Fortunately, I was able to locate my old stamp album and so I can share some photos with you.
Flipping through this old album of mine, I realized that our world has changed a great deal in one generation. Many of the countries in my album do not even exist today; or have since adopted other names. For example:
Aden and Ceylon
Sarawak (before Merger)
And even Malaysia at a time when we had to sing the Negara-ku.
I particularly liked stamps from Hungary. I recall being fascinated by a set of diamond shape stamps and pestered my father to buy them for me. I think it was quite indulgent of him to blow 20, 30 cents for a packet of just 4 or 5 stamps that had no practical value.
I also remember exchanging stamps with one Indian boy who used to come around to our kampong every afternoon to peddle home-made kuehs which he carried in a basket. This boy studied at Bartley School and lived in Bartley Road area: which means, he had to walk about 2 to 3 km one-way just to sell a few dollars worth of kuehs. I wish he is reading this blog.
I also remember 1 silly incident. Once, I saw some beautiful stamps in a magazine and I place the mail order for them. On receipt of the stamps, I was supposed to make payment via postal order. Because I was too ‘swaku’ to know what was postal order, I did not make the payment until I received a stern warning from the vendor. I immediately, packed the cash in an envelope and sent it to England.
Even though I stopped the hobby in secondary school, I still have the habit of cutting out stamps from foreign countries. For example, whenever our domestic maid receives a letter, I would ask her to cut out the stamps for me. Consequently, I have a whole box of cut stamps from Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia.
When I was working in the National Productivity Board in the 80’s, the staff regularly received offers to purchase First Day Covers. I never could resist putting in my order.
Question is, Now what do I do with my stamp collection? How much are they worth today?
Maybe I will just leave that problem to my grandchildren