Tuesday, February 8, 2011

HONG-KONG - Cover from Kwai Fong, Hong-Kong to Braga, Portugal

Cover with Tang Lung Chau Lighthouse $3 stamp from the 2010's ‘Lighthouses from Hong-Kong’ stamps issue posted on January, 4 2011.
(Very special thanks to my friend Trudy Yuen)

Hong Kong's strategic geographical location has been a vital ingredient in its remarkable social progress and economic development over the past two centuries, allowing it to evolve from a "barren rock" into one of the most dynamic passenger, cargo and logistic services hubs in the world. Lighthouses contributed significantly to this growth by facilitating the safe passage of maritime traffic.

This set of stamps is inspired by five picturesque pre-war lighthouses - Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse, Old Green Island Lighthouse, New Green Island Lighthouse, Tang Lung Chau Lighthouse and Waglan Lighthouse. All are declared monuments with unique architectural features and interesting historical backgrounds, serving the common mission of providing guidance for ships entering or leaving Hong Kong waters. Using clarity and realism as the main design theme, a combination of map and compass matched with latitudes and longitudes as a backdrop seeks to highlight the important role played by lighthouses in the city's maritime history.

$1.40 - Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse
Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, was lit up to help vessels navigate on 16 April 1875. The round stone tower is 9.7 metres high and white in colour. Its base, arched doorway and spiral staircase are of fine masonry. The iron door is adorned with geometric decoration at the top. The opening of Waglan Island Lighthouse years later in 1893 rendered Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse superfluous and it became inoperative in 1896. In 1975 the latter was automated and relit. Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse was declared a monument on 3 March 2006.

$1.80 - Old Green Island Lighthouse
The old Green Island Lighthouse began guiding seafarers across the waters on 1 July 1875. The small circular tower is constructed of granite, measuring about 12 metres in height. Its doorway features projected rough-faced quoins. The two cross-shaped openings on its wall, resembling gun-posts found in mediaeval European castles, facilitate ventilation and light penetration. Immediately after the new Green Island Lighthouse came into operation, the old lighthouse was decommissioned and later declared a monument on 7 November 2008.

$2.40 - New Green Island Lighthouse
Standing next to its predecessor, the new Green Island Lighthouse was constructed in 1904 and completed in 1905. The circular tower, built of granite and concrete, stands 17.5 metres high with a steel lantern at the top. It is painted white for high visibility, thermal insulation and structural protection. Its spiral staircase is made of fine masonry complete with beautiful railings. The entrance and windows, in the form of segmental arches, are decorated with ornamental plaster mouldings. The tower has been fully automated since the 1970s. Both the new and old Green Island Lighthouses were declared monuments on 7 November 2008.

$3 - Tang Lung Chau Lighthouse
Tang Lung Chau Lighthouse commenced helping mariners navigate the coastline on 29 April 1912. The skeletal steel tower is 11.8 metres high and painted white at the top. The adjoining brick house, furnished with a bedroom, a kitchen, a latrine and a storeroom, was the living quarters of the lighthouse keeper. With no well or fresh water supply on the island, rainwater was collected from the roof and diverted to an underground tank for storage and use.The now automated Tang Lung Chau Lighthouse was declared a monument on 29 December 2000.

$5 - Waglan Lighthouse
The first flash of light was beamed from Waglan Lighthouse on 9 May 1893. Its then state-of-the-art lamp burned mineral oil and was equipped with a rotating apparatus floating on mercury. During the Second World War, the lighthouse was extensively damaged and repairs began from 1945. Fully automated since August 1989, the lighthouse serves not only as a navigation aid but also an outpost for collecting meteorological data from the eastern part of the territory for analysis by the Hong Kong Observatory. Waglan Lighthouse was declared a monument on 29 December 2000.

Date of Issue: 29-12-2010
Type: Commemorative stamps and souvenir sheet
Denomination: $1.40, $1.80, $2.40, $3 and $5
No. of Stamp in Set: 5
Size: 28 mm x 45 mm
Perforation: 13½ x 13¼ (one elliptical perforation on each vertical)
Color: Multicolor
Process of Printing: Lithography
Protection of the stamp: Paper with security fibres
Printer: Joh. Enschedé B.V., the Netherlands
Designer: Jason CHUM

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