XXI Commonwealth Games – Gold Coast

Find out interesting things like events, history, medal tally, for the Commonwealth Games . . .

First, browsing through my Australian Stamp Bulletin, I saw that commemorative issue postage stamps will coincide with the start of XXI Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.  The Games sporting competitions commence 4 April 2018 and continue over 12 days until closing ceremony 15 April 2018.

I am more into literature than sporting pursuits but it’s going to be quite an event!  It appears that the blue surfing koala mascot Borobi (which means ‘koala’ in the indigenous language) is on postcards but not included on the stamps so I’ve added him further down the page.

Commonwealth Games Stamp Issue 2018 01 (1)

Game on!  This is the second time Queensland has hosted The Games.  The 1982 Commonwealth Games were held in Brisbane City from 30 September to 9 October 1982 and I actually attended.  Below, I have written a little bit of Games history to bore you with facts and figures.

A brief history of the Commonwealth Games

In 1891, John Astley Cooper first wrote about a sporting competition that would bring together members of the British Empire, but it wasn’t until 1911, at the coronation of King George V, that an ‘Inter-Empire Championships’ was held.  This event included teams from Australasia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Commonwealth Games Gold Coast 2018 Logo

The first official Commonwealth Games (called the British Empire Games) were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada.  Four hundred athletes from 11 countries competed in 59 events across 6 Core sports.  The Core sports have increased: athletics, boxing, lawn bowls, rowing, hockey, badminton, squash, weightlifting, rugby, aquatics (swimming and diving) and wrestling.  In the past women only competed in swimming events.  That’s all changed and now there’s something for everyone.  Gold Coast 21st Commonwealth Games will include 18 events.

In addition to the 10 Core sports there will be:

  • Basketball
  • Beach volleyball
  • Cycling (road, mountain bike and track)
  • Gymnastics (rhythmic and artistic)
  • Para power lifting
  • Shooting
  • Table tennis
  • Triathlon

Commonwealth Games Stats Graphics Medals

Since 1930, the Games have taken place every four years, except in 1942 and 1946 (due to World War II), and had a few name changes.  Although there are 53 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, 71 teams participate in the Commonwealth Games, as a number of dependent territories compete under their own flags.  The four Home Nations of the United Kingdom—England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—also send separate teams.

Australia is the overall champion of the Commonwealth, having won 2218 medals in total, 852 in Gold.  England is second with 2008 and Canada is third with 1473.
(See below for new figures 2018)

Commonwealth Games Australia Map

The 2018 host city – Gold Coast

The host city for the 2018 Commonwealth Games is Gold Coast, Queensland, located just north of the Queensland/New South Wales border, and about 66 kilometres south of Brisbane.  The Gold Coast is a coastal city on the Pacific Ocean with a population of around 640,000 people.  It is the sixth-largest city in Australia (the largest non-capital city) and the second largest in Queensland (after Brisbane).

The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s major tourist destinations with its sunny sub-tropical climate, beautiful surfing beaches, theme parks and rainforest hinterland.  More than 10 million people visit the Gold Coast every year, including around one million international visitors.  It is also a film production hub with movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Thor: Ragnarok being filmed there.

The official XXI Commonwealth Games stamps have yet to be issued but, in the meantime, collectors may be interested in visiting superb WordPress stamp blogger The Snail Mail:

Here’s Borobi and souvenir merchandise https://shop.gc2018.com/collections/mascot-1

Original 50cent coin from XII Commonwealth Games 1982 Brisbane Australia.
Commonwealth Games Stats 2018
XXI Commonwealth Games Medal Tally 2018

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Postcards Postcrossing the World

Postcards are alive and well and received by countless friends, family and complete strangers around the world.  Complete strangers?  This is where Postcrossing comes into the picture.

I first learned about Postcrossing, a postcard exchange group, from a quarterly Stamp Bulletin and joined free-of-charge.  The five-step guidelines are easy to follow, the website makes it simple to set up a profile and tweak your settings.  Navigate around and check out the stunning and prolific cards received and uploaded by Postcrossing members.  Everyone abides by the rules so things flow smoothly between more than 69,000 members in over 200 countries.

Postcard 017SEND: There’s pleasure in finding and choosing suitable postcards and stamps uniquely representative of your own location.  Clever members can match a postcard to followers hobbies.  It took a couple of weeks for the first postcard to hit my letterbox but I could start mailing out straight away.

RECEIVE: The beauty, variety and quantity I received, often from places I’d never heard of, was impressive.  English is universal although you can specify countries and language.  Handwritten, never laser printed, it takes a certain skill to describe something about yourself and your town on the back of a small piece of cardboard!

Postcrossing Logo

The Postcrossing project was created in 2005 by Postcrossing Founder Paulo Magalhães as a side project when he was a student in Portugal.  From 2008 to 2017, 40 million postcards have been sent.  Naturally Paulo loves to receive postcards and finding one in his mailbox always makes his day!

Postcard 007Right down to the different shapes of the stamps, and in some cases, distinctly long addresses, I was hooked on the fun.

The Postcrossing website has stats and charts to follow the progress of your postcards and I only had one go missing in action.  I think the British postcards were the quickest to arrive and I’ll be diplomatic and not say which was the slowest.  Larger countries sometimes lagged, perhaps because of sheer volume – or misguided postal cuts.  In Australia, there’s an infinite variety of unique postage stamps and supply doesn’t look like declining any time soon.

This world-wide concept stands strong, despite the challenges of internet and social media.  Stamps are still stuck on postcards, timeless messages are still written on the back, and they are still physically mailed to a real address.

Postcard 016Postcrossing friendships are possible via their blog, forum and meet-ups.  Due to work commitments, I closed my Postcrossing account and gave many of my postcards to a collector.  I kept a few colourful ones to wistfully gaze at on a quiet day.

Post a postcard!

Gretchen Bernet-Ward


Want more? The Snail Mail mega toons postcard edition