Purgatory Post on January 4, 2023, kicked off the calendar year by issuing a pair of 1-sola stamps commemorating Artemis 1. The mission that ran from November 16–December 11, 2022, saw an uncrewed spacecraft launched, placed into orbit around the Moon, and successfully returned to Earth.
One of the New Hampshire-based local post’s stamps features a view of part of the spacecraft looking back toward Earth as well as its launch from Kennedy Space Center, while the other has a view of the Moon’s surface with Earth in the distance plus the Artemis 1 mission patch.
The goal of the Artemis program is to eventually return humans to the Moon’s surface. As of this writing, the first crewed Artemis mission is scheduled for next year with a lunar landing to take place in 2025.
Feeding America sends first decorative BRE of 2023
The first decorative business reply envelope of the year to arrive in my mailbox was from Feeding America, an organization that supports food banks and other food assistance programs throughout the United States. The envelope is not Feeding America’s first BRE with a preprinted stamp-sized design, but it’s the smallest envelope I’ve seen from the nonprofit to this point.
I haven’t received a huge number of nonprofit mailings since the start of the year, but that is not all that unusual; it typically takes a couple of weeks for the inbound flow to reach normal levels following the holiday season. No doubt we’ll see more of this sort of thing as the year progresses.
The highlight for me is the solo usage of the American Indian stamp. It’s totally philatelic—even with the “Via Air Mail” notation on the front of the cover, the amount of postage owed was only 6¢, meaning the stamp represents an 8¢ overpayment—but there is something of a connection between the subject of the stamp, Hollow Horn Bear, and Cheyenne Agency.
Cheyenne Agency was set apart in the 19th century as land for the Lakota nation. As a Brule Sioux, Hollow Horn Bear was a Lakota, and although he lived at South Dakota’s Rosebud Agency, he no doubt would have had at least distant relatives at Cheyenne Agency during his lifetime. Pretty cool stuff!
I wrote a few weeks ago about the Philippine Stamp Collectors’ Society’s new PSCS Local Post, which began operating late last year. Since that time, I’ve learned some additional details about the operation.
Renato L. shares that Manila Local Post in the Philippines began operating on October 27, 2022, using provisional stamps denominated in pesos, while his own San Diego Local Post launched November 24, 2022, using provisional stamps denominated 60¢. Both of those concerns as well as an additional planned Angeles City Local Post are operating under the umbrella of PSCS Local Post.
The latest mailing I’ve received bears a large San Diego Local Post/PSCS Local Post seal or stamp on its front, and a strip of six Manila Local Post 1-peso stamps featuring the Rizal Monument in Manila, Philippines, on the reverse.
As a longtime local poster myself, I’m always happy to see other people getting involved in this particular slice of stamp collecting, and I think it’s pretty neat that a society not dedicated to local post collecting specifically is encouraging such activities.
Philosateleian Post mail volume declines, but still high
With 2022 in the record books, I’m taking a look back at the numbers for Philosateleian Post, and although mail volume was down from 2021, my local post stamps still carried a bunch of mail last year.
The total number of outgoing mailpieces carried by Philosateleian Post in 2022 was 481. That’s a decline of more than 8% from 2021; however, keep in mind that 2021 was a record-setting year for Philosateleian Post. In fact, last year’s numbers nearly equaled those recorded in 2019, making 2021 my third-busiest year of local posting.
Domestic letters and business mail made up 78% of Philosateleian Post’s mail volume, with international mail, postcards, and packages accounting for most of the rest. Truly “local” mail—envelopes that I hand-delivered rather than mailing via USPS—made up approximately 3% of the overall total.
As for why Philosateleian Post’s mail volume was down last year compared to 2021, I’m going to say that my family’s move had a significant impact. There were some late nights leading up to and in the weeks following that, and it took me a while to get back to normal correspondence, stamp and cover sales, and other activities that would have generated additional outgoing mail. We’ll see how things go in 2023!