Through the ages, lighthouses have captured the imagination all over the world. Their very size turns them into landmarks. They tend to be situated on remote, rocky pieces of land where their keepers braved inclement weather and isolation to warn ships of dangerous stretches of sea. In the process, they have saved countless lives from a watery grave.
During the 1960s, electricity began to replace oil as a light source in light houses and as a result, permanent lighthouse keepers are no longer necessary. Today many a lighthouse keeper’s home serves as accommodation for tourists who want to recapture the romance of an isolated life of a bygone era.
On 20 August, the SA Post Office will issue a set of five stamps celebrating five of the 40 lighthouses in South Africa. In keeping with the theme, the stamps use phosphorescent ink which glows in the dark. This prin-ting technique has been used only once before in South Africa.
The illustrations for the stamps were done by JWS Longland, and depict lighthouses at Cape Agulhas, Umhlanga Rocks, Bird Island, Green Point, and Robben Island.
The stamps cost R20,80 each – the correct postage for a Registered Small Letter. A stamp sheet is R104.00 and the first day cover (FDC) is R107.00. Only 500 000 stamps were printed and this stamp issue forms part of the Post Office’s annual release of stamps with collector’s value.Available at your local post office or from www.virtualpostoffice.co.za