For my first blog post, I have chosen to take you on a journey to the history of Mauritius, through a series of 20 postage stamps issued in 1978. This set of postage stamps was issued on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Independence of Mauritius, on 12 March 1978. The stamps illustrate some of the main events that made the history of the country, from its discovery to independence. In total, four covers and an explanatory booklet were issued.
Mauritius was uninhabited until the end of the 16th Century, though it is thought to have been regularly visited by Malay, Arabs and Portuguese sailors, on their way to Asia.
In 1598, the Dutch took possession of the island and named it Mauritius, after Prince Maurice Van Nassau, Prince of Orange. However, the attempts of the Dutch to colonise the island were unsuccessful.
The French settled in 1735 and named the island Isle de France. The island developed into a fruitful colony under the administration of Governor Mahé de Labourdonnais, who introduced sugar cane and brought in slaves to work on the plantations.
The British wanted to conquer the island and entered into war with the French in 1810. They lost the battle in August 1810, but later on, in November 1810, landed on the island, overcame the French defence and took possession of the island, which they renamed Mauritius. Mauritius finally became independent on 12th March 1968 and a Republic in 1992.
This set of stamps below highlights the main milestones in the social, economic and political history of Mauritius. Each stamp depicts a personality, a landscape or a scene of ordinary life, which all contributed to make of Mauritius what it is today: a proud, a multi-cultural nation.