One of the great challenges of philatelic groups and associations around the world is how to attract the interest of younger people toward something that is virtually unknown. In France, the Fédération Française des Associations Philatéliques, through the Conseil National de la Jeunesse has, in collaboration with local associations, made a huge effort to promote philately in recent years, by organizing philatelic competitions and contests in schools and institutes.

Every two years, the Conseil National de la Jeunesse organizes a national philatelic event called Timbres Passion. In 2012, this event was held at the Exhibition Park AIRExpos, in Belfort, on November 2nd, 3rd and 4th. It was organized by the local philatelic association, l'Amicale Philatélique de l'Est-Belfort - Aphiest, in collaboration with La Poste and ADPhile.
Timbres Passion 2012 brought together three youth competitions - the challenge Pasteur or national youth championship, the trophée Léonard de Vinci, for open-class collections, and the Jeux du timbre, a lively philatelic quiz, played by 16 groups of two young collectors representing their region (image below, right).

(More information on the previous shows - Timbres Passion 2007 in Dole - see article >, also published in VARIABLE 7, and Timbres Passion 2010 in Villeneuve-sur-Lot - see article > and in VARIABLE 19).

Besides the youth competition, Timbres Passion 2012 also hosted two French Championships for adults - the thematic philately or Thémafrance IX, and the first championship of polar philately. These are two approaches to philately which may be particularly appealing to young people.
Timbres Passion 2012 was also attended by some philatelic dealers and associations, local and regional promotional stands, and the philatelic services of Germany, TAAF, and Monaco, which launched a new stamp series commemorating the historical relationship between the Principality and Belfort.

At the back of the exhibition hall, La Poste set up its temporary post office, where visitors could purchase different postal and philatelic items relating to the city and the philatelic event -
especially the new stamp 'Belfort - Territoire de Belfort' (below), the LISA vignette, commemorative of Timbres Passion 2012, along with various commemorative postmarks.
The stamp is an engraving by Pierre Albuisson. It includes a label dedicated to the sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, creator of the Statue of Liberty and the symbol of Belfort, a monumental lion carved at the bottom of the citadel.

The ATM issue is a composition by Noëlle Le Guillouzic that brings together two of the city's main monuments - the Porte de Brisach and the Tour de la Miotte, on each side. In the centre there is a drawing of the Ballon d'Alsace, the mountain range on the border of Alsace, Lorraine and Franche-Comté.

Right. Maximum card with the Tour de La Miotte, which dates back to 15th century.
Below, the citadel of Vauban with the Porte de Brisach or Porte d'Alsace, which was built in 1687, and pays homage to King Louis the XIVth.

The labels have identical characteristics to other recent ATM issues in France. The rolls of labels were manufactured by Phil@poste and use offset printing on self-adhesive thermal paper. The label size is 80 x 30 mm. and incorporates a phosphorescent vertical strip at each edge of the design. The total printing for this design was 30,000 labels.
The ATM designer, Noëlle Le Guillouzic, at the autograph session of the 66th Salon Philatélique d'Automne, in Paris

The ATM issue was available to the general public, from October 2nd, from two IER LISA 2 postal kiosks - one in service at the city main post office, Belfort Théâtre, and the other installed on the Timbres Passion 2012 premises.

The kiosk installed at the post office was upgraded with new LISA v5 software (see article >), so that all the ATMs issued by this machine include a prefix in front of the face value (left image), and franking complement ATMs were also available.

The ATMs used for the large number of philatelic souvenirs, prepared by the organizers (right), and much of the previous orders and ATMs sold by La Poste in its temporary post office, were issued, prior to the exhibition, from this postal kiosk.

Unfortunately, on the first day of issue, October 2nd, after several hours of heavy usage, the postal kiosk had a major breakdown and was out of service in the early afternoon.

The second machine was installed on the premises of the exhibition, next to the La Poste temporary post office. In this case, the program of the postal kiosk had not yet been updated to the new version, so it issued ATMs with different indicators (see images below).
This sole machine, in the exhibition, ran for three days without any problems.

For collectors, this issue could be obtained with two types of indicators, according to the postal kiosk used. The ATMs in the images are issued by the kiosk installed at the Timbres Passion 2012, using the former program.
TEST imprint label
Minimum value Inland economic mail - ECOPLI
Inland mail - LETTRE VERTE Inland priority mail - LETTRE PRIORITAIRE
International priority mail
Inland priority mail - Small parcels
International priority mail - Small parcel
Registered domestic mail, first security level
R L1

During Timbres Passion 2012, La Poste made available to collectors several commemorative postmarks. One general postmark depicting the exhibition mascot-logo, the first day of issue postmark for the 'Belfort - Territoire de Belfort' stamp (upper image, right), and another two dedicated to the thematic and polar philately championships, and lastly one commemorative for the 90th anniversary of the department creation.


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This page was created in December 2012
and last updated: 13.01.13 . English edition rewritten by S. Goodman (11.01.2013)