Stamps from Year 2000
25 January 2000: 150th Anniversary Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Official First Day Cover
The first day cover illustrates the facade of the seat of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) on Royal Street, Port-Louis. A set of 4 triangular postage stamps were issues to mark the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the MCCI.
The set consists of 4 stamps of the following denominations:
- Re. 1: The Coats of Arms of the MCCI, granted in 1975 and officially awarded in 1979. The Chamber’s moto, which appears on the Coats of Arms is ‘Non nobis, sed patriae’, which means ‘Not for ourselves, but for our motherland’. The blue and yellow colours symbolise trust, confidence and optimism;
- The Rs. 2 stamp represents new technologies and the perception of the Chamber for the future (i.e. vision, service and cohesion);
- The Rs. 7 stamp shows a painting of the first Secretary of the Chamber, Mr. Francis Channell; and
- The Rs. 15 stamp features a painting of Mr. Louis Léchelle, first President of the Chamber (and first Mayor of Port-Louis).
29 March 2000: Mauritius Insects (Beetles), Official First Day Cover
The Mauritius Postal Services issued a set of four postage stamps on insects in the natural history series. Th exact number of species is not known with certitude, but in the last compilation of species for the Mascarene Islands (which dates back to 1967), 1165 species, most of which were found in Mauritius. The species on this FDC are endemic to Mauritius and records mention about 30 unique species that can be found on the island, although most of them are difficult to find and therefore endangered.
The set comprises of the following denominations:
- Re. 1: A beetle cratopus striga. It is a stout-bodied black insect, with a narrow pure-white band of scales across the case of the elytra (thickened forewings);
- Rs. 2: Cratopus armatus, a beetle having a navicular body. It is dark with a narrow stripe of orange scales running laterally along the edge of the elytra;
- Rs. 3: Cratopus chrysochlorus, an insect with a fusiform body with narrow median stripe of white scales on the head, a uniform dark thorax and an elytra covered with scales having a striking blue-green-gold iridescence;
- Rs. 15: cartopus nigrogranatus, which has an elongated body with brilliant green and coppery scales with shiny black granules between them.
The FDC illustrates the Cratopus flavomaculatus, whose body is covered with a striking yellow on black pattern, resulting from patches of yellow scales on a black derm.
29 March 2000: Mauritius insects (beetles) – Souvenir sheet
This souvenir sheet illustrates the same four insects as in the FDC above.
29 March 2000: Mauritius Insects (Beetles), Miniature Sheet Cover
28 June 2000: Olympics Games, Sydney 2000, Official First Day Cover
A set of four postage stamps were issued to mark the Games of the XXVII Olympiad in Sydney, Australia from 15 September to 1st October 2000.
The set consists of 4 denominations, all olympic disciplines, namely:
- Re. 1 – Handball, a sport growing in popularity in Mauritius;
- Rs. 2 – Archery, formally launched in Mauritius in 1992. Mauritius had qualified for the Sydney games;
- Rs. 5 – Sailing – competitions are regularly organised in Mauritius in various parts of the island;
- Rs. 15 – Judo – the sport is widely practiced in Mauritius by both men and women at all levels. The Fédération Mauricienne de Judo was registered in 1974.
The FDC illustrates a discus thrower.
Air Mauritius Special cover marking the Games of the XXVIIth Olympiad
26 June 2000: 150th anniversary of the Anglican Diocese of Port Louis, Special Cover
On 26 June 2000, a Special Commemorative Cover was issued to mark the 150th anniversary of the Anglican Diocese in Mauritius. The Anglican diocese was established in 1854 but since 1810 communities of faith were formed as the first Anglican missionaries were keen and deeply committed to proclaim the Good News of Lord Jesus Christ to the freed slaves and the indentured labourers who had come from India. The civil Church was established when the first Civil Chaplain, Revd Henry Shepherd was appointed on 6 May 1812. This was followed by the consecration of the first Bishop of Mauritius in 1854 and the incorporation of the Anglican Diocese of Mauritius in 1973 by Parliament. Today there are 17 parishes.
18 September 2000: Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation, Official First Day Cover
A set of four stamps was issued to commemorate the Birth Centenary of Sir Sewoosagur Ramgoolam, one of the most illustrious sons of the country. Known as the ‘Father of the Nation’, SSR has, throughout his political career been closely associated with the emancipation of the people of Mauritius and has led the struggle to Independence.
He became the first Premier when Mauritius obtained self-government in 1965 and was the first Prime Minister of Mauritius at Independence on 12 March 1968. He became Governor General in 1983 until his demise in 1985. He also inspired free health, free education, liberal labour laws, national pension and many other social, cultural and economic activities.
The stamps show various aspects of his career:
- Re. 1 – The stamp portrays SSR welcoming Mother Theresa during her visit to Mauritius in 1984;
- Rs. 2 – At the general elections of 1948, SSR was elected for the first time as a member of the Labour Party. The stamp shows SSR with a red garland thanking the voters for their confidence;
- Rs. 5 – the stamps depicts SSR as a young student in London; and
- Rs. 15 – the stamp features SSR when he became Prime Minister in 1968 after independence. His signature is also shown on the stamp.
9 October 2000: Fishes of Mauritius – Definitive Series Part I – Official First Day Cover
A set of 12 definitive postage stamps on fishes of Mauritius were issued to replace the definitive set on the Protection of the Environment. Three sets of first day covers, with 4 stamps each, 3 souvenir sheets with 4 stamps each and Souvenir Sheets on 3 FDCs were issued.
The above envelope consists of 4 stamps:
- Rs. 4 – Ange/ Centropyge debelius – commonly known as angelfish;
- Rs. 7 Chirurgien/ Acanthurus leucosternon – a brightly coloured surgeonfish ;
- Rs. 8 – Laffe volant/ Pterois volitans – a distinctive scorpionfish, with venomous pelvic fins; and
- Rs. 10 – Anguille/ Siderea grisea – often seen in shallow waters this moray eel has short rounded teeth adapted for preys like crabs and shrimps.
9 October 2000: Fishes of Mauritius: Souvenir sheet I
This souvenir sheet pictures the same four fishes described in the Definitive series 1
9 October 2000: Fishes of Mauritius – Definitive Series Part II – Official First Day Cover
This cover depicts a set of 4 fish.
The stamps show the following:
- Rs. 3 – Capitaine/ lethrinus nebulosus – it is an important specie in Mauritius and is largely consumed;
- Rs. 5 Débouetteur/ Amphiphrion chrysogaster – this anemone fish capture their food and deter predators by using stinging cells on their tentacles;
- Rs. 6 – Pavillon/ Forcipiger flavissimus – a brightly coloured butterflyfish;
- Rs. 15 Requin/ carcharhinus wheeleri, a sleek grey reef shark, found only in the Western Indian Ocean
9 October 2000: Fishes of Mauritius: Souvenir Sheet II
This souvenir sheet pictures the same four fishes described in the Definitive series II
9 October 2000: Fishes of Mauritius – Definitive Series Part III – Official First Day Cover
This cover depicts 4 stamps.
The set depicts the following:
- 50 cs. Cateau/ scarus ghobban, the local name given to parrotfish;
- Re. 1 – Vielle/ Cephalopholis sonnerati, a member of the grouper and seabass family;
- Rs. 2. Licorne/ Naso brevirostris – the unicorn fish are members of the surgeonfish family;
- Rs. 25 – Voilier/ Istiophorus platypterus – like other billfishes (a group that includes marlins and swordfish), the voilier is a popular gamefish.
9 October 2000: Fishes of Mauritius – Souvenir sheet III
This souvenir sheet pictures the same four fishes described in the Definitive series III
9 October 2000: Fishes of Mauritius – Definitive Series – Miniature sheet Cover 1
9 October 2000: Fishes of Mauritius – Definitive Series – Miniature sheet Cover 2
9 October 2000: Fishes of Mauritius – Definitive Series – Miniature sheet Cover 3
13 December 2000: Mauritius Personalities, Official First Day Cover
A set of four commemorative postage stamps was issued to highlight the contribution of four Mauritian personalities in the field of commerce, culture, health and labour rights.
The set consists of:
- Re. 1 – Affan Tank Wen (1842 – 1900), a Chinese immigrant, who arrived in Mauritius on 31 October 1861. He worked as a shop assistant but is mostly remembered for his philanthropic activities. He was elected a member of the Electoral Reform Commission, spearheaded the construction of the Chinese Pagoda, contributed financially to the creation of a plague hospital in Port-Louis;
- Rs. 5 – Alfonse Ravaton, also known as Ti Frère (1900 – 1992), one of the most popular musician and singer of the traditional folk song, the sega tipik. Ti Frère’s popularity grew as the Sega began to make inroads into the different social classes in Mauritius;
- Rs. 7 – Dr. Idrice Goumany (1859 – 1889). He was one of the few students of Indian origin to be admitted to the Royal College to pursue his secondary education, after which he went to Scotland to study medicine. Dr Goumany established his surgery at his home, and particularly to relieve his fellow countrymen struck by smallpox epidemic. In 1889, he took a challenge refused by all other fellow doctors, to take charge of the lazaret at Pointe aux Cannoniers, despite the risks. Two and half months later, the himself contracted the disease and passed away;
- Rs. 9 – Anjay Coopen – a labour martyr who died of rifle shots at Belle Vue Harel during an industrial action in 1943, while pregnant. She fought with many other labourers to improve the working conditions on sugar estates. She symbolises the countless, anonymous sugar cane labourers who helped to build the country.
