Lanarkshire Philatelic Society
Mr. Raymond Baldock
"The Baltic Country of Lithuania" was the subject of last Friday evening’s display at the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society. LPS member, Ray Baldock presented a most interesting and informative display following the troubled history of this country.
He began by outlining the early history - in 1332, the Kingdom, or Grand Duchy, stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, and from Germany to Russia. In 1430 it began to lose territory and by 1795 it was part of the Russian Empire. From 1915 to 1918 it was occupied by Germany.
Independence was declared on 16th February 1918 – but the country was still embroiled in war with Bolsheviks, Polish and Anti-Bolshevik Forces. It was able to issue its first definitive stamps in Berlin in February, 1919 and continued through ensuing years with, in 1921, stamps for use on the Kaunsa-Konigsberg Air Service were issued followed, in November 1921, with the first Air Mail stamps.
A new set of definitives was issued in 1921-1922 to mark the change of currency from "Auksinas" to "Litas". Also a stamp issued in mourning for Dr Jonas Basanavičius – who was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1918. A stamp is issued annually to commemorate this event. In 1922 a set was issued to celebrate the recognition of Lithuania by the League of Nations.
Pro-Polish separatists created the republic of "Central Lithuania" – Territory around the capital city of Vilnius and issued definitive stamps from 1920-1922. Lithuania regained this in 1922.
In 1940 the country lost its independence to the Soviet Union and stamps overprinted with "LTSR" were issued until German Occupation in 1940 when German stamps were overprinted with "Ostland". After the war the Soviet Republic once more established its occupation and Soviet Stamps were issued.
In March 1990, Lithuania once more regained its independence and in October the first issue of stamps commemorated signatories of the first declaration in 1918.
Lithuania now issues many lovely commemorative stamps – including the Olympics, Scout Jamboree, Lighthouses, Christmas, Animals, Struves Geodetic Arc, Costumes etc.
All this varied history was wonderfully illustrated by the stamps and covers displayed.
David Haig led members in giving warm thanks to Raymond Baldock who, with his display, had presented such an interesting history outlining the changes and developments that happened to this country.
Our next meeting in the Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is on Friday, 1st February, 2019, at 7:30pm when members look forward to welcoming Robert Murray of Edinburgh who will present his display of "Philatelic Vexillology".
Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc is very welcome to attend.