The story behind the Carry Us Through Stamps
The story behind the Carry Us Through stamps is obviously one that relates to the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 and how it has changed our lives, perhaps forever. Some have lost friends, some have lost their jobs and businesses, some have lost their lives. All of us are affected.
We are still living this story, so you could write your own ending if you wish. If it is one of hope and fortitude, love, care and compassion, share it with friends and family; write them a letter, or write to the generation that will follow you, or to yourself. History is made up of personal stories from times of great events and you are part of the history that will be taught in 10, 100 and 1000 years. Let’s make it a time of community and of care and of love.
On the 28th of March 2020, Maxine Cannon, General Manager of Isle of Man Stamps and Coins, rang us and asked a simple question. “How can we support our Doctors, Nurses and Key Workers with a stamp issue?”
Ben spent Sunday thinking about how to thank all those people who had contributed. Nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, paramedics, bus drivers, shop-workers – the list was endless. And was it enough to say thank you? Could more be done? There have been countless acts of kindness, unity, care and positivity but what has been most striking is how people have begun to talk again, to write to each other, to talk with neighbours, to check on vulnerable people. We know that this crisis will pass, as all do and we will be left with a period of recovery. Many who have lost friends and relatives will need compassion and understanding. Ben came up with a message of hope based on just a few of the things that will “Carry Us Through” the crisis and our recovery.
On Monday 30th March, Ben briefed Emma that they were going to create a set of stamps in a day – usually we would be given six months to a year, so this was a nice wakeup call for the second Monday in Lockdown.
Chief Minister The Hon Howard Quayle MHK’s Message
The Isle of Man Post Office is a part of the Isle of Man Government and it was their incredible support that led to Maxine receiving a message of support from Chief Minister The Hon Howard Quayle MHK who said:
“When I became Chief Minister in 2016, I would never have believed that in 2020 the Isle of Man would be facing its biggest crisis since the Second World War. The decisions we have had to take have been unprecedented and no Government would ever wish to impose the restrictions on everyday life that we have brought in if it was not essential to save lives.
“However, it is also times like these where we see the very best of our Island community. Through technology and through being good neighbours we have in some ways become more connected to our families and our communities. The way in which so many of us have rallied to support each other and, in particular, look out for the most vulnerable members of our society has been humbling and inspiring.
Our community spirit is what makes our Island such a unique and special place, and I think this is perfectly reflected by this stamp issue.”
The individual stamps in detail
Love will #CarryUsThrough
Love for our fellow beings is what will help us conquer fear, grief and help us rebuild our lives. All we need is love.
Faith will #CarryUsThrough
Faith is what keeps us all strong in a crisis and at this special time we are seeing a new level of tolerance as faith unites us. Churches and mosques, synagogues and temples have come into our homes.
Care will #CarryUsThrough
Our carers, nurses, doctors, health workers and the entire NHS and all its supporting bodies are the champions of our time. We celebrate every one of them. Some, too many, have given their lives and these superheroes will be remembered forever. They should wear capes not gowns.
Compassion will #CarryUsThrough
Compassion for those who have lost people, compassion for those suffering and those who are afraid. Compassion is what distinguishes humanity and over the coming years, as we deal with a mental health crisis, compassion will save lives.
Work will #CarryUsThrough
The Government has asked us to work to save our country. Workers from every hamlet, village, town and city, from every trade and profession have joined in the effort to make healthcare equipment, scrubs, sanitiser and ventilators; or have gone back to the fields to pick our food, kept shops open and factories working. We soon realised that the real key workers in this country were the ones who kept us well and fed. Without their efforts, we would be lost.
Community will #CarryUsThrough
Communities are coming together like never before. Support groups are delivering food to the frail supported by networks of volunteers. Doors are thrown open at 8pm on Thursdays as we thank our NHS workers and greet our neighbours. Communities have become local again.
Words will #CarryUsThrough
We are writing to each other again. For those in isolation, words raise the spirits, bring back memories and stir emotions. A letter to an elderly relative means more than a quick call or a text; it is tangible, real and brings comfort. A letter to a small child, just starting to read, brings excitement and a break from the monotony of lockdown. Such letters will be treasured and in years to come will be a keepsake from this historic time.
Science will #CarryUsThrough
Scientists are working 24/7 to find a vaccine and one will be found. Never have our Government advisers in science had more visibility and as we listen to their daily briefings, we seek assurance in science. The stamp represents all the main fields of science and by kind permission of Dr Lucy Hawking, include two of Professor Stephen Hawking’s equations – Black Hole Entropy and Hawking Radiation. They also feature Energy (E=mc2), the DNA ‘T’-Base formula and the organic molecule Caffeine, because for scientists working through the night on vaccines, tea and coffee are essential.
What people have said:
Here is Julie Edge MHK, Chair of the Isle of Man Post Office.
Ben Glazier, MD of Glazier Design said
“We will face hard times, but if we face them together, with a renewed sense of community, we will get through this. We wanted to focus on positivity and the human attributes that really matter – not wealth or fame, but love, compassion and selflessness.
“My sister is a nurse and health visitor for newborn babies; my true inspiration for #CarryUsThrough was the selfless acts of NHS workers, health care workers and carers – some of the lowest-paid people we have. They put their lives at risk for us and some of them have died. We also wanted to recognise shop assistants, transport workers, teachers, the scientists who will develop vaccines and ordinary people in local communities who stepped up to look after the elderly, those housebound in lockdown and anyone who needed assistance. These are the truly valuable people in our society”.
Maxine Cannon, General Manager Isle of Man Stamps and Coins said
“We wanted to send a positive message into every home in the Isle of Man and to our friends overseas to say how much we appreciate the people who have worked tirelessly for us and to share the sense of strength and fortitude in our community. By replacing our normal stamps with these beautifully illustrated tributes, we hope to play our part in thanking the people who #CarryUsThrough and raise the morale of everyone that receives them.”
The stamps were designed by Emma Newton at Glazier Design, who said
“We decided on a style that was fun and uplifting, creating each stamp with a figure to give them personality. We chose bold colours with a minimalist palette that tied in with the Isle of Man Post Office’s brand colours, red and blue. We used gradients and flowing lines to add depth and give a soft, relaxed feeling. The exaggerated proportions of the characters give them personality and a slightly quirky nature. It was a joy to be able to create artwork that celebrates people coming together, supporting each other and working hard to overcome adversity.”