Anniversary AA-Ireland: 100 years
Now for more than 100 year the Irish Motorists Association, the AA, helps car and motorcycle driving Irish to stay on the road. On October 14th 2010 this has been celebrated by AN post (Irish post) with a new stamp of 55 cents.
Automobile Association started its activities in Ireland in 1910, at a moment that the country had 90.000 kilometers of roads but only 7.870 registered vehicles. Nowadays AA Ireland has 550.000 customer relations, a high tech patrol fleet, a broad program of insurance products and the famous AA Roadwatch.
"AA Ireland has travelled a long road since our first gathering at College Green in 1910, and what, while we are eagerly looking forwards to our next 100 years, could be a better way to celebrate our heritage than with a stamp carrying an image of one of our famous saluting patrol men?", says Pat Kiely, AA Ireland's CEO.
The stamp and the First Day Cover, designed by Q Design, both show a picture of a fully dressed AA patrol man bringing the traditional AA salute.
The first AA patrols came in Ireland in the midst of the 1920's. Their eyecatching yellow and black motorcycle combinations formed Irelands first rescue and assistance organisation for motorists, and are the predecessors of the present modern fleet. Some AA patrols even have made their rounds on a bicycle!
During the first World War and the Irish war of indepence the private use of cars was almost stopped, but in 1924, 2 years after the Irish free state had been realised, new life was put into the AA. Around 1950 the organisation counted 19.200 members.
Motoring and motorised vehicles are popular themes with philatelists. Therefore AN Post expects a great demand for the new stamp and First Day Cover from stamp collectors and motorcycle and car enthusiasts from all over the world.
The motorcycle shown on the stamp is a BSA 600 cc M21 sidecar:
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