Stamps of year 2001
10 January 2001: Textile Industry – Mauritius, Official First Day Cover
A set of 4 postage stamps were issued to highlight the contribution of the textile industry and its thousands of workers in the economic development of Mauritius.
The set comprises stamps of :
- Re. 1, showing a finished pullover, which is machine-knitted and has been designed by local qualified designers and stylists. Mauritius is one of the leading world exporters of pullovers, mainly to Europe and US;
- Rs. 3 shows a computed aided machinery, used to design, cut and produce patters for high value products;
- Rs. 6 depicts a t-shirt folding machine, with a capacity of 400 t-shirts per hour;
- Rs. 10 shows an embroidery machine, with a capacity of 800 stitches per minute. The number of points required for a t-shirt ranges from 20,000 to 30,000 stitches.
1 February 2001: End of Slavery and Indentured Labour, Official First Day Cover
A commemorative postage stamp was issued to mark the abolition of slavery and the termination of indentured labour.
The stamp value is of Rs. 7. Slave trade was brought to Mauritius by Dutch settlers (1598) from East Indies and Madagascar for the development of the Colony. The French settlers (arrived in 1710) brought more slaves from the West and East Coasts of Africa. Slave trade continued to flourish but in the face of mounting opposition against slavery and the condition of slaves on plantation, in 1792 a motion was tabled in British Parliament to gradually abolish slavery. In 1808, slave trade was prohibited.
In 1810, when the British took possession of the island, slave trade became illegal. Slaves were however not liberated until 1835. Indentured labourers were brought in from India to replace slaves on cane plantation. The first main inflow arrived in 1834 and was discontinued in 1909. The stamp symbolises the hope engendered in Mauritians of African and Indian origin through the abolition of slavery and termination of indentured labour. The two figures emerge from darkness of servitude to the light of freedom and the steps they are climbing symbolise the difficulties endured.
21 March 2001: Trees of Mauritius, Official First Day Cover
Four postage stamps in the Natural History series were issued to depict the trees of Mauritius.
They consist of:
- Re. 1 – Bois puant/ foetidia mauritiana. The tree is endemic to Mauritius and derives its name from ‘bois puant’ because of the strong fetid smell of its oil;
- Rs. 3 – Bois d’Ebene/ Diospyros tessellaria is one of the twelve endemic species of ebony found in Mauritius. The bark is black and the wood is used to manufacture musical instruments and furniture;
- Rs. 5 – Mangliers de Hauts/ Sideroxylon puberulum is an endemic tree common in the forest of the Mauritius plateau. The wood is strong and rot proof;
- Rs. 15 – Bois d’éponge/ Gastonia mauritiana is a rare endemic tree which grows along the coastal regions.
The FDC illustrates Mathurina penduliflora a threatened endemic tree from Rodrigues.
13 June 2001: Bicentenaire de l’Expédition Baudin, Official First Day Cover
In 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul, commissioned Post-Captain Nicolas Baudin, to explore the South West, West and Northern coastline of New Holland (today Australia). As the observations were to be conducted in the fields of geography and natural history, the leading ship was names Géographe, and its consort vessel, Naturaliste. A third vessel was called Casuarina.
The expedition sailed on 19 October 1800 from the French port of LE Havre and reached Isle de France on 16th March 1801. When the expedition sailed again on 25th April, a number of scientists stayed on the island. On its way back to France in 1803, the expedition called again at Isle de France.
The FDC is composed of 4 denominations:
- Re. 1 portrays the two ships Géographe and Naturaliste;
- Rs. 4 depicts the route taken by the ships on their inward and outward journeys, and portrays Baudin (who died in Port-Louis in Sep 1803);
- Rs. 6 features an indigenous bird of Mauritius, brought back by the expedition;
- Rs. 10 depicts the title page of a book written by François Péron (a zoologist and historian) and a portrait of Péron. The first volume of the book, titled “Historique du voyage de découvertes aux Terres Australes” appeared in 1807.
The FDC features an engraving by J. Milbert showing the estate of Madame Querivel, where Baudin died.
12 September 2001: Achievements in the 20th Century, Official First Day Cover
A second set of postage stamps on the theme “Achievements of the 20th Century” was issued on 12 Sep. 2001.
The set comprises stamps of :
- Rs. 2, which portrays students during a training session at the Hotel School of Mauritius, set up in 1971 to provide the tourism industry with highly trained personnel;
- Rs. 3, showing a red hot steel bar coming out of a furnace. The steel bar industry played an important role in the building of infrastructure, following independence;
- The Rs. 6 stamp portrays a solar energy plant at North Island in Agalega. It was set up in April 1998 to provide energy to 10 houses;
- Rs. 10 stamp portrays the logo of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation. The Association comprises 19 member states, and aims to promote the interests of Indian Ocean states and to cooperate in various fields. The Secretariat is based in Mauritius.
The FDC illustration is an interior view of the Port-Louis Theatre.
20 September 2001: 400th Anniversary of Dutch Landing in Rodrigues, Special Commemorative Cover
A Special Commemorative Cover was issued by the Mauritius Philatelic Society to mark the 400th Anniversary of Dutch Landing in Rodrigues on 20th September 1601, when a fleet under Admiral Harmansen approached from the East. Boats from the Gardien were lowered in an attempt to find a pass into the lagoon. One of the boats found a way through in the north and collected water, fruit and birds.
The Dutch never formally took possession or occupied Rodrigues, although a group of sailors were marooned on the island during the visit of their ship in 1644. After waiting several months these sailors braved the open ocean in their small, open cutter.
2 October 2001: Centenary of Gandhi’s Visit to Mauritius 1901 – 2001, Official First Day Cover
One postage stamp was issued on 2 October 2001 to mark the centenary of the visit of Mahatma Gandhi to Mauritius in 1901. Travelling from Durban, South Africa to Bombay, Gandhi arrived in Mauritius on 29 October 1901 on board S. S Nowshera, a steamer of the British India Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.
Gandhi stayed in Port-Louis until 15 November 1901 and was the guest of an indian trader, Mr. Ahmed Goolam Mohamed. The visit of Gandhi had beneficial effects on the Indian community. Back to India, he sent Manilall Doctor to Mauritius, a barrister, to look after the welfare of the Indian community.
The Rs. 15 stamp is a ‘stamp on stamp’ issue. It portrays the Re. 1 issued in 1969 to mark the centenary of the Birth of Gandhi.
5 December 2001: Métiers Traditionnels, Official First Day Cover
A set of four postage stamps were issued on the theme “Métiers traditionnels”. The set depicts the different stages of production of coconut oil in Agalega, an island situated 1000 km to the north of Mauritius.
The set comprises of :
- Re. 1 stamp picturing the dehusking of coconuts by a worker, which consists of removing the nut from the fibrous enveloppe. This is done by means of a special heavy spear;
- Rs. 5 shows the process of deshelling of coconuts;
- Rs. 6 stamp showing employees looking after the drying of copra in the kiln. The coconut flesh is brought for dying. The latter contains 30 – 40% oil, while the dried one contains 60 – 70% oil;
- Rs. 10 stamps, showing the machine used for oil extraction. The copra is crushed in a bronze pestle and the oil is pressed out through a filtering sieve. The solid residue (pounac) is used as livestock feeds.
The FDC illustrates the picking of coconuts.
Stamps of the Year 2002
12 March 2002: 10th Anniversary of the Republic of Mauritius, Official First Day Cover
The Postal Services issued a set of four commemorative stamps to mark the 10th Anniversary of the accession of Mauritius to the status of Republic.
The theme chosen for the commemorative issue portrays 4 stamps:
- Re. 1 relates to the development of Port-Louis as a regional hub of the Indian Ocean for trade, warehousing and distribution. The stamp shows the three quay cranes installed in Port-Louis;
- Rs. 4 is a composition showing the use of informational technology in the stock market;
- Rs. 5 stamp features the construction of the Midlands Dam, which is mainly used for the irrigation of the northern planes;
- Rs. 9 stamp portrays the roundabout at Réduit, a major point of exchange for traffic from the centre of the island.
The FDC illustrates the President’s flag.
15 April 2002: 30th Anniversary of diplomatic relations Mauritius – China, Special Commemorative Cover
This special commemorative cover was issued to mark the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Mauritius. It is a joint issue – illustrating a stamps of Mauritius and a stamps of China, cancelled with each country’s national emblem (the Dodo for Mauritius and the Panda bear for China).
