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.

MSG Milton Keynes June 8th 2013


Pictures by Susan McEwen & report by Dominic Morris

Meeting organised by Mac McClaren


‘Buszy’, Milton Keynes, 8 June 2013
Theme: Recent Acquisitions and Old Favourites

A new venue for a regional meeting, discovered by Mac and Brenda McClaren. 12 of us plus two welcome guests (Anne Stanway and Brenda McClaren) gathered. Not a bad venue- the former Chicago Night Club above the old Bus Station- Milton Keynes rocks, I tell you! Actually, the location was excellent, easy to get to within sight of Milton Keynes Station which has fast trains to London, and plenty of (free) parking. The room was large, light and bright.
We look forward to next year's meeting there.

Two new(ish) members attended, which was welcome.

As so often, with regional Members Display meetings, there was more outstanding material than there was time.

The day opened with a Round (105 sheets- thanks to Martin Roper and Mike Padmore for bringing the Aylesbury PS frames) from Andrew Norris which consisted mostly of ex-Nigel Tyre 2nd class mail and pre- JapOcc triangular printed matter postmarks, by State (including the scarce Negri Sembilan mark). Some scarce and lovely State marks. Andrew's printed matter is written up in the Edinburgh report.
Andrew came back in at the end of the day with Christmas Islands covers and some dodgy (by taste rather than provenance) Pacific States covers which he had picked up at a recent auction.

Round 2 was from Mac McClaren who showed some lovely WWI Censor mark covers, including a very rare Malta cover from 11 August 1914, probably the earliest censor cover known in the Far East; and a very expert display of Butterflies, including misplaced heads etc., proofs and other good and scarce material.

Round 3 was from Len Stanway who showed postal history for 1874 onwards. This included the rash of different Singapore registration marks on 12.05.1937 to commemorate the Coronation of KGVI. These included the Singapore E (said by Bill Lyons to be a fake but later proved genuine) and the Singapore Z; plus later registered right through to 2012.

Round 4 was a combination round from Dominic Morris and Gordon Peters. Dominic showed an eclectic mixture (but won the ‘most recent acquisition award’ for having picked up his latest item- fully written up- from the local Office of Royal Mail 30 minutes before the displays started). Dominic showed a range of postcards including pre-War Malayan Royalty, WWII censored mail, and- one (to his surprise)- much admired item, a 1957 Malayan Federation Revenue Meter Mark Proof- plus some Pictorials used on Revenue documents (including one which caused some mirth- a very dodgy re-use of the 1957 Penang $2 with a ‘missed firm Revenue overprint’- the Clerk was at risk of being rumbled!)
Gordon, as ever, showed a range of high-class items, in three buckets: firms’ security marks to prevent stamps being re-used; Exchange Clubs from pre-War and 1946-55, including a lovely 1921 Negri Sembilan with the first hand-stamped undated etiquette registration mark- probably the example Ted Proud cited in his magnum opus; and the coup de grace, an outstanding range of Perlis postcards and ‘used in Perlis’ including a ‘proper’ i.e. formal RSW FDC; and- here is the exam question for TMP- some Kedah in Perlis used in the period when BMA Perlis were running out but the ‘small heads issue’ has not started. Does this period matter? (Rob Holley would say ‘yes’, so would I: debate starts here!)

Peter Cockburn showed Round 5. This was his exhibit of Nineteenth Century Revenues at the Melbourne Expo this year. He won a Large Vermueil. The general view in the room was: ‘He wuz robbed!’. This was Gold. These were Reveunes as they should be and was totally mind-blowing. There was a mixture of extremely rare items, beautiful revenue documents, out-standing social, economic, and legal history of the day and all of it wonderfully and clearly presented. (I can only say, as a novice, that my eyes were opened to the sheer quality needed for Exhibition- capable displays. This was fantastic and deserves many repeat viewings. The 50 minutes we had was nowhere near enough).
As if that were not enough, Peter showed us his recent acquisitions. Philatelists will love his extremely rare North Borneo 1931 cover. Social Historians, like me, were moved by his post-War 1945 Freepost cover (re-created rice invoice envelope) and enclosed letter from Heah Eng Keat (‘Raymond’) to a philatelic pal in NZ describing his experiences under the Japanese Occupation. The general awfulness of these experiences, were still raw and immediate nearly 70 years later.

Round 6 was an unwittingly shortened Round (owing to incompetence of Hon Sec who had mis-scheduled it such that we were deprived of Mike Ludlow’s 3 ½ frames- which Mike, kindly, said could be re-shown at Leicester next March). Susan McEwen and Martin Roper made up for Hon Sec’s lacuna: Susan showed the Frith correspondence (Lt Col in 10th Baluch, Indian Army, Regiment) in their retreat from Kelantan to Singapore and its fall and PoW status and all that they had to put up with). Susan also showed some rare postcards, taken in Tokyo of Singapore, pre-War, with Japanese stamps with occupation overprints and ‘Fall of Singapore’ (local Tokyo) cancellations; an extremely rare combination and one for JapOcc connoisseurs (Question: were there also Tokyo-only ‘Fall of HK’ commemorative cancellations?) Martin finished the day with Federation of Malaya 1957 Map, Flag and Tiger covers, including the ‘mis-placed yellow’ on the Malayan Flag.














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