11 May 2019 A Philatelic Pilgrimage 2: (Homecoming) Return to Penang

11 May 2019 A Philatelic Pilgrimage 2: (Homecoming) Return to Penang

10 May 2019:

Here is the situation:

1. Date of sale moved to 11 May 2019.

2. Half a day for the pilgrimage.

This presented a new challenge of half day. How do we plan out the logistics? Where do we start?

We need help!

Let’s Assemble the old team.

Conference calls time! Frantic Friday calls to various parties. Are we good to go?

11 May 2019:

05:00 am – Thermos – check, Air Sandwich – check, lots of drinking water – check, petrol tank – full! , Touch & Go – check, vehicle – check.

06:00 am – Load up! Good to go! Beep: incoming message, Southern Team nearing rendezvous point.

The drive was dark. Traffic was light. It felt like 21 November 2016 again! We will end up in Pitt Street, Penang again!

Ah finally here!

Rendezvous complete!

It was a quick stop – chop – go!

Why not visit the temple since we are here?

Hasty discussion ensued with the locals in the post office, Waze and Google Map. Where is the temple? I might as well toss a coin…. In myfdc I trust, let’s go!

The road led into off road plantation area. Once we alighted the architecture is awesome!

Beep… message from Central Team… designer is Mr Gan.

Time to leave to the next point: Reverand R.S. Hutchings’ legacy. He left behind 3. Can you name them?

11:00 am – Penang GPO was packed. All waiting to chop – chop – chop!

Better go to Plan B.

A quick drive around the corner to my secret spot where usually there is a spot or two put me within the middle of both location. Ooops… no more stock of the “scratch and win” parking coupons. A good samaritan sold me enough for an hour! I wish we have an easier parking method, e.g. the “slot machines” that eat up your coins. It will be easier than carrying a stack of cards and sometimes only to be used once in a while in the now famous philatelic tours!

11:30 am – Picked up the items from St George’s Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre sold a set of concordant postcards which were very quickly sold out. I hope there are more stocks. In fact the cinderella was taken from an old print of the church.

Thanks Helenn! I really appreciate the assistance!

With the official private folders and covers in hand, it was a brisk walk back to the Penang General Post Office for the final touches! Enroute, stop at 7-11 for more “scratch and win” parking coupons! I really think they are “scratch or fine”!

12:30 pm – done stage 1!

Here is a comparison of the St George’s Souvenir Cover and mine (using the Pos Malaysia Cover) with the concordant Pulau Pinang cancellation (chop). Sure wished the St George’s Folder set was cancelled using the Pulau Pinang cancellation to be more meaningful (similar to the Penang Free School Bicentenary Folder set).

The St George’s folder set also includes a full sheet of St George’s stamps (with many saying it is a different shade, I think so too if you look at the above photos of the 80 sen stamp!), a mint cinderella and another Souvenir Cover with a single stamp.

It is time to take a break and head to the next stage! Beep…in coming message from someone who guided me a lot from the Central Team …. “the stamps have 1/5, 2/5, 3/5, 4/5, 5/5″…. really? I was pasting according to the Price List and e-Poster! Now this is a great move as I know know we have 5 stamps in a set and I will not stick the wrong stamp. As to the order… hmm… I might not be able to follow everytime in order to be concordant!

I heard in many post offices will be still selling and cancelling on Monday. You can check it out. Certainly your second chance to get things done! Penangites might want to visit the St George’s Heritage Centre: stgeopg@yahoo.com (or buy in person).

Many thanks to various logistics team.

04:30 pm – first drop off for Stage 2.

06:30 pm – second drop off for Stage 2.

Concordanists Assemble!


ps: Philatelic Pilgrimage 1 can be relieved at: https://myfdc.me/2016/11/22/21-november-2016-a-philatelic-pilgrimage/


Chung Ling Centenary: A Tour of 3 schools

Chung Ling Centenary: A Tour of 3 schools

I guess by now, the dealers and those caught short or their contacts are in Kedah and Johor post offices to take up whatever balance that they might need for the Chung Ling stamp issue. This is a quirky 3 release dates for a single issue.