6 June 2002: Inauguration of the SAT3/WASC/SAFE Submarine Fibre Optics Cable System, Special Cover
On 6th June 2002, the SAFE Submarine Fibre Optic Cable System, which is a submarine communication cable linking Melkbosstrand, South Africa to Penang, Malaysia, was inaugurated. It was commissioned in 2002 covers a total length of 13,104 kilometres (8,142 mi). It has landing points at:
- Melkbosstrand, near Cape Town, South Africa (where it meets the SAT-2 and SAT-3 cable systems)
- Mtunzini, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
- Saint Paul, Réunion
- Baie du Jacotet, Savanne, Mauritius
- Kochi, India (where it meets the SEA-ME-WE 3 cable system)
- Penang, Malaysia (where it meets the FLAG and SEA-ME-WE 3 cable systems)
A Special cover was issued on that occasion.
12 June 2002: Mauritius Cicadas, Official First Day Cover
A set of four postage stamps on the theme of ‘cicadas’ was issued on 12 June 2002 and a souvenir sheet, with the same set of stamps. Cicadas are medium-sized insects common to tropical and sub-tropical regions. They have a 3-stage life cycle: eggs, nymphs and adults.
The set depicts:
- Re. 1 stamp, a ‘abricta brunnea’ a specie occurring in Mauritius and Reunion, common found on filao trees. The adult is rich brown in colour with burgundy markings;
- Rs. 6 stamps is a ‘fractuosella darwini’ a medium-sized green cicada endemic only to Mauritius. Its natural habitat is mainly upland forested zones;
- Rs. 7 shows a distantade thomaseti, the largest of all Mascarenes cicadas, endemic to Rodrigues only where it is found over the whole island;
- Rs. 8, a dinarobia claudeae, a specie natural to Mauritius only. Its habitat is restricted to moist upland forest such as the Macchabée forest.
The FDC illustrates a nymph.
12 June 2002: Mauritius Cicadas, Souvenir Sheet
This souvenir sheet pictures the same four cicadas as described above in the FDC.
12 June 2002: Mauritius Cicadas, Sheet Cover
This sheet cover shows the souvenir sheet, with the 4 postage stamps described above.
10 July 2002: Monetisation of Agalela and Opening of Post Office, Special Commemorative Cover
13 July 2002: Special Cover to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Incorporation of Ireland Blyth Limited on 14 July 1972
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Ireland Blyth Ltd, created in 1972 from the fusion of two companies, Blyth Brothers & Co. and Ireland Fraser & Co. Ltd, a special cover was issued. Today IBL is one of the most important companies in the Mauritian economic landscape and is engaged in a number of activities.
13 September 2002: Mauritius Philatelic Society Stamp Exhibition 13 – 22 September 2002, Special Commemorative Cover
A special commemorative cover was published by the Mauritius Philatelic Society on the occasion of a stamp exhibition from 13 – 22 September 2002 at the Mauritius Institute in Port-Louis.
18 September 2002: Maps of the South West Indian Ocean, Official First Day Cover
The use of maps spans the centuries, from the early symbols sketched on clay tablets in Mesopotamia to the computer maps of today, made from data supplied from satellites.
This set of postage stamps released on 18 September 2002, depicts 4 maps of the South West Indian Ocean are those of :
- Re. 1 – Alberto Cantino, from 1502, a Portuguese cartographer. On this map, Mauritius is identified as Dina Arobi;
- Rs. 3 – map by Jorge Reinel from 1520, another Portuguese cartographer. It is considered as the earliest and most accurate map of Mauritius of that period;
- Rs. 4, a map by Diogo Ribiero, a Portuguese cartographer and royal cosmographer. This map provided the most accurate delineation of the explored world;
- Rs. 10 – a map by Gerard Mercator, a flemish geographer best known for the map projection that bears his name, and still used today by navigators. His most influential works, the 1569 map of the world (pictured on the stamp) and the Atlas, a collection of maps he designed and engraved.
12 October 2002: Autonomy of Rodrigues Regional Assembly, Swearing in ceremony, special cover
The Mauritius Philatelic Society issued a special commemorative cover to mark the Autonomy of Rodrigues Regional Assembly. This event was an important political landmark for the Island of Rodrigues, which is part of the Republic of Mauritius.
The Rodrigues Regional Assembly Bill was voted unanimously on 20 November 2001 where Rodrigues was given the status of autonomous. The first local elections were held on 29 September 2002 to put in place a local government. A swearing in ceremony was held on 12 October 2002. This cover marks the swearing in ceremony.
18 December 2002: Constellations, Official First Day Cover
On 18 December 2002, a set of stamps was issued on the theme ‘Constellations’, groups of fixed stars whose outlines are traditionally regarding as forming particular figures. In 1929, the International Astronomical Union adopted official constellation boundaries that defined 88 official constellations that exist today.
The set depicts :
- Re. 1 – Orion, the hunter is considered as the most spectacular constellation in the sky. It is the most easily recognised of all constellations and lies near the milky way;
- Rs. 7 – Sagittarius, together with Scorpius lie in the heart of the Milky Way itself providing vistas which are unparalleled in grandeur and diversity. Sagittarius can be found by following the Milky Way in summer down the southern horizon;
- Rs. 8 – Scorpius a very old constellation, noticed by the earliest Mesopotamian civilization 5000 years ago. Known as the big S, it is one of the rare constellations representing the name in design;
- Rs. 9 – Crux – the Southern Cross, is the most familiar constellation in the southern hemisphere and is the smallest. It was rediscovered in the 16th century and was an important clock from which they could calculate their present time.
Stamps of the Year 2003
15 January 2003: AGOA 2nd US-SSA Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, Mauritius, Official First Day Cover
A set of two stamps was issued to mark the hosting of the 2nd US – Sub-Saharan Africa Africa Growth and Opportunity Act Conference in Mauritius in January 2003. AGOA is a US initiative, to give preferential access to products from eligible African countries to the US market. Countries are offered duty free quota free access to the US for a number of products.
23 February 2003: Last Day of Business of Mauritius Postal Services as a Government Department, Special cover
On 28 February 2003, a Special Cover was issued by the Mauritius Philatelic Society to mark the last day of business of Mauritius Postal Services as a Government Department. The service was privatised into Mauritius Post Limited.
19 March 2003: Echo Parakeet, Official First Day Cover
On 19 March 2003, a set of 4 postage stamps showing echo parakeets was issued. The echo parakeet endemic only to Mauritius was very common in the 18th and 19th century, but gradually disappeared, as was close to extinction.
The stamps depicts on:
- Re. 1 denomination a chick;
- Rs. 2 denomination a fledging;
- Rs. 5 denomination a female and
- Rs. 15 denomination a male.
19 March 2003: Echo Parakeet – World Wide Fund for Nature, Official First Day Cover 1
Once, one of the world’s rarest parrot, the Echo parakeet has been a major cause of concern to conservationists. With the support of the Wildlife Preservation Trust in 1987, a full scale programme was launched to carry out captive breeding to save the specie. This set of 4 enveloppes have been published by WWF, along with the set of 4 postcards .
19 March 2003: Echo Parakeet – World Wide Fund for Nature, Official First Day Cover 2
19 March 2003: Echo Parakeet – World Wide Fund for Nature, Official First Day Cover 3
19 March 2003: Echo Parakeet – World Wide Fund for Nature, Official First Day Cover 4
19 March 2003: Echo Parakeet – World Wide Fund for Nature, Special Coin Cover
19 March 2003: Echo Parakeet – World Wide Fund for Nature, Postcard 1
19 March 2003: Echo Parakeet – World Wide Fund for Nature, Postcard 2
18 June 2003: Trochetia, Official First Day Cover
On 18 June 2003, a set of 4 postage stamps was issued featuring the Trochetia, an endemic plant to the Mascarene consisting of 6 species, out of which 5 are found in Mauritius and 1 in Reunion. All species bear a single hermaphrodite white, pink or reddish flowers, which are either single or clustered bunch of three flowers.
The four stamps feature each a variety of the Trochetia found on the island.
- Re. 1 depicts the Trochetia boutoniana, a magnificient shrub with reddish orange flowers, found in the region of Brabant Mountain, and considered as critically endangered;
- Rs 4 stamp shows a trochetia uniflora, a well branched shrub which bears multiple dark pink, bell shape flowers. They can be found around Trois Mamelles mountain, Le Pouce and Letard mountain and is an endangered specie;
- Rs. 7 stamp features a trochetia triflora, grouped as white bell shaped flowers, in clusters of three;
- Rs. 9 features a trochetia parviflora an endangered endemic shrub, bearing a pale pink bell shaped flower facing upward. It is now confined exclusively to Corps de Garde Mountain Nature reserve.
A set of 4 postcards was also released.
18 June 2003: Trochetia, Postcards 1
18 June 2003: Trochetia, Postcards 2
20 August 2003: Anniversaries and Events 2003, Mauritius Official First Day Cover
This set of four postage stamps in the Anniversaries and Events series is dedicated to a local event, an eminent person and to 2 local institutions.
