50 showing the Indian indentured labourers, who arrived in 1834 after the abolition of slavery;
- Rs. 2 shows horse racing brought in by the British. The Mauritius Turf Club organised the first race in 1812;
- Rs. 3 represents the Place d’Armes, opposite the Government House, the main square in Port-Louis. It was originally the training site of the military corps.
- Rs. 5 marking the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, who visited Mauritius in 1901. A souvenir postcard was issued on that occasion.
12 March 1978: Mauritius New Definitive Stamp Issue – 3 – Official First Day Cover
This third cover shows the following stamps:
- 75cs, which shows the first coin minted in silver in 1810;
- 90cs, showing a scene of Battle of Grand Port. Mauritius had become a hub for French corsairs who were frustrating the British commercial interests in the Indian Ocean. In 1810, the British forces attacked Mauritius but were defeated in the Battle of Grand Port;
- Re. 1 shows the landing of the British on 29 November 1840, following the Battle of Grand Port;
- Rs. 1.20 depicts a view of Government House during the British period around 1840.
- Rs. 10 depicts the Royal College of Curepipe, one of the most prestigious schools in Mauritius
12 March 1978: Mauritius New Definitive Stamp Issue – 4 – Official First Day Cover
This fourth cover has the following stamps:
- 10cs pictures a Portuguese map from 1519. Although Arab sailors knew the location of Mauritius, this Portuguese map is the earliest accurate record of the island. The Portuguese called the island Ilha do Cerne;
- 15cs shows the first settlement in Mauritius. The Dutch visited the island in 1598 and called it Mauritius after their Prince Mauritz Van Nassau;
- 20cs is a detailed Dutch map dating from around 1700, during the time the island was occupied by the Dutch;
- 25cs is Rodrigues, when it was first settled in 1698 by Francois Leguat. The stamp shows a plate of the book of Leguat’s account;
- Rs 25 depicts the first Governor of Mauritius, Sir Abdool Raman Mohamed Osman (on the left) and the first Prime Minister of Mauritius, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam.
A booklet was issued with the 20 stamps relating the history of Mauritius
12 March 1978: Mauritius Definitive Series – The History of Mauritius on Stamps – Booklet
11 May 1978: 25th Anniversary of the Coronation of H.M Queen Elizabeth II, Official First Day Cover
11 May 1978: 25th Anniversary of the Coronation of H.M Queen Elizabeth II, Souvenir Sheet
11 May 1978: 25th Anniversary of the Coronation of H.M Queen Elizabeth II, Sheet cover
A special commemorative cover was also issued to mark the event
3 August 1978: 50th Anniversary of the Discovery of Penicillin
3 August 1978: 50th Anniversary of the Discovery of Penicillin, Souvenir sheet
21 September 1978: Mauritius Wildlife, Official First Day Cover
21 September 1978: Mauritius Wildlife, World Wildlife Fund: Souvenir Sheet
21 September 1978: Mauritius Wildlife, World Wildlife Fund First Day Cover 1
21 September 1978: Mauritius Wildlife, World Wildlife Fund First Day Cover 2
21 September 1978: Mauritius Wildlife, World Wildlife Fund First Day Cover 3
21 September 1978: Mauritius Wildlife, World Wildlife Fund First Day Cover 4
21 December 1978: 200th Anniversary of the Reconstruction of Chateau Le Reduit, Official First Day Cover
On 21 December 1978, the GPO released a set of 3 postage stamps and a booklet to mark the 200th anniversary of the reconstruction of Chateau Le Réduit.
1 December 1978: 200th Anniversary of the Reconstruction of Chateau Reduit, Booklet
15 December 1978: 30th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Special Cover
27 December 1978: Mauritius Commercial Bank: 140th Anniversary, Special Commemorative Cover
To mark the 140th anniversary of the Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd, a special commemorative cover was issued. The Mauritius Commercial Bank’s history started on September 1, 1838 when Governor Sir William Nicolay proclaimed the establishment of ‘La Banque Commerciale de l’îsle Maurice’ in Port Louis. The bank was an initiative by a group of traders of the capital, headed by Mr. James Blyth and Mr. William Hollier Griffiths, who wanted to establish an alternative to the Bank of Mauritius, which they felt favoured the planters on the island. The bank started business with an authorised capital of 100,000 pounds sterling, around 500,000 piastres, in premises situated at rue de Paris, subsequently rue Desforges, now Sir Seewoosagur Street.
