This is one event that was shared by Malaysia and Singapore in the colonial era: a series of India postage stamps overprinted specifically for the use in the Straits Settlements. At that time the Straits Settlements comprised of Penang (present day Pulau Pinang), Malacca (present day Melaka) and Singapore. This is the first time that both countries issued stamps to commemorate the occasion.
As such, I thought it might be of interest to myfdc readers on what were available on 01 September 2017 in Singapore.
Day broke early for me in the Lion City. The Singapore Post Centre at Paya Lebar was clearly visible from the MRT Station. It was still early. The route was well sign posted.
The Singapore Post employees came very early, starting from just after 07:00 am. The bulk of the employees arrived at 07:30 am. Today is also the opening of the Philatelic Store which is just in front of the General Post Office. The Philatelic Store as well as the General Post Office will be opened from 10:30 am.
By 08:20 am, the whole crew were being briefed on the day’s duty as well as the significance of the date was explained.
Members of Zui You Philatelic Society were also early to put up an exhibition. Here are some of the exhibits.
The customer queue started to build up from 09:00 am. A staff went through the queue with a folder containing ALL the available products and an order form. This way, those on the queue can view the products and mark down what they want to order. It is an efficient way, much better than having a picture as this method allowed those in the queue to look at the actual product before placing their order.
I noticed later on that in the end…well….. you always find THAT uncle, who has been buying stamps for decades, upon reaching the counter and still asking what is it that being sold??!!?? Some things are the same!
Here are the products:
The interesting thing is that the Malaysian series of the stamps were on SALE! This is only via the Straits Settlements Stamps 150th Anniversary Collection Pack retailing at SGD 12.80! This is how it looks like on the inside:
Here are the cancellations (postmarks/datestamps/chops):
Unlike Pos Malaysia who uses the name of the location on the pictorial cancellation (e.g. Kuala Lumpur, Penang, etc.), Singapore Post uses numbers and alphabets to denote the location where the pictorial cancellation comes from. E.g. the Standing Order Deposit Account members will receive “1”, the Philatelic Store is “1A”, Exhibition is “E” and the General Post Office is “49”. In addition, the “General Post Office P” circular cancellation and an “Opening of the Philatelic Store @ GPO” cachet were also available.
The store opened sharp at 10:30 am. The crowd was strong but the employees were ready. A special postcard and eco-bag were given out for purchases of SGD 25.00. Some of the customers were also diverted to the General Post Office where the products were also on sale. This reduced the queue at the Philatelic Store.
The area to stick stamps was rather limited. In the philatelic spirit everyone made do with whatever space they can get. The General Post Office staff were also very helpful. They offered the General Post Office “49” pictorial postmark to reduce the queue at the postmarking station. Overall, the process was smooth. Bottled water were given out to customers. It is a kind gesture as many were there for most part of the day. Another helpful amenity was the toilet which was just around the corner!
In the afternoon the designer, Mr Wong Wui Kong came to autograph the products.
This was followed on by Ms Ivory Seah at 04:00 pm to autograph mainly the ASEAN 50th Anniversary issue. Some took the chance to bring the older stamp issues designed by her.
The next stop was the Singapore Philatelic Museum where an exhibition was being held. A special exhibition cover with a special cancellation plus the pictorial cancellation “E” were available.
Here is the Official First Day Cover with the Opening of Philatelic Store @ GPO, 150 Years SPM, “1” (GPO), “1A” (Philatelic Store) and “E” (Exhibition) cancellations on FDC.
The story continues in Malaysia on 05 September 2017. News has it that additional stocks are being made available in Pulau Pinang and Melaka where demand is expected to be strong.
In addition, the Penang Philatelic Society’s envelope has arrived.