The stamps show:
- Rs. 2 stamp depicts the official logo of the 6th Island Games of the Indian Ocean held in Mauritius and Rodrigues from 29 August and 7 September 2003. The official logo shows a wave in the form of the numeral six and a starfish. The mascot is Momo the Dolphin;
- Rs. 6 celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture, founded in 1853 to promote the strategic role of agriculture in Mauritius;
- Rs. 9 commemorates the visit of Abbé de la Caille in 1753 to observe an eclipse of the sun. He was an astronomer, a member of the French Academie des sciences, who calculated the precise distance between the earth and the moon. He also conducted a detailed survey of the island, which was used to draw the first precise may of Isle de France;
- Rs. 10 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute, set up a 1953 to promote technical progress of the industry through research and investigation.
29 August 2003: 6eme Jeux des Iles de l’Ocean Indien, Special Cover
On the occasion of the 6th Indian Ocean games, held from 29 August – 7 September 2003, a special cover was issued. The games were held in Mauritius.
29 August 2003: 6eme Jeux des Iles de l’Ocean Indien, Special Cover (Rodrigues)
2 October 2003: Golden Jubilee of the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute, Special Commemorative cover
A Special Commemorative Cover was issued on 2 October 2003 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute.
12 October 2003: 1st Anniversary of Autonomy of Rodrigues, Special cover, Mauritius Philatelic Society
15 November 2003: 150th Anniversary of the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture, Special commemorative cover
Founded on 16th November 1853, the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture has, through its 150 years of existence, played a significant role in the agricultural and socio-economic development of the country. The Chamber, conscious of its strategic importance in the national economy, has shaped a number of initiatives aimed at providing the agricultural sector with sound and permanent structures.
This has enabled it to respond positively to numerous challenges. Globalisation and liberalisation of trade, emergence of new technologies, modern agricultural practices and greater concern for the environment are some of the challenges facing the sector. The mission of the MCA is to ensure that Mauritian agriculture adapts to this new order while maintaining active populations in rural areas and to ensure an adequate level of food security.
10 December 2003: Mauritius Fortifications, Official First Day Cover
Mauritius is strategically positioned on trade routes to the East. This has caused the island to be occupied successively by the Dutch, the French and the British. To protect the island from potential invaders, a number of forts were built during colonial times. The last era of fortifications in Mauritius were built during the Second World War where several important forts were upgraded in order to repel a possible German or Japanese invasion.
The set of 4 stamps depict the following:
- Rs. 2 represents battery of Point du Diable, constructed by the French in 1750 to control access to the bay of Mahebourg from the North was a very strategic defence for the east coast.
- Rs. 5 shows the Donjon St Louis, another French fort, built on the summit of a fortified hillock in Grand River North West (GRNW). The Donjon is composed of 3 series of parapets with a post at the highest point of the hill. From this point, three coastal batteries at Anjou, Conti and Condé could be alerted in case of attack;
- Rs. 6 pictures Martello Tower, which was built of cut basalt stone with unique double mountings of artillery on the gun platform. Five Martello towers were built between 1832 and 1835 at GRNW, Black River and Port-Louis. Of the 3 remaining towers, the one at La Preneuse, Black River is now ranked as one of the finest in the world;
- Rs. 12 shows Fort Adelaide, named in honour of the wife of William IV was built between 1834 and 1840 on the small hill, Petite Montagne, overlooking Port-Louis. Known as the Citadelle, it was designed by Colonel Cunningham, and built by convicts from India and Mauritius as well as free creoles.
Stamps of the Year 2004
27 February 2004: 20th Anniversary of the Indian Ocean Commission (Unofficial cover)
The Indian Ocean Commission in a an intergovernmental organization that links African Indian Ocean nations: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (an overseas region of France), and Seychelles. There are also five observers: China, India, the Sovereign Order of Malta, the European Union, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
The commission was created in 1982 in Port-Louis, Mauritius, and institutionalised in 1984. The secretariat is based in Mauritius.
A stamp, with the logo of the Indian Ocean Commission, on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the IOC but no official or commemorative cover was issued. Seychelles and Madagascar issued similar stamps. This cover is a private cover issued by the Mauritius Philatelic Society.
11 March 2004: Mountains of Mauritius, Official First Day Cover
The mountains of Mauritius are what remains of the immense volcanoes, whose summits have exploded or have imploded millions of years ago. They are of relatively modest height. There are over 30 mountain ranges and mountains as well as hills and hillocks in Mauritius, varying in height from the 101 meters Forbach Hill to the Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire which at 828 metres, the tallest mountain.
The stamps show the following :
- Rs. 2 represents le Pouce, named after the thumb given its shape. It is very popular among hikers and is 811 mts high.
- Rs. 7 is the Corps de Garde, which ressembles a figure with an impressive nose, lying down, on sentry duty. It overlooks Quatre-Bornes and Rose-Hill. Its highest point is 720 mts.
- Rs. 8 shows Le Chat et la Souris – the peak of Le Chat et la Souris as the name conjures, bears a strange ressemblance to a cat subjugating a rat. It is found in Grand Port Range;
- Rs. 25 is Piton du Milieu, as the name implies, simply squats in the centre of the island. The
FDC is illustrated with a map of Mauritius showing the location of the mountains.
24 March 2004: MS Bremen Visit to Port Mathurin, Rodrigues, Special Cover
24 April 2004: The Mothers’ Union: 80 Years Serving the Family, Special Cover
8 June 2004: Transit de Venus – Ile Maurice et Rodrigues
This commemorative enveloppe was issued to mark the Transit of Venus, an astronomical event, in which Venus crosses the path the sun’s and the earth’s orbit. It occurs in pairs every 122 years with an interval of 8 years between each passage. The last cycle was in 1874 and 1882.
The cover depicts an allegoric representation of the Transit. Three stamps, from the Constellation issue were used for this commemorative cover. They are the most prominent constellations observed during the austral winter.
The enveloppe was franked at Port-Mathurin, Rodrigues, with a special cachet showing Pointe Venus where Transit observations were made in the past.
30 June 2004: Petits Métiers, Official First Day Cover
On 30 June 2004, the Postal Services issued a second set of stamps on the theme ‘petits metiers’, carried out by generations of Mauritians.
The stamps depict the following:
- Rs. 2 stamp depicts a “ferblantier” (tinsmith), a craft that has evolved to adapt to changing times. Its continuity was guaranteed for its large clientele by craftsmen coming from the same families. They produced a wide range of metal utensils such as watering cans, braziers, buckets, paraffin boxes and letterboxes;
- Rs. 7 depicts a ‘cordonnier’ (a cobbler), who repairs and replaces worn soles and heels, very rapidly and at low cost;
- Rs. 9 shows a ‘forgeron’ (a blacksmith), now a slowly disappearing craft. They produced a range of rough, robust and cheap tools such as hoes, axe-heads, chisels, spikes etc;
- Rs. 15 depicts a ‘vannier’ (a basket maker), where baskets, table mats, straw hats, bags or cases were weaved from sun-dried leaves and fibres from local plants such as coconut, aloe or vacoas.
16 August 2004: 24th SADC Summit, 16 – 17 August 2004, Mauritius, Official First Day Cover
A set of two stamps was issued on 16 Aug 2004 to mark the 24th SADC Summit, held in Mauritius on 16 – 17 August 2004. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a regional organisation, of which Mauritius is a member. The aim of SADC is to promote sustainable and equitable economic development in the region.
The stamps depict themes common to all SADC countries – education and the development and use of information technology. The stamps show the logo of the SADC, the Cyber Tower and IT training sessions.
20 August 2004: Alliance Francaise Exposition 2004, Rodrigues, Special Cover
The Rodrigues branch of Alliance Francaise held an exhibition from 20 August to 3 September 2004 to promote its activities. On that occasion, the Mauritius Philatelic Society issued a special commemorative cover.
24 August 2004: 175th anniversary of the Royal Society of Arts and Science of Mauritius, Special Cover
Une enveloppe commémorative a été émise pour marquer les 175 ans de la Société Royale d’Arts et Sciences de l’ile Maurice. Charles Telfair et Julien Desjardins fondent en 1829 :« La Société d’Arts et Sciences de l’Ile Maurice», dont le célèbre scientifique français Georges Cuvier en est le premier patron. Association qui dix-huit ans plus tard est décrétée: « Royale » par la reine Victoria. A partir de ce moment l’organisation est connue comme: La Société Royale des Arts et des Sciences de l’Île Maurice.
12 October 2004: 2nd Anniversary of Rodrigues Regional Assembly, Official First Day Cover
Rodrigues Island is an integral part of the Mauritian territory. Recognising the specificities of Rodrigues and the need to decentralise, the National Assembly voted unanimously on 20 November 2001, the Acts which granted autonomy to the island. On 12 October 2002, the Rodrigues Regional Assembly (RRA) was established.
