Christmas stamps feature historic buildings

Design blends old structures with modern holiday decorations

The Christmas 2013 stamp issue, released earlier this month, features buildings of historical significance in the Cayman Islands.

The buildings are the old Government House in George Town on the 25-cent stamp; the Old Homestead in West Bay on the 75-cent stamp; the Bodden Town Mission House on the 80-cent; and the old District Administration Building in Cayman Brac on the $1. 

Each building, decorated with Christmas lights, is receiving a visit from Santa Claus. 

Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow said Stamp Advisory Committee members decided to highlight Cayman’s architectural heritage, while embracing the festive spirit of the season. “This is meant to be a fun and entertaining issue, blending the old structures with modern holiday decorations,” she said. 

The Old Government Building, which was constructed in 1908 while Dr. George S.S. Hirst was Commissioner of the Cayman Islands, housed government offices and was also home to administrators and commissioners and their families. Unfortunately, in July 1972 the building and most of the records were destroyed by a fire.  

The Old Homestead, also known as the Pink House, was built in 1909 by Sam Ebanks for Calvin and Ida Ebanks. The house was constructed of wattle and daub in the old Caymanian style, which is typical of that era. The house has a cook room out back, a wide porch trimmed with “gingerbread” in front, a sand yard all around, and a tin roof surrounded by gutters that piped into a cistern to supply water to the house.  

The Mission House, estimated to be more than 150 years old, is now an historic site run by the National Trust. This site rose to prominence in the 1800s and became known as the “Mission House” to early missionaries, teachers and families who lived in the district and contributed to establishing the Presbyterian ministry and school in Bodden Town.  

The $1 stamp depicts the Old Government Administration Building on Cayman Brac. This building was constructed in 1933 and housed various government agencies, including the post office, customs, immigration and the courthouse. Some 50 years later, on Dec. 3, 1983, it took up a new role – housing the island’s oldest and most precious artifacts and thus becoming the Cayman Brac Museum.  

Minister of Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure Kurt Tibbetts said, “This issue should have a broad appeal; it is in keeping with the Christmas spirit and at the same time illustrates the Islands’ past.” 

“No doubt, kids will look at these stamps and see how much we have grown in terms of architecture and the leaflet provides a bit of history and purpose of the buildings, making this issue educational, functional and aesthetically appealing,” Mr. Tibbetts said. 

The 2013 Christmas stamps are on sale at all post offices. For more information, contact Philatelic Manager Karen McField at 946-4757 or visit the Philatelic Bureau at the Seven Mile post office.  

Bodden-Town-Mission-House-Stamp-CaymanThe-Old-Homestead-Cayman-Islands

The Old Homestead in West Bay is featured on the 75-cent stamp.

The-Old-Government-House-Cayman-Islands

The old Government House, off Elgin Avenue, was residence and office for commissioners.
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