Saturday, December 10, 2011

1959 POSB savings account

I attended the When Nations Remember 2 conference on 28 November 2011. In his speech, the guest-of-honour, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, recalled that as a kid, he used to have a savings account with the Post Office Savings Bank. He said;

 “I remember when I was a kid, we were issued with the POSB ‘Save At School’ stamp card with empty boxes for pasting postage stamps, and we would use our savings to buy 5-cent or 10-cent stamps to paste onto the card. When we complete the card with 20 stamps, we will give it to the school which will send it in to the bank, and it adds to our savings account. Till today, I still have a POSB account.”

Unfortunately, the minister did not have his original POSB passbook with him, and so most of the audience still had no idea what such a passbook looked like. But no worries. You can always come to Good Morning Yesterday. Thanks to my friend Jong Keng from ACS, I am able to satisfy your curiosity.

This is the front cover of the bank book. Notice, first of all, that it is not blue in colour. Notice also that the instructions are in Singapore’s 4 official languages; with the Malay instructions written in Jawi script. Older Singaporeans would have seen such writing in many official documents when we were young. And over in Malaysia, you will still be able to see some shops using Jawi in their signboards.

You must be wondering what was the interest rate. Well, as you can see from the inside cover, it’s 2.5% p.a. And interestingly, it is signed, The Controller, Post Office Savings Bank, Kuala Lumpur.



And this is the inside of the passbook. I wonder how much my friend’s $8 is worth after half a century?

4 comments:

Thimbuktu said...

A wonderful Singapore memories nostalgia blog, Chun See.

These photos of the brown cardboard POSB Saving Book in 1959 as a "memory-aid" strikes back my memories of my primary schooldays to open a POSB bank account in school for the students to join the postage stamps collection cards scheme. One a week when the teacher sold the stamps, I will skip the daily pocket money of 30 cents for recess at the tuckshop, paste the stamps to fill up the completed stamp cards to POSB with the bank account card to deposit our fun way of savings for school children.

Unfortunately, my personal heritage collection was burnt in the Bukit Ho Swee fire.

This is the way our your young days memories could be saved through Singapore Memory Project fun ways too.

Keep up the gem contribution, Chun See.

Lam Chun See said...

Like my friend JK, I also took part in this PO saving system in P1 in ACS. But when I moved to Braddell Rise School in P2, I stopped - I think

Brian and Tess said...

Watching a tv programme on the crisis in the western economies one major difference between western developed economies and China and other rapidly developing economies is that China and other places are characterised by a great deal of saving - by individuals and businesses, followed by productive investment. The younger generation here in the UK will know nothing of saving - if they want something the parental credit card will be called on. It seems to me that your stamp buying sessions might have been an important part of your education!

Andy Lim* said...

I remember starting a POST Bank at Geylang PO as a child. Stamps were pasted on my Pass Book.