a new public transport service coming into effect in days,
MaltaPost yesterday bid farewell to the traditional Maltese buses
by issuing a commemorative set of 20 stamps depicting some of the
vehicles that were in operation since the first bus was imported
in Malta in 1905.
MaltaPost chairman Joseph Said told
journalists that this was an unusual occasion for the Maltese
postal service because they are marking the end of a historical
bus service. “MaltaPost felt the moment could not be left
unnoticed by the philatelic world. The new stamps, a fair amount,
were created after consulting with local and foreign Maltese bus
experts. We did our best to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime
event so that it can be enjoyed in the future,” Mr Said said.
It is exciting to see foreigners
being so keen about the old Maltese buses; many groups are coming
over to bid farewell to the service before it ends on 2 July.
He commended the work of artist
Cedric Galea Pirotta, who was commissioned to paint in
watercolours 20 of the most popular buses covering the principal
routes around Malta and Gozo. Each bus was depicted in landmarks
such as schools or main squares where the buses used to operate.
“Mr Galea Pirotta is humble,
unpretentious and very competent. Our thanks go to him for doing
such a great job. He managed to record the old buses and their
environment to perfection,” he added.
Mr Said also spoke about the plans
to create an industrial and transport museum which would include
some of the buses that will go out of service. “These buses have
contributed a lot to Malta’s history. Few know that these
vehicles were military trucks before they were converted into
buses. Some of the Dodge trucks were brought over when Tripoli was
cleaned up after the war. The conversion process required the
skills of many skilled people such as engineers or mechanics. Some
of these buses were built by the workers at the drydocks for
example,” he said.
The stamps will be issued on 2 July
to coincide with the day when the current bus service will stop to
make way for a new bus service which will be operated by Arriva
The stamps consist of two sheets,
bearing the denomination of €0.20c and €0.69c respectively.
In addition to the stamp set, Malta
Post produced a number of souvenirs to mark Malta’s milestone in
A set of 20 maximum cards
complementing the stamps have been issued. These are a philatelic
version of a postcard bearing an identical image of each stamp.
Furthermore, a set of 20 prints
measuring 41cm by 33cm of the original watercolours by Mr Galea
Pirotta will be issued in two sets.
To continue celebrating the
occasion MaltaPost together with Buses Worldwide have reprinted
the organisation’s booklet Maltese buses of yesteryear which is
filled with interesting information and photos of the many buses
that have served various routes over the years.
The related products are readily
available from all MaltaPost branches as well as selected retail
outlets. More information is available on website
www.maltaphilately.com or via email on email@example.com or
telephone number 2596-1740 or by post on 305, Qormi Road, Marsa