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 MSG Worthing Meeting September 10th 2011


Report by Dominic Morris and pictures by Susan Mc Ewen.


A select group gathered under threatening skies for a fascinating and eclectic mix of displays. We were pleased to welcome Anthony attending his first ever MSG meeting and John returning after many years . A full report will be in the Newsletter, meanwhile the pictures show aspects of the meeting. We don't have themes for the Regional meetings, but several chose to show 'something different' If I say that the displays included Straits, Airmails, Johore, Negri and Singapore, many MSG members might guess who showed what. And would almost certainly be wrong.

WORTHING 2011 A report by Dominic Morris

Another Worthing. Weather more mixed than in recent years- sun to the early afternoon, an abiding image of Joe Robertson humping books from one car boot to another in a deluge and yours truly being the only person on Worthing beach as the wind howled and low clouds scudded over in the early evening: still worth it for the images of gulls flying along the tide-line and the decidedly bracing ozone Worthing specialises in.
A slightly smaller attendance than usual- a number of the regulars being on holiday. But one welcome new member, one occasional attender and one return to the fold after a decade plus absence. That sounds better than not seen since last Century. Still, all those who were there for the day displayed something. In itself, a first (?).
Mac McClaren opened the batting with a splendid round of the surcharges of the late Nineteenth Century, what he calls the ‘Rainbow Period’. He is doing a fuller write up in the Newsletter. But one worthy of note for your correspondent was the 12c blue with the ‘E Flaw’. As Mac noted in his recent TMP article, if the E Flaw was found here at least 10 other issues were opened up.
John Newnham showed a deservedly local-award winning display of Malaysia 2003 issues, superbly presented and written up, together with some interesting BMA covers.
Mike Kingsland showed us his speciality: modern Malaysia used; this time from 2008-2010. It is getting harder because of slackness in the Malaysia PO: only the top rows of any letter are now properly franked, the rest left blank or scrawled over in biro. Do Post Offices not recognise that there are still collectors out here?
Joe Robertson astounded us by showing Postage Dues, this time on the theme of the 2c PD stamp. He included an interesting British Honduras 2c design- the only one globally to match the Straits 1924, both designed and issued at around the same time. The Straits probably being the prior design, but later issue. He showed many more interesting items which I hope he will write up fully for the Newsletter.
We paused for luncheon. Oh, dear! The local hostelry has gone downhill. Big time. The eager-to-please, home-cooking couple has been replaced by a landlord who looked horrified at the thought of providing food for 10-12 people. A quick glance around his ‘normal’ (in the loosest possible sense of the word) clientele, showed a distressing quantity of shaven heads, tattoos, Staffordshire pit-bulls, Rotweillers and the Arsenal home game; plus obvious reasons why ordering anything vaguely off-piste from the limited menu would be fraught, means we may need to find an alternative venue next year. I blame the Coalition Government, personally.
Susan McEwen’s first afternoon display was of the Singapore postage rates from 1955-60. Also a frame of the MPOs of Singapore and Malaya with Photos of MPOs, taken by Derek Clayton. Then a range of photos, from a collection obviously formed in the early days of BMA, showing Singapore and Johore and 1 with Japanese PoWs at work.
Dominic Morris (idle hound) showed a short miscellany of recently acquired material whose only theme was that he had got round to mounting them up the previous week. The display did however include the full set of the UPU specimen triplets of the Sultan Iskandar side-face set; and one item that caused mirth: a Magness cover which, unusually, was not philatelic- sent commercially to Cleveland to find it was to an address that got the ‘Inconnu- gone away’ boxed cachet and a Rebuts and the ‘long-finger’ mark that the USA Mails specialised in at the time.
Martin Roper showed BMA in Negri , early postmarks, M/s cancels and ‘John Bull’ printing set date stamps and FMS cancels. A comprehensive range from a difficult state.
Len Stanway instructed all of us with a round of airmails, covering early developments and routes and timetables. This showed very elegantly the extension of airmail from the rail/ sea/ air mode of the early days to penetration to Karachi, Calcutta, Straits and finally to Australia. A must for airmail buffs. I do hope Len writes this up more fully for the Newsletter: there was a wealth of information in his display.
Andrew Norris showed us a display of the HMS Waterwitch, postcards and mail. The Waterwitch was sold to the Royal Navy in about 1893 and became a weather vessel on the China Seas beat. It was rammed in Singapore harbour and sunk in 1912, by the Governor’s steam yacht. The board of enquiry exonerated the Waterwitch crew, they were moored at the time.
The final round was shared between Susan McEwen and Andrew Norris. Susan showed the 1948-65 Malacca postmarks from the comprehensive Shirley Cannicott collection; Andrew showed Negri postmarks from the violet and the black bar 1880s to 1952. Again, these could benefit from a fuller write-up.
As ever, we repaired for dinner to the excellent Imperial China where we joined by spouses (spice?- which is the right plural, both probably?) to make for a very agreeable dinner where conversation moved from philately to the human condition, weddings, children and grandchildren.
We are back on cycle: your correspondent returned home to Proms in the Park and then the finals of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Auld Land Syne. Another lovely Worthing.
Dominic Morris
Hon Sec

1663 Len Stanway received his NAPEX medal for TMP from the Chairman.

1664a a study in concentration


1665a a caption competition?

1667a frames of Airmails


1668a more frames of Airmails

1669a HMS Waterwitch. The connection between Lily Langtry, the Governor of Singapore and Malayan Philately is HMS Waterwitch.





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