In 1839, Her Majesty Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter to the newly established bank under the name of ‘The Mauritius Commercial Bank’ (MCB). The British government renewed the charter every twenty years until 18 August 1955 when the Bank became a limited liability company. In 1949, Lloyds Bank became a shareholder. In 1955, MCB became a limited liability company. At this point MCB became the first bank to set up branches in rural locations: Mahébourg in 1955, Flacq in 1958, Triolet in 1959, and Goodlands in 1963. Other branches followed. In 1960, MCB bank moved to the current location of its headquarters at Sir William Newton Street.
Stamps of the Year 1979
1 February 1979: Mauritius Locomotives, Official First Day Cover
A set of 4 postage stamps was issued on 1 February 1979 on the theme “steam locomotives” of Mauritius.
The stamps feature the following:
- 20cs: a cane carrier used in sugar cane fields for the transportation of cane to the factory. It is a diesel Whitcomb 65HP locomotive, made in the US. It was brought to Mauritius in 1949 by Beau-Champ Sugar Estate only to be used in cane fields;
- Re. 1: a steam cane carrier made in the early 1920 by Orenstein and Koppell A.G in Berlin, Germany. It was imported by Beau-Champ in 1922 and was named “Sir William”, in honour of the owner of the factory, Sir William Garthwaite. The tow other stamps picture locomotives at the service of Mauritius Government Railways;
- Rs. 1.50: the Kitson & co. locomotive of which four went into service in 1930; and
- Rs. 2: one of the 3 Beyer – Peacock Garrats introduced in 1927. The Garrats were powerful locomotives completely unsuited to Mauritius conditions and the 1928 Railway Commission recommended that they be sold off or returned to the UK. However they remained in service until the end.
A miniature sheet was also released on the same theme:
1 February 1979: Mauritius Locomotives: Souvenir Sheet
1 February 1979: Mauritius Locomotives, Special issue – stamps from all countries
30 April 1979: Beatification of Father J. D Laval, Apostle of Mauritius, Official First Day Cover
30 April 1979: Beatification of Father J. D Laval, Apostle of Mauritius: Souvenir Sheet
30 April 1979: Beatification of Father J. D Laval, Apostle of Mauritius, Sheet Cover
1979: In Commemoration of the Apollo 11 Landing on the Moon
25 July 1979: International Bureau Education Jubilee Special Cover
29 August 1979: Sir Rowland Hill, Inventor of the Adhesive Postage Stamp and Great Postal Reformer, Official First Day Cover
To mark the death centenary of Sir Rowland Hill, a set of 3 postage stamps and a miniature sheet were issued on 29 August 1979. Sir Rowland Hill was an English teacher, inventor and social reformer. He campaigned for a comprehensive reform of the postal system, based on the concept of Uniform Penny Post and his solution of prepayment, facilitating the safe, speedy and cheap transfer of letters. Hill later served as a government postal official. He is known for being the founding father of the modern postal service, including the invention of the adhesive postage stamp.
The three stamps featured on the first day cover illustrate various stamps issued in Mauritius, including the famous “penny red” featured on the Rs. 5 stamp.
A souvenir sheet was also issued, illustrating the ‘blue penny’, one of the rarest, most famous and most expensive Mauritian stamps.
29 August 1979: Sir Rowland Hill, Inventor of the Adhesive Postage Stamp and Great Postal Reformer: Souvenir Sheet
The souvenir sheet was also mounted on an official FDC, as illustrated below.
29 August 1979: Sir Rowland Hill, Inventor of the Adhesive Postage Stamp and Great Postal Reformer, Sheet Cover
A few special commemorative and private covers were also issued on that occasion. Two such covers are illustrated below.
(i) 29 August 1979: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamp 1840 – 1940, First Day Cover, unofficial
(ii) 29 August 1979: Sir Rowland Hill, Inventor of the Adhesive Postage Stamp and Great Postal Reformer, The Heritage of Postal History, unofficial
11 October 1979: International Year of the Child, Official First Day Cover
11 October 1979: International Year of the Child – special cover Children’s stamps help children in need
11 October 1979: International Year of the Child, Special Cover
11 October 1979: International Year of the Child, stamps sheet
11 October 1979: Mauritius: The Archbishop’s Wonderful Mule – World greatest fairy tales
28 November 1979: President’s African Goodwill Conference, 27 Nov – 3 December 1979 Mauritius – Special Commemorative Cover