Guyana : 40th Anniversary of ICAO


Issue date: 06/09/1984


The two original stamps of this issue were overprinted and/or surcharged several times. The following pictures show the progressive overprints and surcharges.



Odontadenia Grandiflora.

The original stamp was issued on 03/09/1973 as part of a set of 15 stamps on flowering plants.

Watermarked paper #364: Lotus Bud Multiple blossoms (number according to Scott catalogue).



On 22/07/1981, the above stamp was surcharged in black with 75 (upper left hand corner) and overprinted diagonally in black with Royal Wedding 1981 (wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer). The $5 value was obliterated with an "X".


On 15/10/1982, the above stamp was overprinted as follows: horizontal overprint 1982 in black-blue.



On 27/10/1982, the above stamp was overprinted as follows:  vertical surcharge in black-blue with 200 and vertical overprint in blue with GAC Inaug. Flight / Georgetown‑ / Boa Vista, Brazil, for the first anniversary of the G.A.C. inaugural flight between Georgetown, Guyana, and Boa Vista, Brazil.



On 06/09/1984, the above stamp was overprinted vertically in black-blue with ICAO, for the 40th anniversary of ICAO.


Norantea Guianensis. The original stamp was issued on 03/09/1973 as part of the same set of 15 stamps as mentioned above.

Watermarked paper #364: Lotus Bud Multiple blossoms (number according to Scott catalogue).



On 25/06/1982, the above stamp was surcharged in dark blue with 330 AIR and overprinted in dark blue with Princess / of Wales / 1961‑1982, for the 21st anniversary of Princess Diana.



The above stamp was surcharged vertically in black by 200 and overprinted vertically in black with G.A.C. / Inaug. Flight / Georgetown‑ / Toronto. The original value was obliterated with horizontal black bars.

This stamp was in fact not issued and could be considered as an error: the acronym ICAO was omitted.



On 06/09/1984, the above stamp was overprinted vertically in dark blue with ICAO on the previous unissued stamp, for the 40th anniversary of ICAO.



Off-centred overprint.

Full sheets of 25 stamps with control number on the first sheet.



First Day Cover - Royal Wedding of The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer - C.D.S. (circular date stamp) of 22 July 1981. The three stamps shown on this cover were overprinted and surcharged on that date.


First Day Cover issued on 15 October 1982 showing the horizontal overprint 1982 in black-blue on the Odontadenia Grandiflora stamp and the inverted overprint 1982 on the stamp issued on 1 July 1975 for the International Women's Year.


First Day Covers showing the ICAO surcharged and overprinted stamps. Cancel date: 6 September 1984.


Guyana Philatelic Bureau C.D.S. (circular date stamp).


Background: Between 1981 and 1989, the majority of Guyana stamps were created by overprints and surcharges that were applied by five different printers located in Georgetown: Government Printer, Bovell’s Printery, Autoprint, Herald Printing and Tip Torres. Often, one printer would apply the initial overprint, while another subsequently applied the surcharge. As might be expected, given the conditions under which the overprints were applied, some errors exist.


Guyana Airways Corporation (G.A.C.) was the national airline of Guyana from 1973 to 2001. During this period, it operated services to destinations throughout the Caribbean, the USA, and Canada. It was declared insolvent in 2001.


Shown on the picture here on the left-side,the Odontadenia Grandiflora is member of the family of the Apocynaceae. Probably the most beautiful of all tropical woody climbers. May take time to get established, but once it does the large, apricot yellow and orange, richly scented flowers are produced almost year round.



Shown on the picture here on the left-side, the Norantea Guianensis called Red Hot Poker Vine. Large vining shrub with thick glossy leaves. The Norantea guianensis (member of the family of the Marcgraviaceae) produces long orange red flower spikes with unusual nectar pouches. Blooms year round in the tropics.


Guyana's coat of arms establishes the value the country places on its natural resources to spearhead its economic future. It is constructed with a white shield bordered on the sides by jaguars, an Indian headdress at the top, and the country's motto inscribed on a red and gold ribbon at the bottom.

The shield is divided by three blue, wavy lines. At the bottom is the hoatzin, the national bird. At the top is the Victoria Regia water lily, the national flower. One of the jaguars holds a pickaxe, representing the valuable bauxite mining. The other holds a sugarcane stalk representing the importance of sugarcane farming. Representative of gemstone mining is the diamond found in the Indian headdress. Last, but not least, is the national motto on the ribbon, ONE PEOPLE, ONE NATION, ONE DESTINY, a slogan meant to represent the unity of the various races and regions of the country.

The design was adapted by the Royal College of Arms in England from three Guyana’s artists.


The set of two ICAO stamps illustrated here shows the complexity of the Guyana overprints. The Flowers definitive set (of which two examples are shown here) comprises a large number of stamps that proved amenable to receiving numerous overprints and surcharges. Almost 300 different types of overprints exist on these stamps.

In 1981, the stamp-issuing policy of Guyana underwent a drastic change. From 1981 through 1985, Guyana was always in the top 10 of the most prolific-issuing countries in the world. A few years later, it became several times the most prolific stamp-issuing country in the world.

Guyana has often had problems, and these became more pronounced by the end of the 1970s. The country’s economy was always rather weak, and by the 1970s, it was in sharp downturn. The Guyana dollar was subject to great inflation, hurting the country’s ability to import goods. Sometime in the early 1980s, the Government of Guyana made the decision to ease some of its foreign exchange shortages by issuing far more stamps for sale to collectors than were required for postal needs. Unlike most countries that produce speculative and abusive stamp issues, Guyana chose to create most of its new issues by overprinting existing stocks of previously issued stamps. The local overprinting did insure that almost all of these new issues were at least available in Guyana for postal use.

Between 1981 and 1989, the majority of Guyana stamps were created by overprints and surcharges. By 1990, the deluge of overprinted and surcharged stamps in Guyana had come to an end. One suspects that there were no stamp stocks remaining to be overprinted. At this point, Guyana began to order new stamps produced abroad; the flood of new stamps continued however.