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.


Malcolm Wade's BMA Display, June 16th 2012

Pictures & Notes by Nick Hackney

Approx 24 pictures follow the Notes below

There will be a fuller report in the Newsletter


Congratulations to Malcolm Wade for the superb 3 round display. It is a living, up to date collection built up over many decades, with about 60% of the sheets being mounted this year!

The audience awaits Malcolm's first round!


Rob Holley was here!


Malcolm Wade


Notes by Nick Hackney

Malcolm began by recalling an early meeting when he first attended an MSG meeting, when members showed '2 Sheets'. He mounted them so that the postmarks could be read easily. A long establish member took him aside and said that in the MSG 'we mount stamps head upright'. Malcolm pointed out that he did not collect stamps, but did collect and was displaying postmarks – which have to be read! He was also told that BMA was not really important. Malcolm fortunately for us wisely ignored this advice and continued to collect postmarks and BMA on cover.
How times have changed. For the better.
Malcolm presented his extensive and wide ranging display by state, as the states interested him very greatly. As the BMA postal arrangements varied so much by state, this was a very helpful and easy to follow approach. Kelantan, for example did not get its own stamps until the 60's and hence continued to use BMA stamps for a long time.
A characteristic of the BMA period was the huge shortage of stationery, postal stationery, registration labels, and post office equipment such as cancellers. To overcome the shortage of cancellers some places altered pre war ones to remove Japanese dates used during the occupation, and some left these dates in place. Johore improvised and made their own cancellers, as did some others.
Postal stationery saw pre-war, and even Japanese issues pressed into service. Hand made postcards were used .
It was seemingly standard practice for post offices without cancellers to send the letters etc on their way and for the stamps to be cancelled at the next place with a canceller up the line
Registration labels were scarce, so some place drew their own by hand, some used straight line chops for the name, some used labels form other places and altered them. There is a large variety of these hinting at the true nature of the social and postal history of the period. A fascinating example was one made up from stamp edging.
From Malacca Malcolm showed a stationery item, with a receipt and an improvised Advice of Receipt, both in Japanese, and both for the same item! He had Telegram receipts, with the first and second type Malacca cancellations, as Victory Card in Malay, and many sub-post offices.
Penang opened with a 26th Sep 45 pre-war straits dumb cancel and a locally made Penang chop. We saw items made out of exercise books, Charity Labels 18 Nov 45 1st day of issue, and a Forces Mail cover sent free in Jan 46. There were many Penang covers with a superb variety of Reg.labels, with local post office labels changed n Manuscript for use in Penang. A scarce Jeluton cancel appeared to show that the office was only open for one day. We saw a cover sent on the last day of existence of the Penang Road sub post office which was transferred to the E&O Hotel the next day. There was a Simpang Ampat cover to NZ using pre-war Perak 5c on a 5c envelope, but with the Reg Label torn off!
Johore revealed Free Post covers, from Segamat & Mersing. Malcom said that in earlier days if you asked to see cover without any stamps, then Free Post envelopes came out of the wood work. Other members wondered just where this wood work might be found. We saw postal stationery cards with locally produced Johore Bahru postmarks, types 1,2 &3,, and a late use of type 4 in Dec 46. Malcolm said he had heard of a service in Johore for collecting mail from more remote estates and handing them into the postal service – there were covers with a curious chop on the back which might support this idea.
There was one cover with several stamps on it, with a differently dated locally made chop on each one. Helps ot be friendly with the post office staff!

Malcolm showed the MALAYA chop with the missing A.

Kedah provided items from Alor Star with a variety of hand drawn, and altered and other labels. We saw a Nov 46 Siamese Occupation cancel on cover to Penang, and 2 covers from Bedong, one being the earliest usage on 15 Nov of Siamese occupation . 27 Aug 46 had the intaglio seal of Sungei Patani. Was Bedong mail cancelled at Sungei Patani?.
Kulim provided an advice of delivery of a Reg letter using an advice of payment of a money order form ad an AR receipt which again shows the shortage of proper stationery.
From Padang Serai we saw a straight line hand stamp on a cover to India, which acquired many dead letter office chops. There was many covers with manuscript dates as late as 47. We also saw Kedah locally made large rubber cancellers, and a nice hand drawn Reg label on cover.

Moving down the peninsular we came to Port Dickson with a 4c postal stationery card used for Airmail to Holland, and an Indian reg cover with embossed stamps, but with the correct BMA stamps to pay the postage. Rembau gave us a cover with an unrecorded AR mark.

Perak gave us free post covers, three types of postage labels from Ipoh, and reg covers with a wide range of etiquettes, manuscript, hand stamped from most post offices. There was a cover to GRIK returned to sender as the item had been paid in Japanese currency. A reg cover to London had a little known reg label 'Ipoh East' which did not have a cancellation until Mar 46, so this cover shows Ipoh East was open prior to the canceller being used.

Kuala Krai furnished a cover with rare rubber cancellers and a manuscript date, The was the only cover seen with a rubber canceller.

From Parit Buntar came a notebook page with a 2c stamp affixed and a chop, used as a Certificate of posting.

A rarely seen Selama mark was on a cover redirected to Penang.

Sitiawan gave is a cover with a reg etiquette on stamp edging with a Sitawan hand stamps and a MS '278'.

We saw postwar use of japanese military post office covers [probably all found in KL?]. Malcolm has about 40 all from different post offices with added chinese chops on the reverse.

Selangor revealed free post covers from KL. Thanks to a government decree any stamps with the word MALAYA could then be used. In which case why the BENTA cancellation on some postal stationery?

An item needing more explanation is Forces Mail from the Visitors Camp KL, MALAYAN UNION. What was the Visitors Camp?

There were many Selangor postmarks, 2 hand made postcards, and demonetized prewar postal stationery cards with BMA stamps added. There was a large block of the 15c overprint in the margin, on cover, addressed to YONG RT.
Trengannu brought us a 4c postcard overprinted DAI NIPPON with 2 4c stamps enclosed in red crayon.

Malcolm finished with his 'odditiies' A Master attendant chop on cover, a Governor General Malaya chop on cover,, parcel or packet pieces with very large blocks of low value stamps because high value stamps were not available.

This was a magnificent display reflecting a great live collection. 60% of the sheets were mounted this year as Malcolm improved it and of course prepared for this impressive event.

Peter Cockburn gave the vote of thanks, being a major BMA collector. As he remarked, we had seen covers and postmarks from virtually every post office in Malaya, showing the wide variety of events and improvisation by the postal service in the BMA period given the shortages of most things in the immediate period after the occupation.





























































That's All Folks!












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