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 Nephilex 2010 Malaya Study Group Regional Meeting September 25th 2010

The Group is delighted to report the first North East Regional Meeting

Report by Bill Shand with addition by Mike Ellison


Corbitts Stamps of Newcastle upon Tyne generously sponsored the production of the Smiler Stamps


This was the first attempt at a Regional Meeting in the North East of England and a small but enthusiastic group of seven members met in the Royal Station Hotel.

The magnificent seven were Bill Shand, Terry Pickering. Mike Ellison, John Hawes, Tony Plumbe, Alan Lewis and, from Scotland, David Mekie.

Bill welcomed everyone to the meeting and said that it was pleasure to see everyone and he hoped that this meeting would be the first of many annual meetings.

Bill Shand opened the displays with a short display of Singapore ‘Frama Labels’ from the first issue in 1988 through the various issues to the latest 2007 Garden City issue. He showed issues on cover, some contrived but in the main true commercial mail but including a cover with labels from series three and four used on the same cover. Bill showed which offices the labels had been issued from and in the case of the mint sets of labels how the low values were in fact given as change from the label machines. Bill finished his display by saying that some Singaporeans are not too sure about a large Scotsman who seemed to derive a lot of pleasure feeding money into machines in exchange for little labels.

Mike Ellison was next to give a display and he had elected to show railways in Malaysia and Singapore. Mike gave a most informative and entertaining display covering the development of the Malayan Railway (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) as well as the modern Mass Rapid Transit developments in KL and Sungapore. He augmented the use of stamps with postal history and photographs many of which he had taken himself. He also included a miniature sheet from Sierra Leone as well as a sheet of the Locomotive Leaders depicting the “O” class number 71. Mike also related tales of his time in Singapore where as a youth he spent a great deal of Saturdays in and about Singapore Station. Mike completed his display by showing us railways in North Borneo and Sarawak.

David Mekie then gave a display which in his own words revolutionised stamps in Singapore, the ships issue of 1955. David’s display was outstanding in as much as it has so much of the original art work produced for the designs of the stamps. Although the set was not issued until 1955 the initial designs were made in 1948 and based on the Seychelles 1938 Fishing Pirogue. David also pointed out that some constraints were put in place, because this issue was a Definitive Issue the colours had to comply with the colours already in use with definitive stamps. We were also shown the original report from Gibson-Hill, as well as a complete set of the issued stamps.

John Hawes then took the floor and explained that this was the first time that he had ever given a display. He started by showing SATA Anti Tuberculosis Labels from the early issues up to the 1970’s. This was followed by SATA sheetlets including roulette and normal perfs and also a SATA booklet. John showed the stamps of the installation of the Yang Di Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. He then went on to show revenues, Straits early issues both large and small format and the more difficult Marine Policy stamps. We saw high value revenue stamps from the Straits, Singapore and the Malayan States also Judicial stamps and the Selangor overprinted J, Entertainment and Duty stamps finishing with Patriotic Labels both the large and small format. John had no reason to be nervous about his display it was marvellous.

Terry Pickering then gave us a two part display. The first part showed the postmarks of Raffles Hotel and the Eastern and Oriental Hotel. The postmarks were on cards and covers from around 1920’s. The E&O cancels however started from 1911 and we saw registered mail from both hotels. Terry also had airmail covers cancelled with the Raffles Institute cancel. We were also shown Breakfast and Dinner menus from 1958 as well as the story of the Singapore Sling. The second part of Terry’s display was Kedah which included Siam cancels on incoming mail both Specimen and ordinary Postal Stationary Cards, MBE overprints and genuine printers samples. Terry then showed the 1937 set as Specimens and issued stamps. We then saw Japanese Occupation and Tax overprints and Terry concluded his display with a Japanese Occupation cover from Kedah to Johore.

The final display was by Bill Shand who showed Straits Airmails from 1928 until the Fall of Singapore. The display showed routes and rates from Singapore mainly Imperial Airways with smaller sections by KLM and Pan Am Clipper. The display covered most of the rates and a number of routes as diverse as China, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, Denmark and of course the UK. The last cover shown was from a young seaman to his mother on the 5th August 1941 “The papers are making headlines, but please believe me it’s all a load of tripe and if you’re worrying like you do Get it right out of your head! Things are dead quiet here just the same as they have always been – nothing ever happens to me” If only he knew.

Bill closed the meeting and thanked everyone for their displays and attendance.

On a personal note it would be easy to say whatever display was the highlight of the meeting but for me the highlight was that we had a meeting. I would also like to thank the Committee of the MSG for their help, encouragement and support before and leading up to the meeting and hopefully next year will see the second North East Regional meeting.



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