09 February 2017

My own philatelic holiday started off on 09 February 2017. It was much more leisurely as the stocks could be secure either in Perlis or in Melaka. In fact, Perlis was also sold out as it was taken off by Penangites.

It was a good drive up North with another concordant cover friend. The traffic and weather was great! Even managed to have a decent lunch along the way and saved my biscuits for tomorrow.


Chung Ling was my first stop in Penang.


It was late afternoon but before the arrival of guests for the centenary dinner. The tent was up and the tables all set.


The school had some counters open to sell the centenary souvenirs. I was aiming for the pin, tie-pin and private covers issued by the school for the Folder Set special packs retailing at RM 150. Of course they were all sold out as these are for the alumni.

Here are my goodies: Centenary Pin, Tie-pin, Centenary Booklet and the Centenary paper bag.


Here are the private envelope set which I think looks more like aerogrammes as they are not glued up. A set of 4 envelopes cost RM 8.00. The envelopes feature the Chung Ling High School, Chung Ling Private, Chung Ling Butterworth and a combination of the school bells. A total of 5,000 sets were made for the alumni pack and a balance of about 1,500 pieces were offers for sale for walk-in buyers. I did mention this in my earlier posting, so you did have an advance information.


The is the back of the envelope – looks like an aerogramme right? I wonder how many of the readers remember and aerogramme!


The “official” private covers fit nicely for the 3 stamps and a miniature sheet. In fact a team of students were mobilized to fold up the “aerogramme”.

It was then off to souvenir shopping and checking out the hawker areas for nice Penang dinner!

10 February 2010

Rise and shine Butterworth! Butterworth still retained much of the old charm of the yesteryears. The sampans are still used at the Shell Terminal near the Butterworth Jetty.


The queue in the Butterworth Post Office was big but not as intense as the General Post Office in Penang. Queue numbers are given out and everyone can sit comfortably to wait for their turn, except, almost everyone is excited to get their hands on the items that they crowd around the sales counter. It would be better if they learn to sit and wait for the queue numbers like in KL but then this is Penang.


The process in Butterworth Post Office was so much more orderly than GPO Penang where snaking lines block part of the post office. No queue number system is used in GPO Penang. Maybe something to consider to provide comfort and order during a “hot” issue.

Then it was a visit to Chung Ling Butterworth. Notice the bell?


It was then back to Chung Ling School, as I by-pass GPO Penang and to avoid the traffic for the return of the Thaipusam Chariots. The stop was Chung Ling School and Chung Ling Private. It would be a waste not to visit the schools after having come so far.


On completion of my pilgrimage to the 3 schools, it was the last stop at GPO Penang where the queue to chop was just as terrible. It was again held up a stamp society with a box of covers to cancel. I think it is nice to make for members but if the covers are only cancelled in Penang, it would be no different than those in the Standing Order Deposit Account (SODA) whereby SODA members will also get the Penang cancellation PLUS the stamp on FDC are in the unreleased setenant format! The stamp society should at least obtain a Pulau Pinang cancellation on 85 sen and 95 sen and a Butterworth cancellation on the RM 1.05 sen. This will be the most basic concordancy for a FDC and give added value to the members. Think about it.


Once the 3 stamps society members left, the queue was again flowing. The GPO Penang and Butterworth post office extended the closing hour beyond 05:30 pm to cater to the large number of buyers!

I urge Pos Malaysia to consider preparing more than 1 postmark for the post office where the bulk of the buyers will go. In this case, “Pulau Pinang” should have 2 postmarking station. One of the station for bulk cancellation and another for the casual collectors. This way it would be more productive for everyone.

The Philatelic Holiday concluded here and it was time to head back home. This time back by 10:45 pm, much better than previous midnights.


  1. Stamp societies: contact Pos Malaysia to make arrangements for orders and postmarking if you are only aiming for one chop.
  2. Pos Malaysia: prepare more chops during issues with special events.
  3. Concordant makers: plan your routing first, clashing events, local traffic knowledge, before you head off. Bring biscuits, water and such as you might not have enough time to cover all you want to do in a day.

