|An online auction site says this is a one-of-a-kind issue.|
This is a full sheet of mint Christmas stamps, oh what a joy! I have to thank my bestfriend, Fe, for sending this to me, along with postcards and stamps from Botswana. Salamat, Fe!
Christmas stamps were issued and sold worldwide to raise money for charity through the Christmas Stamp Fund. Proceeds were used for things such as Tuberculosis (TB). South Africa was one of the later countries to issue Christmas stamps (in 1929). Various themes are featured on these stamps, from culture, landmarks, nature, traditional arts or folk art, costumes, produce, and nature and wildlife that represent South Africa. The map of South Africa serves as the background of the sheet – very clever, in my opinon – the colourful artwork and the blue ocean pops out of the page. One of the notable features to me is that the stamps in the sheet were alternately in English and Afrikaan. Also of particular interest in the stamp design is the cross with two horizontal bars, which is the patriarchal cross, that has become known as the international symbol for the fight against TB. It is also known as the Cross of Lorraine.
The South African Christmas stamp 1966 was issued in support of Sunshine homes in South Africa. I could not find any info about Sunshine homes but I’m assuming it is a centre caring and providing treatment for people afflicted with TB. This makes me also wonder… Now that TB is no longer considered a deadly disease, I wonder if the Christmas Stamp Fund provides funding to research on other diseases such as mental illnesses and new methods of treatments, like dual diagnosis treatment and many more.
I found this comprehensive information on South African Christmas stamps.