This set of 4 stamps mark the 2nd anniversary of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly:
- Rs. 2 shows Plain Corail Airport, which was extended in 2001 – 2002 to respond to the growing demand. The new passenger terminal was inaugurated in October 2003;
- Rs. 7 shows Eco Tourism – tourism is an important economic sector in Rodrigues and the RRA advocated the development of eco-tourism, to protect the environment and preserve its authenticity;
- Rs. 8 shows agricultural products, important for the economy in Rodrigues. Key products include honey, chillies, beans and lemons;
- Rs .10 shows the Coats of Ams of Rodrigues, with the moto “travail, solidarité, fierté”, testimony of the pride of the Rodriguan people to live in an autonomous island. On the Coat of Arms, the following can be observed: “Le Solitaire” and “La Fauvette” birds, products of Rodrigues, namely maize, fish and basketry with the sea and sun in the background. La Résidence, a colonial house, was constructed in 1893 as the official residence of the Island Commissioners.
The FDC illustrates the birds on Ile aux Coco, a bird sanctuary.
12 October 2004: Rodrigues Regional Assembly, Special Cover
1 December 2004: Mauritius Anthurium, Official First Day Cover
On 1 December 2004, a set of 4 stamps were issued on the theme “Anthuriums”, a perennial herbaceous plant, originating from South America. It was introduced in Mauritius in the 19th Century from Europe. The plant is cultivated for it lasting flowers. The first exports of anthuriums began in 1968. The four varieties pictured on the cover are of Dutch origin, mainly cultivated for the export market.
Stamps of the Year 2005
10 January 2005: SIDS Mauritius Special Cover
From 10 – 14 January 2005, Mauritius hosted the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) conference, a United Nations Conference to support small island states. On that occasion, a Special Cover was released on 10 January 2005. The three stamps present on this special cover from part of the 12 stamps from the Definitive series of Fishes in Mauritius.
18 March 2005: Mauritius Round Island, Official First Day Cover
The Mauritius Post issued a set of four postage stamps in the “Nature” series o depict endemic fauna and flora of Round Island, a volcanic cone, and the second largest offshore islet of Mauritius. Round Island was classified as a nature reserve in 1957 and is administered by the National Parks and Conservation Services.
Stamps show the following:
- Rs. 2 stamp shows a juvenile keel scale boa. There are 8 endemic reptile species on the island;
- Rs. 8 shows a hurricane Palm, a critically endangered plant, with only one surviving individual on the island. The island has 10 endemic palm species;
- Rs. 9 shows the Round island Petrel, an endemic specie;
- Rs. 25 show a mazambron plant, an endemic plant classified as rare. It is traditionally used as a medicinal plant.
The FDC depicts an aerial view of the island.
14 July 2005: Postal Services, Official First Day Cover
7 September 2005: Mauritius College Golden Jubilee, Special Commemorative Cover
The Mauritius College was founded in 1955 by late Jay Narain Roy and his wife Roheenee Roy. It is located in Curepipe and has a school population of 2500 students and a staff of 160. The College has enjoyed the rare privilege of sharing an uplifting experience with 2 generations, often from the same family.
Mrs. Roy was the first Indo-Mauritian woman to obtain the primary schools scholarship in 1929, subsequently completing her Matriculation and Intermediate. She was the Principale of the Girls Department until 1986.
Mr. Roy was a writer, pioneer trade unionist alongside Emmanuel Anquetil and promoted Hindi language in Mauritius. He was among the select group of parliamentarians elected in 1948. He was the Manager Principal of the college until 1978.
5 October 2005: Bicentenary of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Special Commemorative cover
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is situated at Dr. Hassen Sakir Str. in Plaines Verte, Port-Louis. It is an important landmark in the rich religious cultural journey of Mauritius. It was founded in 1805. To mark this special event, a special commemorative cover was issued, featuring 3 stamps of the trochetia series.
At the end of the 18th century, Indian labour of muslim faith brought to Mauritius by French colonial masters, petitioned the French government for the concession of a plot of land on which to build a mosque. Governor Decaen signed a deed of concession in 1805 and soon after, the construction of a small edifice started. It became the hub of islamic activity for the region. The mosque has been known by various names throughout history, namely Eastern Suburb Mosque, Camp des Lascars Mosque, Ti Masjid and finally Al Aqsa Mosque. Of the original, only a wall and the Mihrab has survived to date.
9 October 2005: Mauritius Stone Buildings, Official First Day Cover
The theme of this 3rd commemorative issue of 2005 is “stone buildings”.
It depicts 3 buildings, which are part of the national monuments of Mauritius.
- Rs. 2 stamp pictures the vagrant depot, found in Grand River North West. It was opened in 1864 to receive Indian indentured labourers who were condemned as vagrants under the vagrancy laws.
- Rs. 7 stamp sows the Postal Museum in Port-Louis, located next to the harbour. It was formerly known as the Civil Hospital of Port-Louis and was constructed between March 1854 and December 1862 under Governor Higgindon. It was converted into the Post Office Headquarters in the 1970s.
- Rs. 16 stamp shows the Carnegie Library, located in Curepipe. Its construction started in 1917, thanks to a donation of the Carnegie Foundation of New York. It was opened in January 1920. The library is famous for its manuscripts, original letters from popular figures such as Mahé de Labourdonnais, Prosper D’Epinay; Matthew Flinders.
The FDC shows the central arch and the original and unique clock of the famous General Post-Office made of basalt stone blocks in the traditional architecture of the mid-Victorian Era.
17 October 2005: Stamps The Colonial Period 1847 – 1968, Special Commemorative Cover
This special commemorative cover was issued by the Mauritius Philatelic Society on the occasion of a stamp exhibition on the theme ‘the colonial period’ in October 2005.
24 December 2005: Ship Models, Official First Day Cover
This fourth and last issue of postage stamps for 2005 highlight a very important aspect of the tourism industry in Mauritius: the production and sales of reduced ship models. Mauritian artisans have a high quality workmanship and have gained a wide reputation in this sphere.
The set comprises of 4 stamps; one souvenir sheet; and a set of 5 postcards (representing each of the ships pictured on the stamps.
- Rs. 7 stamp shows a 100 gun warship, built at the end of the 17th century, one of the most decorated in the world, a tribute to Louis IV, the “Roi Soleil”;
- Rs. 8 stamps represents a sampan. The Chinese had reached such a state of perfection in their shipbuilding technique already 2000 years ago. It was revolutionary in two aspects: the stern hung rudder, which was used centuries before the Europeans; and the sail made of small sections of cloth stiffened by light bamboo battens;
- Rs. 9 shows a Roman Galley, used by the roman empire to ensure the domination of the whole mediterranean sea;
- Rs. 16 stamp shows a drakkar, a viking long ship decorated with fearsome dragon’s, snake’s or lion’s head, which was detachable. The vikings believed that they should not enter their home shores with these heads so as not to offend the spirits protecting their tribes.
25 December 2005: Ship Models: Souvenir sheet
The souvenir sheet illustrates craftsmen at work in their workshops.
24 December 2005: Ship Models, Postcards 1 and 2
24 December 2005: Ship Models, Postcards 3 and 4
24 December 2005: Ship Models, Postcards 5
Stamps of the Year 2006
25 January 2006: Opening of Waterfront Post Office, Port Louis, Official Special Cover
To mark the re-opening of counter services at the ex-General Post Office (GPO) on 25 January 2006, a special cover was issued with 2 postage stamps of Rs. 2 and Rs. 7, depicting an automated counter services and sorting of mails respectively. The cover portrays the General Post Office building, located next to Port-Louis harbour. The GPO building was vacated in 2004 to allow preliminary works for the conversion of the building into the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture. The building was however restituted to GPO in 2005. A philatelic counter was opened at the left wing of the GPO building.
4 February 2006: Mauritius Bicentenary of Mahebourg 1806 – 2006, Official First Day Cover
In the 18th Century the military establishment of Isle de France was located at Port Sud-Est. However, the region faced several challenges, such as lack of running water, difficult access from the sea, and heaving flooding, coming from the mountain slope, during the rainy season that affected the plantation. There were several request to transfer the military establishment to La Pointe de la Colonie, but which met with successive refusals, due to the high costs that would incur. The arrival of Governor Decaen in 1803 finally helped the transfer. In 1806, an order was signed for the creation of “Mahé-Bourg” for the establishment of the new military post, but also official buildings, a church and houses.
This set of four postage stamps commemorates the bicentenary of the creation of Mahebourg. For postcards were also issued. They feature 4 particular places and events:
- Rs. 2 stamp illustrates the old African-style market, now demolished, and the new one with elegant pastel shades and slender pillars.
- Rs. 7 depicts regattas, old and new, a very particular feature of the seaside village. This activity was created to draw popular attention to Mahebourg in the 19th century, at the time where it was losing some of its attraction in favour of inland towns.
- Rs. 8 stamp shows the picturesque lavoir or washing place, one of the rare specimen of the kind to be still in use. Dating from the french period, it is situated close to Riviere La Chaux. The iron rings fixed in the cut stones remind us that horses were tied, while washing was being done.
- Rs. 16 features the Pointe des Régates. This is the place where boat racing started. The two pictures also shows “Montagne Lion” in the background and the “monument aux morts” on the left, inaugurated in 1899 in memory of the sailors that died during the Grand Port battle in 1810.
