The recent slew of Malaysian Centenary Schools featured of stamps saw an emerging thematic collection on “Schools”.

21 October 1966: Penang Free School Sesquicentenary

The school theme started way back in 1966 with the stamp issue on Penang Free School’s sesquicentenary (which means 150 Years) of Penang Free School. The stamps were issued on 21 October 1966 – the day of the establishment of the school as well as the annual speech date. Here is a school issued envelope and brochure affixed with a centenary label. The same label comes in various colours and featured eminent old boys and Headmasters. First Day Covers posted in the school received a “Posted at Penang Free School” cachet.

30 August 2005: Malay College Kuala Kangsar Centenary

It was almost 4 decades later before another school was featured on Malaysia stamps. It was rightfully the eminent “Eaton of the East” or Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK). The stamps were issued on 30 August 2005 for the centenary of the school.

Did you know that the first Headmaster of the school was formerly the Headmaster of Penang Free School? He was William Hargreaves.

16 December 2008: Premier Schools

The next stamp issue on schools was on 16 December 2008 with four schools featured under the theme “Premier Schools”. The four schools featured were St Thomas (Kuching, Sarawak), All Saints (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah), Victoria Institution (Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory) and Convent Bukit Nanas (Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory). All four schools have surpassed their centenary.

21 October 2016: Penang Free School Bicentenary

It would only be in 2016 before we see another school themed stamp issue and this time it was Penang Free School for the Bicentenary (200 Years) celebrations. A Pos Malaysia booth and Pos on Wheel van (POW) were set up in the school. The POW also brought along a post box! A breakdown of the Butterworth POW saw the Sungai Petani POW being called in! Pos on Wheel (POW) is basically a Mobile Post Office.

Here are two covers made using the Bicentenary Committee official envelopes. A special cancellation “Penang Free School, Jalan Masjid Negeri, George Town, Penang” was available in school. Could this be the first time George Town appeared on a cancellation?

09 February 2017: Chung Ling School Centenary

In 2017, it was Chung Ling’s (also in Penang) turn to celebrate their Centenary. This was the prelude to further school centenary stamp issues. As 09 February 2017 was a Public Holiday in Penang, the stamps were released on 10 February 2017.

The school produced special envelopes to mark the occasion. The envelopes came in a set of four featuring the Main School, the branch in Butterworth and the Independent school. The fourth envelope is a collage of the three school’s landmarks.

03 March 2018: Yu Hua School Centenary

2018 saw a multitude of schools reaching their 100 years! It began with Yu Hua School in Kajang, Selangor with their celebration on 03 March 2018. As the issue date was a Saturday, the stamps were issued on Monday 05 March 2018. A special cancellation in English with the wordings “100th Anniversary of Yu Hua School Kajang, Sekolah Yu Hua, Kajang”.

The normal cancellation in the Kajang Post Office reads “Ulang Tahun Ke-100 Sekolah Yu Hua Kajang, Kajang”.

09 September 2018: Chang Wa School Centenary

This was followed by Chang Wa School in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. The school decided to use the personalised stamp (Setem Ku) with their own envelope and cachet with the date 09 September 2018. I will term it as First Day Commemorative Cover as the cancellation is not officially issued by Pos Malaysia.

15 September 2018: Chung Hwa School Centenary

The next school was Chung Hwa School in Kota Bharu. It was originally in the official stamp issue schedule. However, the stamp issue turned into a personalised stamp. The school produced a folder with three full sheets of personalised stamp and a private First Day Commemorative Cover on 15 September 2018.

09 October 2018: Jit Sin School Centenary

The 2018 school stamp schedule concluded with the Jit Sin School Centenary stamp issue. The schools depicted in this issue are located in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. The stamp issue was on sale on 25 October 2018. The anniversary was on 09 October 2018. The lag is due to a printing delay. This is probably the record for the longest “post” first day of issue release.

Interestingly, in conjunction to Jit Sin School Centenary, the schools have decided to use a unifying school logo as printed on the Pos Malaysia FDC.

The pictorial cancellation is the Bukit Mertajam Philatelic Bureau branch. A special cancellation “Jit Sin School Pulau Pinang” is used on the Standing Order Deposit Account First Day Covers as well as the First Day Covers in the Jit Sin school special commemorative packs.

An excellent write-up of the history of the school and the concordant philatelic items from an alumni, Dr KH Ng, can be read at:

09 November 2018: Ying Wa College Bicentenary (issued by Hong Kong Post)

The Ying Wa College was actually started in Malacca (Melaka) in 1818 as the Anglo-Chinese College! It was then moved to Hong Kong in 1843.

18 February 2019: Chung Hua Bintulu School Centenary

A surprise school personalised stamp issue was released by Chung Hua Bintulu School for their centenary.

21 March 2019: Chong Hwa School Centenary

The Chong Hwa School Centernary was originally an official stamp issue. It was subsequently moved to become a personalised stamp issue (Setem Ku). This is also the first Personalised Cinderella for a school and Setem Ku issue.

There was even an official autograph session in the Chong Hwa Private Secondary School (Sekolah Menengah Persendirian Chong Hwa) in Sentul.

It seems that the trend of personalised stamps for schools is here to stay.

To Be Continued………