ICA News: Issue No 6/1994 Editor: Mary Treacy Address: 15, route des Morillons - 1218 Grand-Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland. Tel: (41 22) 798 41 21 - Fax: (41 22) 798 41 22 Telex: 41 56 20 ICA CH - E-mail: email@example.com ******************************************************************** SPREAD THE MESSAGE WITH CO-OP STAMPS That the co-operative idea has spread around the world is wonderfully demonstrated by looking at one collection of 200 commemorative stamps that have been issued in 60 countries celebrating co-operative ideas and events. Cliff Berry, a retired co-op employee from Manchester, has put together a most interesting range of stamps and they reveal an amazing diversity of co-operative involvement in countries around the globe. There are plans to show Mr. Berry's collection as part of an exhibition on international co-operation in Manchester at the ICA Centennial Congress. The first of these commemorative stamps was published in Venezuela on December 21st 1944. These stamps marked the centenary of the Rochdale Pioneers in England and featured a picture of Charles Howarth, first president of the Society - quite a remarkable thing to be published in Venezuela. Co-operative stamps have appeared in many other countries since then. As one might expect there are many examples from European countries where co-operatives are well established. Czechoslovakia, for instance celebrated a Collective Farming Congress in Prague with a stamp showing a girl harvester, whereas a stamp marking a banking organisation in Finland shows two doves co-operating to build their nest. In 1970, the founding of the International Co-operative Alliance in London in 1895 was honoured by a set of five stamps in Great Britain; the one-shilling stamp showed the signing of the agreement by Britain, France, Germany and Russia. The Russians celebrated the 75th anniversary of this event with their own stamp in the same year. But co-op philately spread its boundaries much further afield than Europe. There are several examples of the growth of the co-operative idea in Africa, for example the one illustrated here from the Congo which features village co-operators digging trenches. Further afield, the Cook Islands found a more exotic reason for a stamp issue when the local Manuae Co-operative Society recorded the solar eclipse on 30th May 1965 and indeed set up a special post office to handle the issue. These are just some examples of the colourful array of stamps that record the spread of co-operation round the world. Some of these stamps are illustrated here from Mr. Berry's collection and undoubtedly there will be many more celebrating co-operative events in many lands to add to his collection in the future. Mr. Berry's collection has been shown this year in connection with the 150th anniversary of Rochdale. ICA would like to encourage its members to request their postal authorities to issue a stamp commemorating the First Hundred Years of International Co-operation. Perhaps we can help to expand Mr. Berry's unique collection. Special packs with information necessary when requesting centennial stamps can be obtained from Gabriella Sozanski at the ICA Head Office in Geneva.