The FDC shows extracts from the Order of the transfer of settlement of Port Sud-Est to La Pointe de la Colonie and also shows the legend of the plan of Richemond, which dated 1805.
4 February 2006: Souvenir sheet Bicentenary of Mahebourg
The souvenir sheet shows the portraits of François Mahé de Labourdonnais (left) and of Isidore Decaen respectively, to recall the greatness of the French Governor whose name was given to the newly build village and the gratitude to the one who gave this consent to create Mahebourg.
4 February 2006: Mauritius Bicentenary of Mahebourg 1806 – 2006, Postcards 1
4 February 2006: Mauritius Bicentenary of Mahebourg 1806 – 2006, Postcards 2
4 February 2006: Mauritius Bicentenary of Mahebourg 1806 – 2006, Postcards 3
2 March 2006: 50th Years of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LICI)
Life Insurance Corporation of India is an Indian state-owned insurance and investment corporation. It was founded on September 1, 1956, when the Parliament of India passed the Life Insurance of India Act that nationalized the insurance industry in India. Headquarted in Mumbai, India, it has a branch in Port-Louis Mauritius.
A Special cover was issued to mark the golden jubilee of the company on 2 March 2006.
1 April 2006: Birth Centenary of Prof. Basdeo Bissoondoyal, Official First Day Cover
The Postal Services issued a stamp of Rs. 10 on 15 April 2006 to commemorate the birth centenary of Professor Basdeo Bissoondoyal, an eminent personality in the field of education and in particular for the hindu community in Mauritius. He was a scholar, a leader, a preacher and a reformer of the Hindu society. The FDC shows a pile of books written by Prof. Bissoondoyal.
9 June 2006: Mauritius Ecology, Official First Day Cover
A set of 4 postage stamps was issued on 9 June 2006 on Ecology to mark the Environment Day.
The set comprises of:
- Rs. 2 biological control of locust predation in 1763 to protect food crops from red locusts. In 1761, a flock of mynahs (commonly known as “martin”, after the Captain of the vessel who brought in the bird) was introduced from Pondichery, India. After a quarantine of 2 years, the birds were released. They were so successful in controlling locusts that the French intendant of the island, Pierre Poivre, enacted laws in 1768 and 1770 to protect them.
- Rs. 8 : fish repopulation – artificial reefs in 1980. Artificial reefs have always been used for fishermen to increase their catch. Since 1980, the Mauritius Marin Conservation Society, the Mauritius Scuba Diving Association, the National Coast Guard and the Mauritius Marine Authority have created such artificial reefs by sinking 14 vessels around Mauritius, in depth of 12 to 73 meters of water. Over the years, the wrecks have also been used for diving.
- Rs 10 – erosion control: terraces in Rodrigues were developed since 1958 by the Agricultural Department. Terraces are used to fight erosion and to make arable land available to a maximum number of families. This method helped to increase the food crops as well as livestocks.
- Rs. 25 shows the first captive breeding of giant tortoises in 1881, following worrying decline of the species around the world. Tortoises from Aldabra were successfully transferred to Mauritius in 1881 to Pamplemousses Garden and the Seychelles. Today, Aldabra tortoise is no longer in danger.
The FDC illustrated the Environment Protection Act 2002 and the envelope is made of recycled paper.
1 August 2006: Birth Centenary of Sir Abdul Razack Mohamed, Special Commemorative Cover
This Special Commemorative Cover was issued on 1 August 2006 to commemorate the birth centenary of Sir Abdul Razak Mohamed. Born in India on 1 Aug. 1906, Sir A. R. Mohamed came to Mauritius at the age of 22 years to settle as a businessman. Once settled, he was very much engaged with the business community and in political affairs, especially prior to independence. His activities also extended to social services: generously, he provided financial support to needy students, widows and orphans and contributed to set up a number of charitable institutions.
He played a significant role in 1945 and 1947 Consultative Committees, set up to advise on the constitution of Mauritius. His main contributions to the Constitution include a Bill of Rights; political safeguards; a 60-member elected assembly; a quota of seat for each main section of the population; and the setting up of an Ombudsman. During his political career, he served as a Municipal Counsellor, Mayor and Senior Minister. He passed away on 8 May 1978.
The two stamps are respectively Rs. 7 and Rs. 8 stamps of the ship models and anthurium, symbolising the mode of travelling and the generous nature of this great patriot.
18 September 2006: 106th Birth Anniversary of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, Special Commemorative Cover
This Special Commemorative Cover, cancelled with a special cachet was issued to commemorate the 106th birth anniversary of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the first Prime Minister of Mauritius. His political career between 1942 and 1982 was closely associated with the emancipation of the Mauritian people and the struggle for independence. As a Prime Minister, he inspired free health care, free education, national pensions, amongst others.
The FDC illustrates a portrait of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and the steps of the Apravasi Ghat, which is now part of the UNESCO world heritage.
9 October 2006: Mauritius Non Marine Crabs, Official First Day Cover
The coastal waters around Mauritius abound with hundreds of species of crabs. However, on the mainland there are only four species of non-marine crabs, that is those that spend most of their lives either on land or in freshwater. While all the four species spend most of their lives on land or in freshwater, the berried females head towards the sea to release their eggs.
In the nature series, a set of 4 stamps issued to feature these non-marine species:
- Rs. 2 represents a Tourloulou or trouloulou crab (cardisoma carnifex). It is a large land crab with a body size up to 100mm, which lives in deep burrows on the landward edge of mangroves, salt marshes and beaches, and further inland. It is a nocturnal scavenger and can often be seen crossing roads in coastal regions at night;
- Rs. 7 land crab (geograpsus grayi). This crab is found from the Western Indian Ocean to the Central Pacific region and is common in Mauritius. This is a medium size crab with a body of up to 36 mm. During the day, it can be found under longs and rocks in vegetated areas around the coast and up to about 500 metres inland. It frequently invades people’s houses in coastal areas. It is a scavenger and forages mostly at night;
- Rs. 8 – freshwater crabs (varuna litterata). Its rare in Mauritius where it occurs in freshwater rivers and streams such as Rivière des Anguilles. It can live both in the sea and in freshwater. It has a medium size body of up to 56 mm.
- Rs. 25 – coconut crab: Birgus latro. This species locally known as crab cipaye is extinct in Mauritius, rate and endangered in Agalega and common in the Chagos. This is the largest of all terrestrial crabs can can reach 60 cm in length and weighs up to 4 kg. It forages mostly at night, feeding on plants, including coconuts and scavenges on dead animals. Its common name stems from the fact that it can climb coconut palms and cut down the coconuts.
The FDC portrays a berried female crab.
30 October 2006: Retour des Géantes à Rodrigues – François Leguat, Special Cover
On 30 October 2006, giant tortoises were re-introduced on Rodrigues Island.
30 October 2006: Re-introduction of Tortoise in Rodrigues – Aldabra giant tortoise, Special cover
7 December 2006: Mauritius Traditional Games, Official First Day Cover
Mauritius has a multi-cultural population and its traditional games are derived from everyday life and reflect the cultures from which they originated. Technological innovations have greatly influenced the history of children’s game and as a result, some games are becoming less popular and are losing their entertainment values. Sapsiwaye, marbles, hopscotch and kite flying were particularly popular age-old games.
To preserve their entertainment values, and help adults recall their childhood memories, a set of 4 postage stamps was issued on 7 dec. 2006.
- Rs 5 illustrates a traditional game originating from China called sapsiwye. It is not well known to the present generation, but was very popular among boys. The game consists of juggling a ‘sapsiwye’ with one foot only and as many times as possible, without letting it fall down. Early versions were made of cock feathers tied with a rubber band. Later on, cock feathers were replaced by wild grass;
- Rs. 10 represents marble games, which dates back to the Romans (as far back as 3000 b.c). The ones played in Mauritius, commonly known as “canettes”, are mostly made of glass. The object of the marble is to roll, throw, drop or knuckle marbles against an opponent’s marbles, often to knock them out of a prescribed area.
- Rs. 15 shows the hopscotch, commonly known as “la marelle”, is a hopping game that can be played on a bare patch of a ground or on a floor. It is based on an idea of not treading on lines. The game was introduced by the French. Chalks were used to draw the hopscotch pattern and each player has a stone, a bean, a shell or a bottlecap;
- Rs. 25 shows kite playing, a game which can be traced thousands of years and originate from China. Its initial usage was purely military as a communication tool. Gradually kites became very popular. They are usually made of paper, affixed on spars of wood and are steered using a length of twine attached. Popular kites were called ‘patangue’; ‘carambole” ‘etoile’ or ‘carambole’.
The FDC depicts a hopscotch diagram and marbles.
29 December 2006: 100ème Anniversaire de la Naissance de Léopold Sedar Senghor, Enveloppe Commémorative
To mark the birth centenary of Leopold Sedar Senghor, one of the founding fathers of the francophonie, a special commemorative cover on 29 December 2006. L. S. Senghor is a Senegalese national, who studied in France and became successively a French parliamentarian, French minister and finally, President of his country, Senegal. He remained at the head of his country for 20 years. He paid an official visit to Mauritius from 30 April to 2 May 1973.
