MARSHALLS LAUNCH NEW POSTAGE STAMPS

News Release

Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands June 3, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Marshall Islands Postal Service launched a new series of stamps yesterday in a first day of issue ceremony held at the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition. The issue of twenty new stamps is a reprise of the United States 1922-1925 Regular Series. Chosen to complement the re-issue of other stamps in the series by the United States Postal Service on Monday, May 29, 2006, the much anticipated release of the RMI stamps was covered in Mekeel’s & Stamps Magazine, which said "the Marshall Islands may have come up with the best idea for a new issue."

The ceremony itself drew a crowd of over 300 intrigued by both the subject of the stamp series and the unique history of the Marshall Islands. Mr. Sailass Andrike, Controller of Posts for the RMI, and Ms. Kristina Stege, First Secretary at the RMI Embassy, presided over the ceremony. In their remarks before the unveiling of the stamps, they explained the reasons behind the RMI’s choice of the 1922-1925 series. The complex historical ties between the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, from the end of World War II, through the era of U.S. nuclear weapons testing, and on into the present era of free association, captured the attention of many in the crowd. After the ceremony, the hundreds of collectors that lined up for autographs of their first day of issue program expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to learn more about the Marshall Islands.

Ambassador deBrum was originally scheduled to give the remarks at the Marshall Islands ceremony. However, he was called away to join President Kessai H. Note in Oregon for RMI Constitution Day activities. First Secretary Krisitina Stege attended on his behalf. Mrs. Honor deBrum also visited the exhibition’s RMI booth.

The World Philatelic Exhibition is only held once every decade. Collectors from all over the world travel great distances to attend the exhbition. This year the stamp show has drawn over 10,000 people. The exhibition provides the Marshall Islands Postal Service with an unparalled opportunity to market its stamps to a very wide audience. The first day of issue ceremony sparked interest in the RMI stamp program and, more broadly, the RMI.

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