Half past eleven. The launch had probably ended. My eyes scanned the place for signs of life and spotted the Singapore Post booth located at a corner in the vicinity. I took out my two envelopes with stamps already affixed on it, ready to cancel it with the ‘S1’ postmark which is only available at launches and other stamp exhibitions. This stamp issue was launched to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Singapore Botanic Gardens.
‘Would you like to buy a presentation pack? It is cheaper here, only $5.35! If you buy outside it is a bit more expensive.’
‘Can I chop the envelope with the S1 chop?’
‘Sure, here is the chop. Do you want the presentation pack?’
‘Thank you! Well, but I seldom collect presentation packs.’
‘Designer is somewhere over there, faster go ask him for his autograph.’
‘Ok, I would like to buy a presentation pack. Later then continue to chop.’
‘How many presentation packs?’
‘One will do.’
I looked around to see where the designer was. Mr Eng Siak Loy sitting at the other corner at a table in front of a queue of people holding stacks of first day covers and presentation packs, waiting to get theirs autographed. The person in front of me brought a whole stack of previous stamp issues which were designed by Mr Eng. I should have brought my collection too! As I was queuing, I noticed Mr Clement Ng from the philatelic department of SingPost near the queue. He introduced me to Mr Wong Wui Kong, the designer for the flora and fauna definitive stamps.
I continued to wait in the queue.
After Mr Eng has patiently autographed on the presentation pack and first day covers, I went back to the SingPost booth, not to continue with chopping, but to ask, ‘Are there still any more presentation packs from the flora and fauna definitive issue?’
As quickly as possible, I turned around and walked towards Mr Wong to ask for his autograph as well, realising that I do not have a pen, a marker or any other autographing instrument with me. Neither does Mr Wong nor Mr Ng.
The quest of searching for a pen began.