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Published 12th November 2002, 10:15am

A new stamp set was released Friday, (8 November) in celebration of the 50th anniversary of aviation in the Cayman Islands. The event was held in the waving gallery of Owen Roberts International Airport.

Permanent Secretary for the ministry responsible for postal services, Mr. Kearney Gomez gave remarks on behalf of Hon. Linford Pierson, minister responsible for postal services, who sent his apologies because of his attendance at today’s budget address. “Mr. Pierson extends his congratulations to the Civil Aviation Authority on their 50th anniversary. He also commends postal services and the Stamp Advisory Committee for producing such an attractive commemorative issue,” notes Mr. Gomez.

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Bruce Dinwiddy, and his wife Emma also attended the celebration along with the minister responsible for aviation, the Hon. Gilbert McLean and Permanent Secretary, Ms Andrea Bryan and several other government officials.

Postmaster General, Ms Mona Banks-Jackson gave a special welcome to the head of the Crown Agents Stamp Bureau, Mr. Nigel Fordham, and his colleague, Mr. Tim Underwood. “The bureau, located in the United Kingdom, is responsible for designing all of Cayman’s beautiful stamp issues. We’re honoured to have Mr. Fordham and Mr. Underwood with us for this significant milestone,” she comments.

Mr. Dinwiddy expressed his thanks to Ms Banks-Jackson, who will retire early in 2003 after 40 years in the public service. Mr. McLean echoed his remarks and added that he is especially pleased with the issue. “I am proud that the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are represented in the issue, and that the progression and growth of aviation has been depicted so cleverly and creatively.”

Before brunch, the crowd was entertained with a song that was sung by Customer Care Officer, Ms Nelva Ebanks and written by Ms Banks-Jackson. The issue features six stamps and a first-day cover. The 15-cent stamp shows a Catalina Flying Boat in the North Sound, while the 20-cent stamp depicts the first landing at the airport.

Cayman Brac Airways is illustrated on the 25-cent stamp; a Cayman Airways plane is featured on the 30-cent stamp. Cayman Airways Ltd. became fully owned by the Cayman Islands Government in 1977, purchasing its first aircraft in 1978. It currently operates three Boeing 737-200 aircraft.

The first and only visit by the Concorde to date is captured on the 40-cent stamp. The aircraft is shown along-side the original airport terminal in 1984. Finally, the CI$1.30 stamp shows Island Air’s plane on the Edward Bodden airstrip in Little Cayman, 2002. The 19-seater provides daily service between Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands.

The set is available at post offices throughout the Cayman Islands and at the Philatelic Bureau, Seven Mile Beach Post Office. For more information contact the Bureau on 345-946-4757, fax 345-949-4113, cistamps@candw.ky.

(GIS)