The 64th Assemblée Générale de PHILAPOSTEL in l'île d'Oléron

Continuing the journey of the annual meetings of PHILAPOSTEL, has allowed us to discover some particularly beautiful and little-known French locations. And the 64th general assembly was no exception, being held on the Atlantic coast, on l'Île d'Oléron, in the department of Charente-Maritime.

As usual, PHILAPOSTEL organized its annual meeting in a holiday resort. In 2016, it was the village vacances Les Beaupins, in Saint-Denis-d'Oléron, in the north of the island, very close to the phare de Chassiron.
Over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of June 2016, the convention brought together some 150 representatives of the 27 regional and departmental PHILAPOSTEL associations throughout the country.
During the assembly, and occupying various common areas of the resort, the organization arranged a conference, an interregional philatelic exhibition, a small mail art exhibit dedicated to the bridge and the island of Oléron, as well as the 'Coups de coeur' exhibition, in which the participants displayed a special postal or philatelic item.

Naturally, there is no philatelic event without special issues. For yet another year (making seven !), Phil@poste allowed PHILAPOSTEL to issue a vignette LISA for its annual meeting.
The new issue is a composition by Joël Lemaine, an artist born in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, who since 2013 has been producing different philatelic designs for this postal administration and also for La Poste.
The design is mainly dedicated to the Pont de l'Île d'Oléron, as June 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of its inauguration.

According to La Poste guidelines for this issue, the composition features various images related to the island, such as oysters, the Fort Boyard, and the Phare de Chassiron (see maximum cards at end of article).

The total production run was 30,000 labels.

The Pont de l'Île d'Oléron, or Viaduc d'Oléron, is a road bridge linking the mainland to the island of Oléron, the largest French island on the Atlantic coast. It was opened on June 21st 1966. Being about 3 kilometres long, it was the longest bridge in France until 1974.
On the occasion of its inauguration, the French post issued a commemorative stamp (right). The bridge connects with France through the commune of Bourcefranc-le-Chapus, whose name appears on the special postmark.

On June 3rd and 4th, the island’s La Poste staff arranged a small temporary post office in the resort, where the participants and a few local visitors could buy some philatelic products and get the special postmark.
In an adjacent area, the vignettes LISA were available from an IER LISA 2 XP postal kiosk, temporarily moved from the Le Château-d'Oléron branch.

Joël Lemaine, author of the designs for the vignette LISA, the commemorative postmark, and one of the personalized stamps, attended the meeting, to show his works and, in particular, the original watercolour created for the issue (images).

PHILAPOSTEL produced and put on sale various philatelic souvenirs with the assembly’s special stamp issues. Among them, postcards and pictorial covers, as well as two personalized stamps. Such was the interest in the issue’s topic, that all material was sold out in a few hours.
Personalized stamps are illustrated with the motifs of the vignette LISA (right) and on the postcard. These were on sale as a single stamp with the 'Lettre Verte' face value indicator, and in a special folder or 'Collector', with the 'Lettre Prioritaire' value.

The postal kiosk installed in the resort was not connected to the postal network, so it was not possible to issue ATMs for tracked mail or 'LETTRE SUIVIE'. Therefore, from this machine, it was possible to obtain stamps with up to 28 different texts or indicators (14 shipment types + 14 franking complements), as well as stamps with just the face value.

The kiosk installed in the island main post office, in Saint-Pierre-d'Oléron, issued the assembly vignettes for just a few days. In this case, the machine was connected to the postal network and allowed the purchase of stamps with all the face value indicators (32 in total), and any face value.
Inland economic mail - EC    ECOPLI Inland priority mail (J+2) - LV    LETTRE VERTE
Inland priority mail (J+1)
International priority mail
Inland / Domestic tracked mail - LV    LETTRE SUIVIE Bar code label associated to the left stamp
TEST labels

The bassin de Marennes-Oléron, which includes l'Île d'Oléron, is the main area of ​​oyster production in Europe. The long bridge can be seen in the background of the maximum card.
The Phare de Chassiron, at the northern end of the island, is one of the oldest lighthouses in France still in operation.
The Fort Boyard is oval-shaped, built in the nineteenth century between l'Île d'Aix and l'Île d'Oléron. After a long period of neglect, it was restored in the 1980s and used for the filming of movies and TV gameshows.

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This page was created in July 2016
and last updated:  22.07.16 . English edition rewritten by S. Goodman (22.07.2016)