UK diaspora group reconnecting Guyanese with rarest stamp in the world

The Guiana One Cent Magenta

An eclectic mix of the UK (United Kingdom) Diaspora and friends of Guyana gathered at the Stanley Gibbons Centre in London.

The event, hosted by Sally Gibson, the Guyanese born UK-based lawyer, was a private reception to exhibit The Guiana One Cent Magenta. The stamp was recently purchased by Stanley Gibbons for G$1.7 billion and is the rarest Stamp in the world.

The event, included notable persons from public life, business, artists, authors, sports and community leaders. A former High Commissioner to Guyana and a representative of the former High Commissioner to the UK was also in attendance. The indomitable John Agard, the world-renowned Guyanese Poet, also invoked the spirit of Guyana and the love for the homeland in a Reading he gave of a poem dedicated to his mother.

President Irfaan Ali holding the Stamp (Photo: Andy Lamb/Stanley Gibbons)

Sally also hosted President Irfaan Ali last week on his way back from COP26 for a private viewing. Special arrangements were made for the One Cent Magenta to be removed from its display cabinet and the President was able to handle it at close quarters.  He was also able to share the history of the Stamp’s printing press which remains intact in the Museum in Georgetown.

Speaking of her inspiration to organise the events, Sally spoke of her desire to reconnect Guyana and the Diaspora with the Stamp given that it is so deeply engrained in the collective Guyanese psyche. She was pleased that so many connections, old and new, had been made because of the Stamp.

Sally Gibson

The great-great-great-granddaughter and great-great-great-grandson of Edmond D. Wight, the Postmaster’s Clerk whose famous initials “EDW” appears on the One cent Magenta,  were also invited.

Though they had never before met, they were uniquely brought together by the evening’s viewing. Sally was also delighted that the President’s visit made a modern  Guyanese connection with the Stamp’s new home. In passing, it was also noted that he and Sally were connected through a common family ancestry!