100 Years of Aviation in Singapore

Aviation enthusiasts would probably be interested in today’s stamp issue. Entitled 100 Years of Aviation in Singapore, this set of five stamps was released by Singapore Post on 16 March 2011. Each stamp featured an aircraft flying above an aviation hub in a chronological order, with the silhouette of a cheerful crowd as the foreground.

Exactly one century ago on 16 March 1911, the first aircraft flew out of Singapore and was piloted Mr Joseph Christiaens. That moment was reflected in the 1st Local stamp. Singapore’s first civil airport, Seletar Airport, was featured on the 45 cents stamp. Kallang Airport and Paya Lebar are featured on the 65 cents and 80 cents stamps respectively. The Airbus A380 aircraft flies over Singapore Changi International Airport in the $1.10 stamp.


High Value Definitives: Pond Life (2011)

A new set of definitive stamps would be introduced in Singapore this year, after the previous Flora and Fauna definitive stamps were released back in 2007.

On 16 February 2011, a set of high-value definitive stamps were released. This set of stamps features the detailed and vivid images of four pond creatures, which is said to ‘give a glimpse beneath the water’s surface of life on a pond’. They include the common tilapia ($1.10), pond wolf spider ($2), water skaters ($5) and water scorpion ($10).

Common Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) is one of the most common Cichlid fish in Singapore. Originally from East Africa, this Cichlid has been introduced to Singapore as a food source by the Japanese during the World War II. Hence, it is better known as “Japanese” fish.

Pond Wolf Spider (Pardosa pseudoannulata) is an agile predator and has good eyesight. This spider belongs to the family Lycosidae. It leads a solitary life and hunts alone. Female wolf spiders can be recognised easily as they move around with a spherical egg-sac attached to their spinnerets.

Water Strider (Neogerris parvulus) is a semi aquatic insect within the Order Hemiptera in the family Gerridae. It lives on the surface of ponds, slow streams, marshes, and other quiet waters. It preys on insects and other small invertebrates on top of or directly below surface using its strong forelegs that end with claws.

Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes simulatus) is an aquatic insect belonging to the family Nepidae. It is an ambush predator. When prey approaches, it will lunge forward and grab it with its powerful forelimbs. It feeds primarily on invertebrates, but occasionally preys on small fish or tadpoles.

A complete set of stamps has a face value of $18.10. The low-value definitive stamps would be released on 13 April 2011.


Spirit of Giving

The latest stamp issue by Singapore Post is entitled ‘Spirit of Giving’. This pair of stamps which measures 73.8 mm by 76 mm each, is probably the largest non-miniature sheet stamp piece ever issued. It features the winning entries from an art competition organised by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) last year. In this competition, children below the age of twelve illustrated their thoughts about the spirit of giving.

To encourage volunteerism among members of the community, this stamp issue was released in conjunction with the 21st International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) World Volunteer Conference, which is held in Singapore from 24 to 27 January 2011 at Resorts World Sentosa. Also, SingPost will donate 50 cents to the NVPC with every purchase of the presentation pack or pre-cancelled first day cover.


Year of the Rabbit 2011

The Year of the Rabbit is just around the corner, with three new stamps issued as part of the Zodiac series. The Rabbit is the fourth in the zodiac cycle of twelve animals.

The 1st Local stamp features a rabbit on a hot pink background and the Chinese character ‘chun’, which means ‘spring’. On the 65 c stamp, a rabbit is featured on an orange background together with the character ‘xi’, which translates to ‘happiness’. The slightly larger $1.10 stamp shows two rabbits jumping around.

The Collectors’ sheet features a special printing technique of offset printing on hot foiled golden metallic film with micro embossing and morphing effect on the $5 and $10 stamps. Every purchase of the Collectors’ sheet comes with a free set of red packets featuring the stamp design.

The annual Zodiac Fair is currently being held at the National Library Atrium until tomorrow. The fair opens at 10 am daily.


The 2010 Collection of Singapore Stamps

The 2010 Collection of Singapore Stamps is an annual stamp collection produced by Singapore Post in a coffee-table book style. This book contains all the stamp issues released over the year. It contains a total of 62 stamps and one miniature sheet, with a total face value of S$39.21. Of course, a list of technical details and an interesting write-up accompany each of the stamp issues.

Highlights include, the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, a new series on National Monuments, the anniversaries of four organisations and the Kent Ridge Park Trail.

Purchases made before 31 December 2010 are at a special price of S$51.90. It would be increased to S$55 thereafter. Subject to stock, a year 2011 calendar will be given with every book purchased. Do read about last year’s annual collection 2009 too!

Year 2010 is coming to an end. We would like to wish all readers a pleasantly Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year ahead.

