Isle of Man Post Office has teamed up with Panama Canal and Cunard line to produce a miniature sheet that marks the centenary of the Panama Canal, the incredible feats of the civil engineers tasked with its creation and a series of achievements exemplified by the passage of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth through the world famous waterway.
The construction of the Panama Canal was first officially authorised by the Spanish Government in 1819, however it's commencement was stalled for some time whilst a number of surveys were undertaken, one of which by Manx Man William Kennish, born in Cornaa in 1799 and recognised by The Society of Arts and Commerce as a notable engineer, explorer, inventor, scientist and poet. Following a number of setbacks, the project was eventually completed by the US Government and the Canal was officially opened on 15th August 1914 with the passage of the cargo ship SS Ancon. Since then, the Panama Canal has averaged 14,000 ships per year, representing 5% of the world's shipping industry, and continues to be regarded as one of the world's busiest waterways. In 2014, we mark 100 years since the first ship sailed its entire length.
The miniature sheet consists of a collage of images associated with the Canal's centenary celebrations; it includes a visual of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth passing through the world famous Panama waterway, with Cunard also celebrating next year the 175th Anniversary of its first ship Britannia setting sail in July 1840.The image also includes a map of the Canal and a high definition photo of Manx man William Kennish.