Luis Alposta

A stamp for Gardel

n May 6, 1840 Great Britain released the first official series of adhesive postage stamps at the price of a penny which became known as Black Penny. It is the one that shows the portrait of Queen Victoria. That was the first stamp.

Because of that success a large number of countries began to issue theirs so contributing to its general use.

The first Argentine stamp was issued in the province of Corrientes in August 1856. It had the image of the goddess Ceres printed on a multi-colored thin paper. Like the Black Penny it had no perforations. All of them were handmade and were released with different values until 1880.

Since then collecting and study of postage seals or stamps is known as stamp collecting or philately (a word derived from two Greek words: philos that means love and atelia that means previously paid or paid in advance).

On October 12, 1892 on the celebration of the 4th Centennial of the discovery of America the Argentine Republic issued the first commemorative stamps. Then the first and most important branch of stamp collecting was born: thematic philately. Its first world exhibition was also held in our country in 1961.

In June 1984 Enrique Cadícamo, Edmundo Rivero and I, following the suggestion of our friend Yoyi Kanematz, applied before the national post office, by that time Empresa Nacional de Correos y Telégrafos (ENCoTel), for the issue of a postage series that would commemorate the 50th anniversary of Carlos Gardel’s tragic death.

And we did it! Gardel had its first stamp among us on June 15, 1985. Below I transcribe the note we sent and the answer.

General Administrator of ENCOTEL
Dr. Ignacio Efraín Ortiz

Twice, in 1978 and 1979, Mr. Yoyi Kanematz, of Japanese nationality and personal friend of the undersigned, wrote to ENCOTEL, from his country asking for the issue of a postage stamp to pay homage to Carlos Gardel.

Today by means of this letter, the undersigned Mr. Enrique Cadícamo, Mr. Edmundo Rivero and Dr. Luis Alposta take over that nice iniciative presenting before you the same request but, this time, nearing an imminent and decisive circumstance: next year will be remembered fifty years of the death of the great popular singer.

Taking into account that striving to honor the national figures is a duty of every Argentine citizen, in the case of Carlos Gardel, the issuing of the stamp requested would simply be the timely expression of the recognition of a people for someone who indeed represented it not only in the Spanish speaking nations but also in the whole world and even today he still does it with the motion pictures and recordings that document his artistry.

Mr. General Administrator of ENCOTEL, the undersigned are at your disposal as for anything you think necessary about this issue.

Enrique Cadícamo
Edmundo Rivero
Luis Alposta

PS: Documents of his background are enclosed.

The answer was soon sent and on June 28, 1984 we got the following letter:

Dear Mr. Enrique Cadícamo

I have the pleasure of writing this letter to answer your letter of June 8 signed together with Mr. Edmundo Rivero and Dr. Luis Alposta in which you mentioned two requests presented by Mr. Yoyi Kanematz of Japan asking for the issuance of a postage stamp concerning Carlos Gardel.

About that I inform you that that suggestion was discussed by the National Commission that is Advisor for the Programs of Issuance of Commemorative and/or Extraordinary Postage Stamps (Decree 3036/79) and it was agreed that it will be taken into account at the time of making a work plan for 1985 when the 50th anniversary of Carlos Gardel's death will take place.

It is worthwhile to highlight that the ENCOTEL is deeply interested in carrying out this issuing that would imply a deserved homage to the well-remembered singer. For that purpose at the right time your collaboration shall be requested to devise the necessary outline.

Very truly yours
Dr. Ignacio Efraín Ortiz
General Administrator

And so it was that the post office of the Argentine Republic contributed to the large number of events organized to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Carlos Gardel's death by proceeding to the selection of the vignettes and the issuance of the corresponding postage stamp to honor him.

Nowadays because of the 75th anniversary of the death of El Zorzal Criollo the Correo Argentino released for sale an enteropostal (do not mistake for a stamp) to pay homage to him with a painting by Hermenegildo Sabat and a postmark with a drawing I designed.

Its value is $1,50 and you can get it at the post office branch located on 300 Perón Street, at the corner of 25 de Mayo.