Sunday, 18 January 2015


My first thought was of Belgium when seeing this week's theme of 'organisations' because they seem to have issued a lot of stamps on the subject, or maybe I have accidentally accumulated them all.  The stamp shown above was issued for the 60th Anniversary of the Workers International Sports Organisation in 1973 and shows the poster for the first international meeting in Ghent in  1913.  The war interrupted further meetings until they reconvened afterwards to put on the Olympiads as a socialist alternative to the Olympics. The red flag was used rather than national flags as portrayed on the stamp.  Another war once again interrupted the Olympiads when the 1943 meeting in Helsinki had to be cancelled.
As a contrast to the socialist ideals of  Workers Sports here is the 300th anniversary of the Royal Guild and Knights of St Michael in 1963.
Of course I can't miss out postal organisations so here is a 19th Century Mail Coach which appeared on the 1963 'Stamp Day' stamp, overprinted in 1966 with the emblem of the Federation of Belgian Philately Circles (top right).  I bet the stage coach driver galloping over muddy roads of the 19th Century would love a smooth one like this on the next stamp
1973: Anniversary of the VAB Motoring Organisation
1970: "New UPU Headquarters"
The road may ultimately lead to the 'new' Universal Postal Union Building in Berne.
Whose centenary Belgium celebrated in 1974 showing the US Postmaster General Montgomery Blair who called the first meeting in Paris which laid down the general principals of a union.  The task was completed by the German Heinrich von Stephan in 1874 with a conference in Bern.
1970: Anniversary of the National Housing Association
Lastly is a stamp showing a sculpture called 'The Mason' by George Minne (1866-1941) a Belgium artist famous for "his idealised depictions of man's inner spiritual conflict" which was completed in 1893 and now lives in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris,  After Belgium's brave defence of its country in 1914 Minne was one of the thousands of refugees who fled to the Netherlands, France and Britain.  Somehow Minne ended up living in Aberystwyth, Wales for the duration of the war.

An entry to Sunday Stamps theme - Organisations/Special Events - hosted by Violet Sky here  


Lisa B said...

The first stamp is such a beautiful design, I think it really captures the style of 1913.

♥ Willa @ Postage Journal♥ said...

Belbium must be celebrating lots of special events. Nice collection.

Mail Adventures said...

This is a good selection indeed. Most of the facts in your post were completely unknown by me!

Bob Scotney said...

I had never heard of the Workers International Sports before and wonder whether they exist anymore.
Fine collection of stamps which eally made me think.

viridian said...

A great entry!

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

A very attractive selection of stamps. I remember when my son was swimming competitively in France, several of the opposing teams were from work associations. The postal workers team was particularly strong.

VioletSky said...

Love how you might have "accidentally accumulated" these Belgian stamps!