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.


Saturday Feb 15 2014 11.00am Joint meeting with KGVI Society.

KGVI Malaya (Straits, MPU, BMA, Singapore and Malayan States).

Photographs by Nick Hackney & Report by Dominic Morris


Joint Meeting: Malaya Study Group and GeoSix Society
Malaya under George VI
Report by Dominic Morris CBE

The two Societies came together for a joint Members’ Display at the MSG’s usual Spink, London venue. A total of 23 were present: 12 from the MSG, 8 from the GeoSix Society and 3 ‘cross-benchers’ including our Chairman and your reporter, who belong to both. This was a very respectable turn-out in view of the floods, storm-force winds the night before and consequent disruption to transport. In a full and excellent day we packed in 6 Rounds.

The displays were led off in Round One by Len Stanway who showed airmails and aerogrammes. Len enlivened the round with photos of the key planes which pioneered the service. He included a number of ‘crash covers’ including some from the Cygnus where, on take-off, the pilot had set the flaps to ‘land’ (a not uncommon pilot-error of the day, but with predictable unfortunate results); and another early flight which had run into a sand-storm in Iraq and crashed into Lake Habbaniya (amazing that any mail survived the lifting from the bottom of the Lake!). Len also showed a fascinating exposition of the ‘Horseshoe’ Route including one cover to Malta sent just before the Italians declared War and which could not therefore land or over-fly Italian territory and which went a very roundabout route.










Round Two was a mixed display by (mostly) our ‘Pure GeoSix’ guests. It was opened by Rod Vousden who showed a scarce ‘Naval Base, Singapore’ cover; but which majored on the un-issued Malayan Union Victory stamps, including some lovely and very rare Crown Agent approvals of the colour trials (There was much envy from MSG members about these). Rod posed an un-answered riddle: why, if one sheet was ‘rescued’ from the incinerator, are only stamps from the right hand side of the pane extant? Mike Axe displayed on behalf of David Hart, who could not be present, showing Brunei and Sarawak; although these are, strictly, outside the MSG’s purview, the elegance and the beautiful hand-written presentation of David’s Brunei was much admired. Joe Robertson snuck in as an MSG member with a frame of MPU Postage Dues (what a surprise!), including, to our delight, a recent, if not yet written up, cover that looked to be properly taxed for its rate and ‘commercial’ rather than philatelic that included singletons and blocks of all the values except the 8c. Joe showed another cover with the 8c to complete the set. Brian Pugsley showed KGVI Straits and various of the flaws/ varieties, including an excellent strip of the 15c BMA with ‘BMA’ overprint in the selvedge all the way down (again much envy- belongs in the wrong collection!); Richard Berry put up a frame of the 1937 Coronation issues (one of his specialities) including varieties and flaws and the rare Burma un-issueds; Brian Livingstone concluded GeoSix’s display with a fascinating exposition of the portrait photos of Edward VIII and George VI, demonstrating the differences between Letterpress (economical- but rubbish for George V Beard and Hair) printing and the richer Recess printing method. Brian’s display included the elegant, but bodged up, George VI in uniform which included the photo head of The King-Emperor from 1933, when he was Duke of York, matched to the ‘wrong’ uniform (Rear-Admiral) which had to be gussied-up to Admiral of the Fleet uniform for the issued stamps.

















After a brisk lunch-break, Round Three was led off by Gordon Peters, who showed his usual jaw-dropping rare and magnificent stuff. He led with Straits, including the rejected essay for the Coronation Issue (no ‘Malaya’!); panes of the Coronation issue showing the position of regular varieties; again demonstrating Rod Vousden’s riddle of ‘why no left-hand panes’?; 1937-41 Straits issue panes with flaws and varieties and the Plate 3 of same (which remained in GB until 1941: the rest and Plate 2 assumed sunk en route from GB.) Gordon’s display included his famous plate blocks of the Selangor Mosque 8c scarlet un-issued and the KGVI Victory Unissued. (I think he covered them with Exhibition Protectors to stop the stamps being spoiled by fellow members’ tears that they did not own them!) Malcolm Clark completed the round with frames of Registered and AR marks both pre- and post-War, including a number of marks that were outside the date or un-recognised by Ted Proud; a considerable collecting achievement.











Peter Cockburn ran Round Four with some of his exquisite BMA collection. He showed a wide range of sheets and blocks, demonstrating the GB, KL and Melbourne plates (the Melbourne main plate was not used but two copies of it were made). The display included the 1c Dark (KL) printing, thin striated paper printings of the 1c; the 1949 Plate 3 printing (rare) showing the plate number at 100 on the sheet, rather than the usual 99; 4c pre-printed cards and a wonderful 2c card up-rated (very rare and in perfect condition); plus the 2c De la Rue file copy marked up from June 1945 (two days after Australian Forces had landed on Labuan).
Susan McEwen led Round Five with the Selangor Mosque/ Sultan issue, starting with a splendid collection of 1934 Survey Department essays; the usages of each value of stamp (with the 2c orange on striated paper!); Die Proofs (for which your reporter was the under-bidder- well, at least they went to a good home) and the rare Mauretanie Postes overprints on the Selangor UPU triplets deposited with them. Bill Pain concluded the round with a frame of nice BMA issues and flaws.
Round Six was led by Mac McLaren who displayed a half round of Clipper Censors. Mac has a full set of notes to this excellent display which he will include in the Newsletter. But for your reporter, highlights included the $1.40 and $1.50 meter mark covers (both of which rates were very transitory); and the transit mail from a wide variety of destinations including the Philippines (with the lovely avion cancel mark); Egypt including an Alexandria to Jamaica transit cover with Egypt Pyramid originating stamp. I want this!
The day concluded with a half round from Dominic Morris on Sultan Iskandar. Dominic showed 1934 Survey Department Essays; a Die Proof; the Vestey collection De La Rue blocks of the 1935 side face, 1938 full-face; combination covers; UPU specimen triplets of both issues and a ‘mystery cover’, a 1937side-face issue cover, Ipoh to Germany 42c with a ‘Jusqu’a’ cross on the pre-printed Par Avion label;, which Len and Susan identified as ‘change of rate; that’s as far as it got by air; probably KLM to Amsterdam then by train into Germany’. Riddle answered.





























A super day; and a delight to have the GeoSix members as our joint displayers.





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