Stock status:

  1. Penang, Perlis, most of northern Perak were all sold out – they were taken up by the Penangites.
  2. KL GPO was sold out.
  3. Shah Alam had stamps left.
  4. Seremban’s covers were sold out by 10 am.

It would be interesting to see how is the response in Kedah and Johor. If anyone has additional information in your location, feel free to share with other readers.

I predict Kedah will sell out as it is far too near Penang.

Another piece of good news is that collectors in Penang reported that GPO Penang allowed the extension of use of the canceller this morning due to the huge crowd. This cannot be independently verified. In any case, this is a good gesture.

Oh yes, for the official announcement on the quantities issued: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/02/10/postal-accolade-for-100yearold-school-countrys-oldest-chinese-school-honoured-with-stamps-and-first/

Excerpt: “Pos Malaysia Group CEO Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the stamps, first day cover, miniature sheets and folders are limited to 238,500 pieces, 45,000 pieces, 38,500 pieces and 7,900 pieces respectively.

There are two more potential epic philatelic tours this year. I will keep you posted.

Good luck!
















Back to School: Chung Ling Centenary 09 February 2017

Back to School: Chung Ling Centenary 09 February 2017

Tomorrow marks the actual centenary of the illustrious Chinese medium school in Malaysia with an outreach across the world via its strong alumni base. The Chung Ling Centenary stamp issue is also the first time that a Chinese medium school is feature on a stamp. Here are the products and the quantities (estimates – rounded figures):


  1. Stamps: 238,000 pieces for each design
  2. Miniature Sheet: 38,000 pieces
  3. Empty folders: 7,000 pieces

There are more empty folders this time. This is in contrast to the Penang Free School Bicentenary issue where the alumni took the orders for the folder sets before ordering from Pos Malaysia (thus the issued quantities remained at 2,000 pieces); the Chung Ling Centenary organising committee put in an order of 5,000 folder sets in advance. Thus the quantities for the folders are higher.

Official exact figures were not available for all the items from Pos Malaysia at the time of writing, thus take the figures with a pinch of salt. 🙂

Before you rush over to the post office tomorrow, check the issue dates first!

The issue dates are:

09 February 2017: Perlis, Melaka, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak

10 February 2017: Penang, Perak, Selangor and Federal Territory (Wilayah Persekutuan)

11 February 2017: Kedah and Johor

Here is the advisory: Penangites can consider heading over to Perlis to get the stamps and covers earlier and just do postmarking on 10 February. Those in the Klang Valley intending to head to Penang, should drop by Melaka on 09 February 2017 to get all the items and prepare for 10 February saving precious time. Just think of it as a day trip holiday.

The stamp issue is not expected to be much of a sell-out outside of Penang. Thus there should be adequate stocks in the other states. It will appeal to Chung Ling alumni, special printing (embossed MS) collectors and thematic collectors. 

Penang will probably experience another stock out. For mint and folder collectors, you can take your time to buy later on with the issue dates being staggered.

Unlike the Penang Free School Bicentenary issue, there is currently no planned sales counter nor Mobile Post Office (Pos Bergerak) by Pos Malaysia. 

However the organising committee will sell to those who has ordered the folder sets on 09 February 2017. These sets have already been pre-ordered by the alumni. Thus not much chance to secure a folder set. The folder sets are sold at RM 150 and includes a tie pin, centenary pin, centenary paper bag, t-shirt and of course the complete folder set. There are also 4 special blank envelopes issued by the school (with inputs by the Penang Philatelic Society) in the folder set.

Expect plenty of traffic snarls with the combination of Thaipusam and old boys coming back to school. Penang will be one huge parking lot!

Oh, yes for those heading to the Philatelic Bureau in KL, the designer, Mr Shahrul Izhar from World Comm, is slated to have an autograph session. That is a nice bonus for those in KL!

Time to check you school bag and sharpen your pencils! Back to school again! Go to sleep early!