2006: 25th Anniversary of the International Federation of NGOs for the Prevention of Drugs and Substance Abuse, Special Commemorative Cover
Stamps of the Year 2007
30 April 2007: Corals Mauritius, First Day Cover
Corals form part of the marine animal kingdom. There are 2 main types of corals: hard corals, essentially made of calciform skeleton and soft corals, which lack the rigid skeleton. Corals come in a wide variety of form and colour. They bring shelter, food, and breeding grounds to marine organisms. They also help to recycle waters and nutrients, create sand, and protect lagoons and nice beaches. Coral life develop in depths varying from 0 to 50 metres and in a sea temperature from 22 to 28 degres.
In the nature series, a set of six stamps was issued:
- Rs. 3 shows a rare species of acropora coral endemic to the Island of Rodrigues (Acropora rodriguensis). It is an encrusting coral that develops on solid substratum like other dead coral;
- Rs. 5 stamp shows a soft coral (dendronephthy sp) with an hydrosquelenton, found in depths from 10 to 40 metres. Its feeding habit is different from other corals and feeds from plankton.
- Rs. 10 stamp is a bubble coral (ctenella chapius), not very common in Mauritius. It can be found in the lagoons of Trou aux Biches and Mahebourg/ Vieux Grand Port. The bubbles are in fact defensive vesicles and are found at depth from 4 – 25 mts.
- Rs. 15 stamp, called porites lobata, is a massive colony, helmet-shaped, is common in Mauritius and can be found either in the lagoons or directly on reefs where the waves crush;
- Rs. 22 stamp, acropora clathrara, is a table coral, most common in Mauritius where the current is low, at depth of 4 – 15 mts.
- Rs. 25 stamp, tubastrea coccinea, is a tube coral mostly found beneath overhangs and shady surfaces on reef slopes, down to 30 mts. The yellowish tentacles can only be seen at night when they are active and capturing planktons.
19 May 2007: Mauritius Philatelic Society Outing, Special Cover
25 June 2007: The Dodo, Official First Day Cover
Scientists confirm that the dodo lived for thousands of years on the island of Mauritius. The bird was made extinct before the end of the 1600s by the introduction of men and various animals such as pigs, deers, rats, monkeys, cats and dogs. However, it was difficult to imagine what it looked like. We had to rely on drawings and paintings, in particular the one printed in an edited version of Admiral Cornelius van Neck’s journal published in 1601, after visiting Mauritius in 1598.
The set of postage stamps/ souvenir sheet issued by the Mauritius Post portrays different representations of the Dodo through drawings and paintings of various artists at different times.
- Rs. 5 – shows a drawing found in the Journal of Admiral W. Harmenszoon, who visited Mauritius in1601 and published in the Gerlderland. The journal has 4 drawings of the living Dodo and one of a dead one;
- Rs. 10 stamp is a drawing by Adrian Van de Venne, picturing a rather fat dodo, drawn around 1626. It can be found in the library of the University of Utrecht;
- Rs. 15 stamp is a painting which appeared in a publication by Harrison, Cluse and co, in 1798;
- Rs 25 is a chromolithograph by J. W. Frohawk, taken from Lord W. Rothschild’s Extinct Birds, published in 1907.
The FDC is a reproduction of the Dodo’s head from a bronze statue situated at Ile aux Aigrettes.
25 June 2007: Souvenir sheet – The Dodo
The souvenir sheet is a painting by Julian Pender Hume, a paleontologist and painter. It shows a reconstruction of endemic fauna of Mauritius.
25 June 2007: The Dodo, Presentation Pack
This souvenir pack presents the set of 4 stamps and the souvenir sheet.
14 July 2007: Inauguration of François Leguat Park, Caverne Patate, Rodrigues, Special Cover
On 14 July 2007, the Francois Leguat National Park was inaugurated at Caverne Patate in Rodrigues. It has an exceptional breed of giant tortoises. A special commemorative cover was issued to commemorative the event. Stamps are from former issues, namely from the Rodrigues Regional Assembly issue and the corals issue.
9 October 2007: 24th UPU Congress, Official First Day Cover
For the 3rd issue of postage stamps for the year 2007, the Mauritius Post issued one stamps of Rs. 50 to mark the holding of the 24th Universal Postal Union (UPU) Congress in Nairobi, Kenya in 2008. It is the second time that the UPU Conference is held in Africa. The first one was in Egypt in 1934.
The stamp features:
- A computer screen to show the role of IT in postal services;
- A globe, which symbolises the universal dimension of the Post Office;
- A map of Africa, with Kenya’s national flag; and
- A map of Mauritius showing a postman performing physical delivery. UPU is a specialised agency of the United Nations and plays an important role in promoting postal services.
9 October 2007: Plaine Corail Airport Renamed as Sir Gaetan Duval Airport, Special Cover
4 December 2007: Anniversaries and Events, Official First Day Cover
This set of “Anniversaries and Events” postage stamps commemorates four subjects, namely the Ministerial system of 1957; the arrival of Manilall Doctor; the centenary of scouting; and the first meteorological observatory of 1832.
This series features the following:
- Rs. 5 stamp illustrates the 9 personalities who sworn in as Ministers in 1957, following the Agreement reached at the London Conference in February 1957. This system was meant to be a major step towards parliamentary government later;
- Rs. 10 stamp illustrates Manilall Doctor, who arrived in Mauritius from India in October 1907 at the request of Mahatma Gandhi. During his stay he struggled for justice and freedom of the working classes, in particular to improve the working conditions on indentured labourers.
- Rs. 15 stamp commemorates the centenary of scouting, a voluntary non-political educational movement for young people, founded by Lord Baden Powell in 1907. It arrived in Mauritius in 1912.
This stamp issue bears three errors on the Rs. 5 stamp: (a) the person featured on the bottom right is not the right Osman who sword in as Minister in 1957 (but rather his brother); (b) Dr. G. Millien should read Sr. E (Edgar) Millien; and (c) R. Vaghjee should read H. (for Harilall) Vaghjee.
A new, partially corrected Rs. 5 stamp was re-issued on 27th December 2007, with the right Osman picture but the errors regarding Dr. Millien and Mr. Vaghjee were not corrected. The 2 sets are shown below.
Stamps of the Year 2008
12 March 2008: 40th Anniversary of Independence of Mauritius
To mark the 40th anniversary of Independence and the 16th anniversary of the Republic, a special commemorative cover was issued, with the Rs. 15 dodo stamp. The cover portrays two photos, namely the hoisting of the National Flag and the lowering of the Union Jack, and a photo of S.S. Ramgoolam with Sir John Shaw Rennie, on 12th March 1968 at Champ de Mars.
23 July 2008: Inauguration of the New Postal Museum, Celebrating 140 years, Special Commemorative Cover
This special commemorative cover was issued to mark the opening of the New Postal Museum and the 140 years of existence of the Post Office Building (ex General Post Office).
The 2 stamps on the postal cover are the 60cs stamp which features the 150th anniversary of the “Post Office” stamps; and the Rs. 25 stamp featuring the Dodo. The illustration on the cover shows the historical Post Office building and the logo of the Mauritius Postal Museum.
8 December 2008: Mauritius in World Literature, Official First Day Cover
A set of 5 commemorative stamps was issued on 8th December 2007 to highlight the presence of Mauritius in the World Literature. Five of the world’s renown novelists, who wrote on, or visited the island between the 18th and 19th centuries, are portrayed.
- Rs. 5 – Bernardin de St. Pierre, who wrote the novel Paul & Virginie in 1789, having been inspired by the enchanting environment of Isle de France during his stay in 1768. Two other works, namely Voyage à l’Isle de France and La Chaumière Indienne won him so much fame that he was elected a member of the Académie Française and awarded the distinction of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur;
- Alexandre Dumas père is one of the most versatile French writers and novelists. His novel Georges (le mulatre) published in 1843 has for background Mauritius. Among his other famous works there are Les Trois Mousquetaires, la Reine Margot and le Compte de Montecristo;
- 15 stamp features Charles Baudelaire, a famous french writer and poet of the 19th century. On his way to India, his sailing vessel stopped over in Port-Louis in September 1841. He was inspired to write a sonnet for a charming lady, entitled A Une Dame Créole. In 1857, he published 2 of his famous books, Les fleurs du Mal and Petits Poemes en Prose, where one can find the influence of his stay in the tropical islands of Mauritius and Reunion;
- Rs. 22 shows Mark Twain, an American writer and a famous humorist. The author of Tom Sawyer came to Mauritius in 1896. In his book More tramps abroad or Following the Equator, published in 1897, impressed by the beauty of the island, he wrote “.. you gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven and that heaven was copied after Mauritius..”.
- Rs. 25 shows Joseph Conrad, a famous British novelist. He made a stop over in Mauritius for 2 months in 1888 and fell in love with a Mauritian girl, who refused to marry him. His tale A Smile of Fortune was inspired by his visit to Mauritius, which he described as “a pearl distilling sweetness upon the world”.
