To mark the withdrawal from service of Malta's iconic buses, MaltaPost will issue a commemorative set of stamps depicting some of the vehicles that were in operation over the years.
Local artist Cedric Galea Pirotta was commissioned to paint 20 of the most popular buses covering the principal routes throughout Malta and Gozo, each in its original route livery.
The issue will be released on the 2nd July 2011, coinciding with the date of withdrawal from service of the existing buses. It will consist of two sheets each of 10 different stamps bearing a denomination of 20c and 69c respectively.
In addition to the usual philatelic items, MaltaPost has produced a number of related items as souvenirs of this event.
Firstly, a set of 20 maximum cards will be issued to complement the stamp set. These are a philatelic version of a postcard bearing an identical image of a stamp.
Additionally, a set of 20 prints of the original watercolours by Cedric Galea Pirotta will be issued. Each print will measure 41cm by 33cm and will be presented in two folders of 10 prints each.
In conjunction with "Buses Worldwide", MaltaPost has reprinted their popular booklet "Maltese Buses of Yesteryear" which is filled with photographs of many buses that have served various routes over the years.
The routes depicted in the stamps are: Birkirkara, Birkirkara - St. Julian's, Cospicua, Gozo, Gudja/Ghaxaq, Kalafrana, Lija, Mellieha, Mosta, Naxxar, Rabat, Siggiewi, Sliema, Zabbar, Zebbug/Siggiewi, Zejtun and Zurrieq.
The three other buses included in the commemorative set are those for "Private Hire", the Gozo Mail Bus and the classical Magirus Deutz representing "All Routes", which has now been entrusted to Heritage Malta along with a selection of other buses.