This new stamp issue, designed and intaglio printed by André Lavergne, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Société d’Etudes Historiques de la Nouvelle-Calédonie (New Caledonia Historical Studies Society). The stamp features the symbols of the SEH-NC and the work in preserving historical memory accomplished under the chairmanship of Bernard Brou, one of the founder members, who headed the Society until 2000 and was succeeded by Professor Gabriel Valet.
Founded in December 1969 by people passionate about New Caledonia’s history (including Bernard Brou, Numa Daly, Georges Pisier, André Surleau, Luc Chevalier, Henri Daly and others), the Society was to publish a regular quarterly review, the Bulletin de la Société d’Etudes Historiques de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, which currently runs to a hundred or so pages featuring over 1,530 articles focussing on New Caledonia and neighbouring island groups. Over the last fifty years, the Society has also edited 69 books and publications on a very diverse range of topics and themes.
Publications include original monographs, theses, translations and also literary works with a historical, ethnological or linguistic focus, highlighting works by “pioneering” 20th century New Caledonian authors such as Georges Baudoux, Jean Mariotti and Paul Bloc, and writings by missionaries providing precious linguistic and ethnographic insight into the ancient myths and traditions of Melanesian society. The achievements of these devotees of history are of enormous value, as evidenced by the many works by Georges Pisier and by Bernard Brou, writings by legal professionals, works relating to ancient texts, to oral literature, rock carvings, the streets of Noumea, and to the Japanese community in New Caledonia, etc.
In conclusion, this is a very significant cultural oeuvre, not always widely-known or given true recognition but central to New Caledonia’s heritage, and which every New Caledonian has a duty to preserve.
Please visit www.seh-nc.com for further information.