COVER N.165 - GEORGIA
Postmark: 58 - Georgia - Mtshketa - 33000 - 14.09.2022
Posted on the 14th September; received on the 21st September 2022
What a tremendously pleasant surprise! Thank you so much Alexander for your care and for letting me add another country to the Philatelic Atlas.
Just like Ray Charles I've had Georgia on my mind (well I know, his Georgia is not the same, but one just can' t escape a good pun, right?) for quite a long time and I've been thinking of going there for one of my driving holidays, since I have a feeling that a country nested between the Caucasus and the Black Sea has to be full of good reasons for the nature loving traveller to enjoy the ride.... sometime in the future, now that retirement is getting nearer....
Meanwhile, while I write this blog entry I'll will treat myself to some fitting soundtrack and will let Khatia and Gvantsa Buniatishvili fill the spaces between my words with their beauty and their outstanding playing.
The history of Georgia is full of pages written in blood. Having declared its independence in the midst of WW1 and the Russian Revolution, it wasn't long before it first became a British protectorate in 1920 only to fall rapidly into Russian domination which eventually led to it becoming one of the republics of the Soviet Union in 1936.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia regained its independence in 1991, but the transition was anything but pacific with coups d'état and general social unrest that lead to a civil war that would last until 1995.
Since then, separatist pressure from the Russian backed South Ossetia and Abecassia regions who have both declared their independence (which only Russia and a few of its accolades acknowledge), has led to more blood being shed in a short but bloody conflict in 2008, which ended up with Georgia terminating its diplomatic relations with its gigantic neighbour.... (hmmmmm If I was Georgian I would be very concerned about the result of the war in Ukraine....)
Against this dramatic backdrop, I'm sure that many were the names that have ascended to National hero status because armed conflicts, and especially independence wars, are prone to produce them... what under cold analysis isn't such a good thing after all, because heroes generally ascend to that status in exchange for their most precious possession: life....
Maro Makashvili was one such case. A voluntary nurse with the Georgian forces that opposed the Russian invasion of 1921, she was killed by splinters from a bomb shell.
The first woman to be awarded the order of Georgian National Hero, her memory was also made everlasting in quite a fiitting way: a park, in Tblisi, the capital of Georgia, was named after her.
On 23MAR2021, Georgian Post also honoured her memory with the souvenir sheet with a 3 + 1 Georgian Lari stamp that Alexander used on the cover.. I can't understand the wording both on the stamp and on the the sheet, but I'd tend to think that the legend in larger characters probably reads National Hero Order, since the image presented is that of the Order.
I also don't know what the extra charge on the stamp is meant for. Can anyone help?
Chess needs no introduction. It is played in every continent and has its own legion of fervent fans. Not I, though. Too mind tasking for my restless nature, I think, even though I've learned its rudiments (now long forgotten) as a child.
The World Chess Olympiad takes place every two years, being organised by FIDE, the Fédération Internationale des Échecs - International Chess Federation as a contest between national teams.
The first unofficial tournament having taken place alongtside the Paris Olympic Games of 1924, it is now in its 44th edition.
The 43rd edition took place in Batumi, Georgia, in 2018, from 23 September till 6 October, with the Chinese team winning Gold, the US, Silver and Russia, Bronze.
On 14JUN2018 drawing on attention to the upcoming contest, the Georgian Post issued the very colourful 0,90 Lari stamp on my cover, illustrated with the 43rd Olympiad logo.