Images: Singapore Post


Festivals in Singapore

It’s Hari Raya Haji today, one of the festivals celebrated by the Malay population in the multiracial and multicultural island of Singapore. Definitely, festivals are something which should be featured on postage stamps, especially to foster good relationship among different cultures and races in Singapore.

On 20 October 2010, a set of eight stamps were issued by Singapore Post, including four 1st Local stamps and four 55 cents stamps. Designed by Tze Ngan, these stamps are also available as a collectors’ sheet with all stamps foiled.

From left to right, the first pair of stamps features the Chinese New Year, which is the most important traditional Chinese festival. This is characterised by the generous use of red and gold in the design, the two colours which are seen as most auspicious during the festive period. A pair of mandarin oranges is featured on the 55c stamp, which symbolises fortune in the year ahead.

The next pair of stamps depicts Christmas. Celebrated by both Christians and non-Christians on 25 December each year, it commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. In Singapore, this festival is generally associated with the sharing of gifts. During the month of December, colourful assorted decorations fill up the various shopping districts around Singapore.

The third pair of stamps decked in different tints of green marks Hari Raya Aidilfitri. This day marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. On this day, the Muslims would wear their traditional costumes while visiting their relatives and friends. The 55c stamps shows the ketupat, a form of rice dumpling, which is commonly found in Southeast Asian countries.

The last two stamps illustrate the festival of Deepavali, commonly known as the Festival of Lights. In Singapore, this holiday is often celebrated by the Hindus and Sikhs, lighting several rows of clay lamps filled with oil, as shown on the 55c stamp. This is done to ward off evil and usher in the good. This day would also mark the start of a new financial year for most Indian businesses.


Kent Ridge Park Trail

Kent Ridge Park, a 47-hectare public park located along the south-western coast of Singapore, has been featured on a recent stamp issue. Singapore Post has released this set of four se-tenant stamps on 22 September 2010 which features the World War II historical site.

Kent Ridge Park was then known as Pasir Panjang Ridge. In 1942, the place was used by the British to defend Singapore against the Japanese. One of the hills in the park, Bukit Chandu, was the site for the Battle for Pasir Panjang, one of the last battles bitterly fought by the Malay Regiment against the Japanese during the war. Today, a colonial bungalow stands at 31K Bukit Chandu. It was converted to the Reflections at Bukit Chandu museum after restoration works to commemorate the patriots.


1990 Asian Games Maximum Cards

This set of six maximum cards (or simply, maxi-cards) was issued on 22 September 1990, and are released to celebrate the 11th Asian Games held in Beijing, China. The third series of stamps for the Games was released on 22 September 1990, the opening day of the Games. Today’s date marks exactly 20 years since the opening day. The stamps were designed by Lu Dehui and Liu Bo.

Featuring a similar illustration compared to the postage stamp, the sketches on the maximum cards are more detailed. They depict Track and Field (4 fen), Gymnastics (8 fen), Wushu (10 fen), Volleyball (20 fen), Swimming (30 fen) and Shooting (1.60 yuan). The stamps have a dimension of 40 mm by 30 mm with a perforation of 11 by 11.5. These maxi-cards are cancelled in Beijing and dated 1990.9.22.9.

The 11th Asian Games was held from 22 September 1990 to 7 October 1990.


Youth Olympic Village Postmark

Throughout the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, a special postmark was made available at the Youth Olympic Village (YOV). This postmark certainly resembles the metal date stamp found in post offices around Singapore. As the Youth Olympic Village was not open to public, my friend Terence Wong helped to make arrangements to obtain this postmark on 26 August, to coincide with the closing ceremony of the Youth Olympic Games.

The Youth Olympic Village, located in Nanyang Technological University, is home to more than 5000 athletes and team officials during the period of the Games. These guests are invited to participate in the Culture and Education Programme (CEP) during their stay in the Village.


National Monuments 2010

The National Day stamp issue for this year will be released early on Wednesday, 4 August 2010. Six monuments will be featured this time, the third of the National Monuments series. The designer for this issue is Leo Teck Chong. He was also the designer for the recently issued Starfish postage prepaid envelope.

The six national monuments include the Bowyer Block (1st Local), College of Medicine Building (2nd Local), Command House (55c), the Hwa Chong Institution Clock Tower (65c), the former Raffles College campus (80c) and the Tan Teck Guan Building ($1.10). These six monuments are also found on the $2 miniature sheet, featuring the architectural links between Singapore’s past and present built heritage.

To commemorate National Day, the NDP 2010 Logo will be featured as the datestamp.

The theme for last year’s National Day stamp issue was Sculptures, where the masterpieces of seven sculptors are featured.