ARGENTINA — Club Estudiantes de la Plata
Argentina has released a stamp to mark a momentous occasion in Argentine soccer history. According to the newspaper El Dia, “There was no city happier in La Tierra than La Plata,” on October 16, 1968, when the players of Club Estudiantes de la Plata took on Manchester United under the gaze of 60,000 English fans “who did not stop shouting the whole game.” At the seven-minute mark of the first half, “the indelible goal” of Juan ‘The Witch’ Verón occurred - which would be the winning goal for the Argentinian squad, defeating Manchester 1-0. Club Estudiantes de la Plata has been lauded for being the first team to win a trophy from an English team on their own field. Shown on the stamp commemorating the event is the Intercontinental Cup over the famous white and red stripes of La Plata’s jersey. Stamps may be ordered from https://www.correoargentino.com.ar/filatelia.
BRAZIL — Birth Centenary of Professor Fernando Figueira
When Professor Fernando Figueira died on April 1, 2003, at the age of 84, he left behind “one of the greatest legacies of Brazilian medicine,” and a life dedicated to the principles of “solidarity, fraternity and respect for the neediest, as well as an immense dedication to teaching and scientific production.” Fernando Jorge Simão dos Santos Figueira was born on February 4, 1919, in Figueira da Foz, Portugal. In 1940 he graduated from the School of Medicine of Recife, Brazil and set up as a general practitioner in Quebrangulo. Over his career Professor Figueira published over 100 papers and 6 books. He served as Secretary of Health of Pernambuco between 1971 and 1975; under his leadership, the first Sanitary Code of the State of Pernambuco was formulated and published. He also established multiple health and research centers and foundations. Read more details of Figueira’s remarkable life from the Brazilian postal announcement PDF: aps.buzz/FigueiraStamp
ISLE OF MAN — Year of the Rat
On January 15, 2020, the Isle of Man Post Office issued a set of four stamps to celebrate the Year of the Rat in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The Chinese New Year started on January 25 and ended on February 8 with the celebration of the lantern festival. The Year of the Rat will be followed by the Year of the Ox. According to the Manx press release, “While the rat has many positive attributes in Chinese culture it is an object of superstition on the Isle of Man where to use the very word ‘rat’ is felt to bring bad luck and the name ‘long-tail’ is preferred!” On the Isle of Man, the superstitious follow the speaking of the word by “whistl[ing], touch[ing] wood, or cross[ing] their fingers to lift the curse of ill fortune.” In addition to the four-piece set, a first day cover and a presentation pack are also available at www.iompost.com/rat.
MALTA — Christmas 2019
The 2019 Christmas set from the Mediterranean island of Malta features three figurines of the Christ child found in 3 churches around Malta and Gozo. On Christmas Eve, a procession with a figurine of Baby Jesus is held in many towns and villages; the figure is carried shoulder-high in a processional through the streets, ahead of children carrying Christmas lanterns and lights and singing Christmas Carols. The stamps were issued on November 29, 2019, in three denominations. The €0.28 issue shows the papier-mâché Christ Child from the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady in Mosta, crafted in Paris and brought to Malta in the late 19th century. The €0.59 stamp depicts a plaster Baby Jesus made shortly after World War II and displayed in the Collegiate Parish Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Senglea. The €0.63 issue shows the Christ Child from the Basilica of the Visitation in Gozo, acquired by the church some 90 years ago. These colorful stamps are available from www.maltaphilately.com.
Editor's Note: New worldwide stamps are presented for information and are not necessarily shown at the correct scale. The quality of images available at the time of release varies widely and we resize to achieve the best possible reproduction.
This article was published in the March 2020 issue of The American Philatelist. Read the full issue online at stamps.org/the-american-philatelist