OPT-NC presents two new 110 XPF stamp issues completing the series launched in 2017 to celebrate New Caledonia’s architectural heritage.
The stamps feature watercolours by New Caledonian artist Eric Valet and show two examples of the built heritage of the Loyalty Islands: the Roh hut in Maré and the Macfarlane residence in Lifou.
The first stamp shows the strikingly unusual hut belonging to the Roh Tribe, located on the north coast of Maré. The small traditionally-built rectangular hut is perched on a coral outcrop and commands breathtaking views over the limpid lagoon waters, brimming with vivid fish.
The second stamp shows the residence named after Scottish Protestant missionary Samuel Macfarlane, who landed in Lifou in 1859. Macfarlane (known for first bringing vanilla plants from Reunion Island to the Loyalty Islands) settled in Xépénéhé where, against a background of Franco-British rivalry, he set about converting the Melanesian islanders to Protestantism. With the support of local chiefs Waehnya and Tupaisi, he founded the "Britania" church school, later renamed "Bethania". Macfarlane faced a good deal of local opposition from Marist priests and islanders converted to Catholicism and, following an attack on his mission, was forced to leave Lifou in 1871.
Extensively renovated and restored in 1960 and in 2007, Macfarlane’s former residence now houses the Bethanie divinity and theological school media library. Featuring a wrap-around porch, numerous French windows and a sheet metal roof, the house is the sole example of New Caledonian colonial architecture in Lifou.