ReTRIeVIA

:: trivia retrieved ::

Archive for January 2008

Stamping Singapore as a Colony, State, and Republic

Recently, a colleague asked whether there are any stamps that show Singapore as a British Colony, as the self-overning State of Singapore, and as the independent Republic of Singapore.

The answer is Yes, Yes and Yes.

Here are the stamps.

Retrievia Excerpts 2003-2004

The date is not shown but we know that Singapore gained independence on 9 August 1965. Thus, stamps with ‘First Anniversary’ would have been issued in 1966.

Why are there no stamps of Independence Day, 9 August 1965?

Re-trievia recalled: Excerpts from Year 2003/ 2004
Tan Wee Kiat

Written by Ivan Chew

31 January, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Posted in Year 2003/ 2004

Second Childhood

One Monday evening I went to Yio Chu Kang Swimming Pool for a night swim. To use the ticket-dispensing machine you have to press the category you want. Being a senior Senior Citizen of 63 years of age (you only have to be 55 years old to qualify for this category), I needed to pay only 50 cents for my swim ticket instead of $1.00 .

On this particular occasion, I pressed the ‘Senior Citizen‘ slot and put in my 50-cent coin.

To my surprise, the coin rolled out. When I looked at the ‘Senior Citizen’ slot again, I noticed there was a big red cross on it. This indicated that the machinehad exhausted its store of ‘Senior Citizen’ tickets.

I duly informed the lady clerk at the counter desk, intending topay her and get a receipt but she said, “Old Uncle, please go back to the ticketing machine and press the‘Child’ slot ”.

I told her that I couldn’t honestly do that as I was no more a child by a long shot .

She said, “It doesn’t matter. ‘Senior Citizen’ and ‘Child’ same-same. The price is 50 cents.”

So, being the obedient overgrown child that I am, I pressed and obtained the ‘Child’ ticket and carried on with my swim. Somehow, it seemed a bit easier to swim the pool laps that evening.

Re-trievia recalled: Excerpts from Year 2003/ 2004
Tan Wee Kiat

Written by Ivan Chew

30 January, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Posted in Year 2003/ 2004

Happy 80th Birthday

Mr Lee KuanYew, the Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990, celebrated his 80th birthday on 16 September 2003.

Some people asked me whether there is a stamp featuring him.

The answer: There is no stamp featuring him. However, there is a stamp showing him in the background.

Here is the stamp.

Retrievia Excerpts 2003-2004

Mr Lee is on the extreme right, with other Ministers in 1959. In the enlarged portion you can see (from left):
1. Yong Nyuk Lin (Education)
2. Ong Eng Guan (National Devt)
3. S Rajaratnam (Culture)
4. Ahmad bin Ibrahim (Health)
5. Ong Pang Boon (Home Affairs)
6. Goh Keng Swee (Finance)
7. Toh Chin Chye (Deputy PM)
8. K M Byrne (Law, and Labour)
9. Lee Kuan Yew (Prime Minister)

Re-trievia recalled: Excerpts from Year 2003/ 2004
Tan Wee Kiat

Written by Ivan Chew

29 January, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Posted in Year 2003/ 2004

Getting stoned (2)

It is Christmas time and the church is having a Christmas party. The Sunday School children have spent weeks practising for a performance depicting the first Christmas. To celebrate the occasion the pastor, in the true spirit of Christmas, even invited a notoriously crotchety old grandfather (OK, OK, you can call him Tan Wee Kiat) to the performance.

After seeing the performance, the pastor asked the old man his impression of the show.

What did the old man say?

Old man: What a lousy show. The children can’t act at all. The boy acting the part of Joseph was not speaking clearly. The girl acting the part of Mary was giggling all the time. And the Three Wise Men – they look anything but wise. The children are completely mis-cast. And (smirking) what do you think, Pastor?

Pastor: Oh! I was thinking, “He who is without sin may stone the cast first”.

Re-trievia recalled: Excerpts from Year 2003/ 2004
Tan Wee Kiat

Written by Ivan Chew

28 January, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Posted in Year 2003/ 2004

Getting stoned (1)

Somewhere in my previous retrievia I mentioned a sermon where the pastor told the story about the woman who had committed adultery.

Under the law of that time this woman would be condemned to death by stoning. The story goes that this woman was brought before Jesus and He was asked what action should be taken.

Jesus simply looked down at the ground and said, “He who is without sin, may cast the first stone”.

One by one, the crowd left. When Jesus looked up and saw no one, He asked the woman, “Where are they, who have condemned you”?

The woman answered, “They did not condemn me”.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go. And leave your life of sin”.

At that point in the sermon, I suddenly looked up and asked my wife who was seated next to me.

”You know what I heard the pastor saying; it seemed like “Go. And live your life of sin”!

What my ears told me didn’t square with what my brain told me!

It is a reminder to pronounce ‘leave’ and ‘live’ differently and clearly.

Re-trievia recalled: Excerpts from Year 2003/ 2004
Tan Wee Kiat

Written by Ivan Chew

27 January, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Posted in Year 2003/ 2004

Stamp trivia No. 3 – Religious Awareness

With all the news about religious harmony, some of us might think this is a recent topic of interest.

Not so.

As far back as 1949, the first Inter-Religious Harmony group was formed. On its 50th anniversary, a set of special stamps was issued. Here is one of the stamps.
Retrievia Excerpts 2003-2004

In connection with religious awareness, here is a stamp showing different places of worship. In this stamp you can see, from
left to right, church, Chinese temple, mosque and Indian temple.
Retrievia Excerpts 2003-2004

Re-trievia recalled: Excerpts from Year 2003/ 2004
Tan Wee Kiat

Written by Ivan Chew

26 January, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Posted in Year 2003/ 2004

The first engine-powered plane

Talking about the Concorde and aviation reminds me that this year 2003 marks the centenary of the first engine-powered flight by the Wright brothers.

Here is a Singapore stamp that commemorates the event. Retrievia Excerpts 2003-2004

The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were reputed to be men of few words.

The story goes that in a big celebration dinner in honourof their pioneering achievement, the Master of Ceremonies said, “I now call upon Orville Wright to say a few words”.

Rising slowly from his seat, to long and loud applause, Orville Wright said, “Thank you for the privilege to say a few words. Actually, it is my brother Wilbur who will say a few words”, and sat down.

It was now Wilbur’s turn. Rising slowly from his seat, to long and loud applause, Wilbur Wright said, “Thank you for the privilege to say a few words. My brother Orville has already said them”, and sat down.

Re-trievia recalled: Excerpts from Year 2003/ 2004
Tan Wee Kiat

Written by Ivan Chew

25 January, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Posted in Year 2003/ 2004