Old China Town KL The Malaya Study Group Selangor SG 87

The Malaya Study Group exists for collectors of the stamps, postal stationery and postal history of the states of Peninsular Malaysia which until 1963 formed the Federation of Malaya, including the Straits Settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore, the Federated Malay States, Negri Sembilan and Sungei Ujong, Pahang, Perak and Selangor and the Unfederated States, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Trengganu. Many MSG members also collect & study all of modern Malaysia, Singapore, and the island of Borneo, comprising additionally  Sabah, Sarawak, Borneo, Labuan, and the states of Brunei & the peninsular state of Singapore. Study of the whole area so often adds to understanding and appreciation of the philately of Malaya. The Society has a JOURNAL, "The Malayan Philatelist" and a NEWSLETTER supplied free to members, EXCHANGE PACKETS, AUCTIONS and has produced a number of significant PUBLICATIONS on the stamps and postal history of the area.

The Worthing Regional Meeting

September 12th 2009

A note & pictures from Susan McEwen

A detailed account from our Special Correspondent Dominic Morris follows the photographs.

The Regional MSG meeting at East Worthing community centre, was on a bright day, Saturday 12th September. We were delighted to have such an excellent turn out, slightly more than last year we are pleased to say. There was a very good range of displays. Some of the participants are shown in these pictures. After a full day of philately 9 adjourned to the Imperial China restaurant for dinner and social chat.

Peter Cockburn, holding the MSG 50th Anniversary Plaque, presented to the Group at the celebrations in Penang in August 2009.


Rob Holley presenting his display



Mac McClaren describing his frames


Len Stanway's Jap Occ Display



Len Stanway 's second display



Mike Ludlow's display included Kensitas State Flags and postcards


From our Special Correspondent, Dominic Morris

Another fine year: for the weather, for the company and for the philately. A new venue: in Pages Lane. It may not be as fine as Field Place, but since the latter have dumped philately for civil weddings and the corporate hospitality wagon, we were pleasantly surprised by the light, airiness, good parking and helpfulness of the new venue. (Also with the decent and keen-to-please pub nearby for lunch- home made Scotch eggs and omelettes definitely a plus). A good turn-out of members too (esp. for a new venue): around 20 members plus ‘regular’ spouses- Jane, Diane, Anne and Brenda- who always enliven and lift Worthing. Also very welcome were a couple of members whose first meeting this was. We hope to see them back again in future.
The proceedings started with a moment of reflection and thanks for the life of Gaden Robinson, a key member of the Group and a wonderful man and good friend to many. Gaden died – far too soon- on 7 September. His parting leaves a hole in our hearts. But he would have been even crisper (and indeed gruffer) than usual if we had ‘gone all Victorian’. “Just get on with it and enjoy the stamps- and by the way that one’s got an inverted watermark” were words that seemed to float around. Can’t think from where.
The day of displays itself opened with a full round display from Keith Elliot on Negri Sembilan. Keith had evidently read carefully the reports of the members’ display day earlier this year of Sungei/ Negri (which he had been unable to attend) because this was a wholly complementary display. It was, as ever from Keith, both superbly informative and ravishing to the eye. There were postcards of the 1899 Yam Tuan; many lovely examples of the 1899-1901 shortage period; Negri used in Perak, Selangor and Straits used in Negri. He showed a 1907 Kwala Pilar to Mombasa cover: a full 12 years earlier than Proud’s earliest recording; plus a 1929 cover and letter recording the drought and water theft. Pahang 1941 8c used in Negri (a nice example, though not inherently rare, but to show how rare the 8c Pahang used in Pahang was).
Other notable items in the display were: 1892 Registered Parcel Block of 13 of the 2c; a Straits franking on cover (when Sungei was not in the UPU); 1892-99 Straits used in Sungei; an 1893 1c used NS prepay card (being the top half of a reply card); a 1931 FMS prepay 4c envelope cover at the correct 12c UPU rate; some lovely 1934 Survey Department Essays, including the long 50c Pale Green and Black; 1935-37 issues including missing stop etc; the 1938 proof strike of the ‘Neo-post’ meter mark cover; striated paper 1941 issues, the 1941 shortages; some nice tied ‘Patriotic Fund’ labels on cover and, of course, the only known and recorded version of the 8c scarlet 1941 Negri. No others bar this pair yet known to exist. Thanks Keith, a lovely display.
Mike Ludlow followed with a fascinating display of postcards, hotel and Victoria Hall ephemera, including a Flying Boat Corrio used first flight postcard, postcards mint and used of the Singapore Philharmonic (Philatelic?) Orchestra, plus programmes etc. Mike’s display concluded with some authentic (if dodgy) postcards showing Sir Ralph Hone (then Gov-Gen Borneo) and the Rt Hon Malcolm MacDonald (Political Resident General, Ramsay’s son and all-round politician/ nuisance in Malaya in the early Emergency) floating around off the official launch in Malayan waters. Tarka the Otter this ain’t!
Peter King showed Maritime Covers, including Japanese postcards used with maritime cancels and Dutch East Indies used with Singapore Paquebot marks; covers of the SS Andorra (a fridge ship for Argentine Meat later used as a Malaya passenger ship: presumably the Aircon was still working!), British Air Fleet Mail (with cachets hitherto only recorded on Australian Mail) a ‘ShipSocFin’ cachet from KL to London (This is..? Answers on a postcard or email please); a Derek Clayton (to himself) 9d cachet ‘Victualling Store Officer’ 1967 recorded at sea by helicopter Penang paquebot mark. Almost certainly unique if Derek had anything to do with it. Nice one Peter. Peter’s round finished with a 1919 FMS card from ‘Bousted Hampshire and Co Ltd’. We believe these were agents for the China Nautical Steam Navigation Co. But a rare mark.

