Stamps and letters are still very important, Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith announced on 20 April during the unveiling of the stamp that commemorates the Queen’s birthday.
“Many of our golden citizens would tell you that stamps were once a vital part of our early methods of communication, where letters were used as the main way of keeping in touch with family, friends; and even to acquire pen-pals,” Premier Smith announced.
Hon. Smith reflected on how important sending letters was in his earlier years: “In my early days while far afield, I remember that sending letters and greeting cards were a thrill. In fact, I would write page after page telling my parents and friends at home about how I was spending my days and nights at the university.”
The BVI Leader explained that apart from stamps being a conduit for communications between persons living in different countries, there were those who collected stamps.
“I know of one student today who has inherited a stamp collection from her great aunt and former educator, Mrs. Enis Adams-Cushnie, who the Enis Adams Primary School was named after. Mrs. Adams-Cushnie was an avid stamp collector. She started her collection in the mid-1970s and continued for approximately 30 years. Now the child, in whose care the stamps are now, will be able to continue this stamp collecting legacy. I know that there are many other families doing the same thing,” Dr. Smith said.
While it may appear that emails and electronic communications are replacing traditional mail, Hon. Smith said that people still mail things: “…tourists would tell you that one of the first places they like to visit when they get here is the Post Office to mail a post card to tell their friends and family — We were here.”
“Traditional greeting cards have been replaced with e-cards on Facebook or delivered to our email addresses. We all know that gone are the days of pen-pals and telling scripted stories via our letters. But, I believe that we should rekindle that fire, teach our children so that they can appreciate our history and get involved with mailing letters and postcards. This is one way to develop a strong appreciation and passion for writing,” the Premier added.
He also applauded the BVI Philatelic Society which he says continues to showcase the importance of stamps: “I know that Dr. Giorgio Migliavacca of the BVI Philatelic Society would agree with me when I say that stamps are another way of learning about significant events, as well as exploring other cultures and people. I congratulate the BVI Philatelic Society for keeping this part of our history alive.”