As Barbados marked the first official celebration of Panama Day on August 15, with the launch of a Commemorative Stamp Issue, a Government Minister has issued a call for more young people to become involved in stamp collecting.

At the same time, Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, has called on adults to step up to the challenge and seek out ways to entice more young people into the practice of collecting commemorative stamps.

He made these comments as he delivered the feature address during the launch of a Commemorative Stamp Issue in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal at the General Post Office today.

???We need to channel the interests of young people. The onus is on us adults to bring it to their attention so people could see the link and the value [that] history teaches us. We have a lot to learn from history about the value of things,??? he said.

Mr. Brathwaite added that the Post Office was always trying to find new ways to justify its existence, and opportunities to generate additional revenue would be welcomed.

He stressed that the sale of commemorative issues was going well, but the challenge now was enticing the young people to show an interest.

Making reference to the five commemorative stamps and one First Day Cover in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal, Mr. Brathwaite said the stamps told a story which journeyed back in time.

???In order to know where one is going it is good to look from whence one has come. The modern society we enjoy with all the social benefits did not always exist. There are those who paved the way for us to get here with the amenities we enjoy. We must therefore laud those labourers who have made the trip and endured the sacrifice for the sake of their families during the construction of the Panama Canal,??? the Minister said.

He added he hoped that these stamps would be of interest to the younger generation, given the linkages that exists between the two countries.

???With persons keen to learn more about their history, combined with the development and growth of heritage tourism, there is reason to be optimistic that sales of this issue will be very positive, particularly since many interesting stories have emerged of the exploits of Barbadians living in Panama,??? Mr. Brathwaite added.

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