Over the lunch hour Joe Robinson showed ‘volume 2’ of his photos and memorabilia of his Wartime experiences on HMSs Scylla and Sirius including the June 1944 moment when the ship hit a mine showering Joe with spuds and water from the catering tub hanging over his bunk; plus postcards and photos of the re-conquest of various Greek Islands- very Captain Corelli.

After lunch, Len Stanway, Susan McEwen and Dominic Morris all displayed Japanese Occupation. Len showed some a half-sheet of the Red Cross overprint, fine upper (why are they always upper?) panes and half-sheets of the Kolff Pictorial series, different printings of the 4c red tin dredger prepaid post-card (He’s right, there are very distinct red/ vermillion shading to crimson prints. Is there a pattern a la Syonan-to printings of the 2c and 4c Kolffs or is it just the vagaries of the printers inks available at the time?). Len finished his display with a fine Perak ‘Map’ Revenue used on receipt for the Blue Omnibus Co. Len displayed a further round later in the afternoon on FMS and pre-FMS tigers.

Susan showed postal history and receipts including bank deposits and all the JapOcc bureaucracy involved in the authorisation for purchase of a cotton sari- amazing they could fight a war at all, let alone get to the gates of India! Susan’s display continued with some fine Postage Dues including diagonal overprints and covers (one for 16c because two letters enclosed not one), a nice sheet of the Perak Map Revenue and used on receipt including the much scarcer red roulette used, finishing as a double act with Dominic with correspondence to the La Brooey family. Susan showing OGS and Official to Mr and Mrs La B at Dulcieville Ipoh, Dominic showing covers to Mrs La B and a postcard from an admirer (young Den) to Miss La B who had by end 1942 moved to KL. Dominic also showed a range of Dai Nippon printing bloopers on Perak overprints, one or two scarce, more fun to collect. Peter Cockburn asked why such a wide variety of bloopers? Answer, local printers and locally made plates for the genuine bloopers and philatelic ‘requests’ from senior Japanese military and officials accounting for others.
Andrew Norris showed a wonderful miscellany of postal history including: an official postcard going to the local militia but also with franked stamp (there were two names on the address, so it was presumably sent on, exhausting the ‘official’ postage and thus requiring the additional stamp); a 1942 ‘Per 34’ Censor-mark, which was a permit for the BPAS, allowing the export of stamps in war-time; a train letter mark on airmail cover; a North Borneo cover with manuscript WW1censor-mark;a Trengganu registered envelope which was a Stanley Gibbons approvals book returns envelope (which was a cause of SG’s opposition to the all-up airmail rate’s introduction. They did not like these envelopes going by plane. SG self-insured: ships didn’t sink but aircraft crashed. Andrew finished his round with double censored covers from North Borneo and Straits Settlements and a February 1947 BMA AV2 mark.
Peter Cockburn surprised us by showing us Revenues. In this case the new 1 Ringgit Malaysia Revenues issued in August and the February 2009 issue of the RM 5, 10, 50, 100 and 250 Revenues, reflecting the shift in responsibility from the Post Office to the Revenue Department, identical in design save for the values; plus the previous issue.
