Philately & Stamps
Stamps - Window to the World
Stamp collecting is a fun, rewarding and inexpensive hobby that can be enjoyed by both young and old. Stamps
have been issued from postal services from all over the world since 1840. Every subject you can imagine has
been depicted on colourful stamps: Animals, sports, maps, cars, ships, movie stars. No matter what your interest,
there are stamps that will complement that interest.
In fact, stamps are little icons that reflect a country's achievements and heritage, showcasing its historical, political,
economic, cultural, social and artistic facets. Apart from visual education, stamps also provide a means to
publicise Singapore's contribution and participation in regional and international affairs, communicating
Singapore's identity worldwide and according recognition to regional and international events or activities of
importance to Singapore.
Stamp collecting keeps one’s mind active and inquisitive as it increases one’s knowledge of places and events.
Read how stamps opened Tommy Koh’s mind to the world.
Stamps Opened His Mind to the World
I would like to share with your readers my response to Mr Lim Chong Teck's letter, "Do Away Postage Stamps".
I was an avid stamp collector when I was in primary and secondary schools. Collecting stamps helped to educate
me and brought me joy. It was through my stamp collection that I became knowledgeable about world geography
and excelled in that subject in school. The stamps opened my mind to history, historical personalities, arts,
culture and the wonders of the natural world. Collecting stamps also taught me to be disciplined, methodical and
to find happiness in a wholesome hobby.
Collecting stamps is something which parents and children can do together and is a bonding experience. Let me
quote the following paragraph from a lovely poem, "Stamp Collecting" by one of Singapore's best poets, Boey Kim
"Starting with Australia, she slides the stamps
behind the filmy strip, the album breathing
promise in its fresh gluey feel, the world
being collected and unfolding as it fills up
shelf by shelf. As her five-year-old fingers
gingerly slip the countries into place, the questions
spill out, like the stamps from an old album
I opened yesterday, forgotten pressed flowers
of a time when the world arrived
in a philatelic queue, surviving
emblems from my stamp-mad phase."
(Published in Straits Times Forum on 19 November 2009)