The illustration on the FDC shows a manuscript with a feather.
17 December 2008: Birth Centenary of Sookdeo Bissoondoyal, Special Commemorative Cover
This special commemorative cover issued on 17 December 2008 marks the birth centenary of Sookdeo Bissoondoyal, a primary school teacher, journalist, writer, parliamentarian, Minister and leader of the opposition. His social and political engagements helped shape the modern history of Mauritius. During his long and distinguished career, he struggled for social justice, the right to vote for his fellow citizens, the protection of their civil rights and for poverty alleviation. He founded a political party, the Independence Forward Bloc, which played a key role in the struggle for independence.
The two stamps on the cover are respectively the 40c from the inland transport series, representing the Rivière des Anguilles Bridge and Rs. 16 from the Stone Building series, showing Carnegie library. The FDC shows a portrait in medallion of S. Bissoondoyal with a background picture of the S. Bissoondoyal Memorial Museum at Tyack, the village where he was born.
Stamps of the Year 2009
9 April 2009: Indigenous Flowers of Mauritius, Official First Day Cover
The Mauritius Post Ltd. issued a set of 12 Definitive Stamps on 9th April 2009 depicting beautiful indigenous flowers of Mauritius. They were issued a set of three FDCs, each with 4 stamps. Mauritius has a rich biodiversity, but has one of the most threatened island flora of the world. About 45% of the 685 native flowering plants are endemic and are classified as critically endangered.
(i) Indigenous flowers – Part I
This cover includes:
- Rs. 3 stamp featuring the Myonima obovata, a small indigenous shrub of mid altitude dry forests, which bears nice clusters of small pinkish flowers. The beauty of this plant lies in its juvenile leaves, where a mosaic of red, purple, green venation under a thin waxy layer catches one’s attention;
- Rs. 6 stamp is an Elaeocarpus bojeri, a small endemic tree now confined to only three individuals at Grand Bassin Peak, which bears long drooping inflorescence will bell-shaped whitish flowers.
- Rs. 7 stamp is Bremeria landia, a small indigenous tree of upland humid forest bearing bright white flowers at its branch tips. This plant is used by local people for medicinal purposes against fever and as a tonic drink;
- Rs. 50 is a Hibiscus fragilis, a rare endemic shrub with rambling branches striving only on 2 mountains – Corps de Garde and Le Morne Brabant. It bears deep carmine striking flowers.
(ii) Indigenous flowers – Part II
This second FDC shows the four following indigenous flowers:
- R. 5 stamps is a Crinum mauritanium, an endemic lily plant discovered in the 1970s in the region of Midlands, and is now extremely rate. It bears beautiful while flowers all year round;
- Rs. 9 stamp is the Gaertnera longifolia, an endemic short tree thriving in upland humid forests. It can easily be recognised by its long leaves and its terminal white inflorescence. It remains one of the rarest Gaertnera species on the island;
- Rs. 10 stamp features the Dombeya acutangula, a rare indigenous flower plant found in the wild on a few mountain flanks. It is also one of the native flowering plants commonly planted in gardens and used in landscaping projects. It bears pink inflorescence;
- Rs. 25 stamp shows a Roussea simplex, a rare endemic shrub now found in few places like Le Pouce, Grand Bassin, Bassin Blanc, Trou aux Cerf and Combo. Its orange yellow bell-shaped flowers are conspicuous and attractive.
(iii) Indigenous flowers – Part III
This third FDC features 4 plants, namely:
- Rs. 4. stamp shows the Cylindrocline lorencei, a short endemic shrub with pinkish composite flowers confined to one region in the wild, Plaine Champagne;
- Rs. 8 stamp is a Distephanus populifolius, a rare endemic plant found only on dry exposed mountain tops where it grows on rocky medium. It bears composite while and yellow flowers and its silvery leaves offer a perfect camouflage with its rocky surroundings.
- Rs. 15 stamp is the Aphloia theiformis an indigenous plant with various medicinal virtues, among which diuretic. It was also used extensively against malaria. It is quite common in upland humid forests and bears tiny white flowers at the base of the leaves;
- Rs. 22 is the Barleria observatrix, an endemic shrub now confined to only Corps de Garde mountain. It bears nice small purple flowers, which are one of the most beautiful flowers of the island.
16 July 2009: Extinct Mauritian Giant Tortoises, Official First Day Cover
A set of 4 postage stamps and 1 miniature sheet was issued on 19 July 2009 depicting the extinct giant tortoises of Mauritius and Rodrigues. The tortoises were unique to the islands.
Five species were known to exist in the Mascarenes, with 2 species in Mauritius and 2 in Rodrigues. with the arrival of humans and introduction of animals, the last tortoises survived in Mauritius until 1730s, while in Rodrigues ther last 2 were seen around 1795:
- Rs. 5 is the Rodrigues Domed Tortoise (Cylindraspis peltastes), a small domed tortoise, feeding on low vegetation;
- Rs. 10 stamp features the Rodrigues Saddleback (Cylindraspis vosmaeri) – a specie with a long flexible neck;
- Rs. 15 stamp is the Mauritian Dome Tortoise (Cylindraspis inepta), a large specie than the one found in Rodrigues. It had an unusual extension to the back of the shell. It burried its eggs in the sand or near the beach, which made them vulnerable to predators;
- Rs. 25 stamp is the Mauritian saddleback (cylindraspic triserrata). Their thin shell provided no protection against humans, and they were collected by sailors, for their oil and to cure ailments such as scurvy.
The FDC illustrates the Mauritian saddleback tortoise.
16 July 2009: Giant Tortoise, Miniature sheet
Rs. 50 stamp on the miniature sheet is a reconstruction, showing Rodrigues Domed Tortoise and Rodrigues Saddle Toirtoise, with the Blue Rail (also extinct). The bird was know to feed on tortoise eggs and on the insects and parasites that were found on tortoises’ skins.
16 July 2009: Giant Tortoise, Miniature sheet Cover
19 August 2009: Official Opening of the New Quatre Bornes Post Office, Special Commemorative Cover
This special commemorative cover was issued to mark the opening of the new Quatre-Bornes Post Office on 19 August 2009. Quatre-Bornes owes its name to four sugar factories: Trianon, Beau Séjour, Bassin and La Louise, which used to stand at the four corners of the town. Quatre-Bornes was made a town in 1895.
The two stamps are the Rs. 5 and Rs. 10 of the Definitive flower series, chosen as Quatre-Bornes is also known as la ville des fleurs.
9 October 2009: Made in Mauritius – The New Brand Identity Logo of Mauritius, Official First Day Cover
A set of 2 postage stamps were issued on 9th October 2009 to commemorate the launching of the new brand identity logo of Mauritius. In fact, the innovative Brand Mauritius Strategy was elaborated as a springboard for business success. The logo features the 4 colours of the Mauritian flag, the angular M traces the outline of the Pieter Both mountain with the rock settled on top.
The illustration on the FDC depicts the seal of quality designed specially to be applied on packaging only, to guarantee manufacturing in Mauritius.
2 November 2009: 175th Anniversary of the First Indentured Labourers in Mauritius, Special Commemorative Cover
This special commemorative cover marks the 175th anniversary of the arrival of Indian indentured labourers in Mauritius.
The Rs. 10 stamp depicts Manilall Doctor, an eminent Indian personality who can to Mauritius on the recommendation of Mahatma Gandhi and who played a crucial role in the struggle for the social, political and economic rights of the indentured labourers. The FDC shows the Appravasi Ghat or the Landing Place of Immigrants, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on 16 July 2006. It is the only remaining Immigration Depot and tangible testimony of the indentured phenomena in the 19th and 20th Century.
30 November 2009: Mauritius Anniversaries and Events, Official First Day Cover
This last series of 4 postage stamps issued on 30 November 2009 marks a series of anniversaries and events.
The set comprises of:
- Rs. 7 stamp shows the Chinese Chamber of Commerce founded on 8 December 1908, today the 2nd oldest overseas Chinese Chamber of Commerce;
- Rs. 14 stamp marks the birth centenary of Dr. K Hazareesingh, a prominent figure of contemporary Mauritius, who illustrated himself as Social Welfare Commissioner and paved the way for the Welfare state. He was also known in the field of education and literature:
- Rs. 20 stamp marks the bicentenary of the capture of Rodrigues Island by the British;
- Rs 21 stamp marks the birth centenary of Teeluckpersand Callychurn, an eminent figure among Indo-Mauritians. Has a Post Master General. He was also an influential member of the Arya Samaj, a socio-religious movement and served as the Secretary General of the Arya Sabha, a socio-cultural organisation.
30 November 2009: Celebrating 100th anniversary of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Special Cover
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce was founded on 8th December 1908. It is the second oldest overseas Chinese Chamber of Commerce and is thus an important institution of historical standing in Mauritius. The main objective of the Chamber is to protect the interest of the Chinese traders and the Chinese community. The issue of a commemorative stamp as part of the Centenary celebration of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce is a most fitting tribute.