Mac McClaren displayed a round of ‘guess-whats?’ from the small heads series. These included Dutch Pos in Singapore, PO taxe marks and the occasional 40c used on cover (always difficult in the small heads) and a correct rate $1.40 ($1.20 for the ½ oz plus registration) Selangor to St Helena – unusual destination.
Roger Barry showed a frame of Wearnes first flights and material on the Motor Company History. An interesting conundrum: why more than one ‘official’ design for first flight covers between the same start and destination points?
Joe Robinson, who despite his recent op had made the effort to get to Worthing showed what would form the essence of his Postage Dues display at the RPSL at the MSG’s 50th in October. (It has taken me that long to write this up that said display has now happened- the display looked good at Devonshire Place too Joe). This is written up better in the lovely souvenir brochure of the RPSL display which David Tett, with superb bandobast, has had produced (and if you haven’t got one, get one!). Lovely display, Joe; and great for those South Coast members who couldn’t get up to London to have the chance to see it.
Mike Kingsland showed three frames of the 2005-06 issued stamps used and the miniature sheets issued in the same period. Another collector, alongside Len, who can make modern Malaysian issues accessible to the rest of us.
Keith Elliot showed his second round of the day. This one including 1946 airmail covers, one of Keith’s other passions. Again he showed covers that |Proud claims are unrecorded at that date (09.05.46); the first clipper cover from Singapore in |May 1941 a never before seen arrival mark and various other clippers; of the earlier marks there were a rare Endau from around 1900, the only recorded Siliau in 1904 and ditto a Pulau TeKang from 1932 (Hope I’ve transcribed that one correctly, Keith)
Rob Holley showed 55 sheets of the Multiple Crown and Multiple Script issues of the FMS saying how infrequently these stamps made their appearance at meetings although they were the most easily recognisable to the general public. He found the listings in Gibbons presented several problems: 1. How difficult it was to find really black vignettes of a number of values. 2. The difficulty of separating some of the greys from the grey-browns on used stamps. 3. How oddly scarce some of the chalk stamps were to find, examples being MCA SG 36a, the 4c grey & rose, SG 39b, the 5c, SG 41ba the 8c, & SG 43a, the 10c. In fact he wasn't very sure he had found any of them. Had others had the same difficulty? He thought that trying to put together the make-ups of the 6 different plates would be an interesting task but had never found the opportunity (or the money) to do it. The higher values of the Script issue was easier to find on cover due to the increase in the use of airmails in the 1930s, even the $2 stamps were possible, and he showed examples of SG 78 & 79.
As usual, the day finished with a walk along the sea-shore to a golden sunset, a jar in the pub then an agreeable chow- down in the Imperial China restaurant. This year our Chairman was with us and did the ordering and (surprise) it worked out so much better. Home to the strains of the Last Night of the Proms on the car radio. Perfect. Must do this again next year!




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