OPT-NC is delighted to announce the issue of this 75 XPF stamp to mark the 70th anniversary of the Noumea headquarters of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the international organisation founded in 1947 to promote the development of Oceanian countries and communities.
From 1949 to 1995, the SPC was housed in the former American military base at Anse Vata, established in 1942 and known as the Pentagon. However, 24 years ago, the organisation invested in new, custom designed and elegant buildings inspired by the Oceanian concept of dwelling spaces and their relationship to the environment.
Various architectural elements of the SPC complex evoke the ocean, shipbuilding and navigation: the roof suggests an outrigger canoe overturned on the sand, while coconut fibres and lines of white coral trace Micronesian navigation maps around the outside walls; the design of the spacious conference hall brings to mind community halls found throughout the South Pacific. The SPC headquarters, owned by the organisation’s 26 country and territory members, are a venue for conferences and a key centre for scientific research. The impressive library plays a major role in SPC work.
Early in 2019, the SPC held a competition inviting all the organisation’s staff members to create a winning design for this commemorative stamp. Navneet Lal, a 31 year old Fijian who joined the SPC in 2008 to work as an assistant in graphic design and visualisation for the Geoscience, Energy, and Maritime Division, was declared the winner.
This is the latest stamp in a series issued in collaboration with the SPC to mark previous anniversaries of their headquarters (25, 40, 50 and 60 years), and also South Pacific Conferences hosted by the SPC (in 1962, 1978, 1990 and 1995).