Many of the young children these day may not know what a stamp look like as we don’t really need to use stamps that much as compared to before. Now we can use emails, phone lines, faxes and other electronic wires which can reach faster. I decided to pay a visit to the Singapore Philatelic Museum to recall back memories when I used to write letter. This family-friendly museum has many exhibits oriented toward young children. There are many small rooms for you to explore and to my surprise quite plenty to see.
Philately is a Window to the World
The setting at first floor, first exhibit room that I entered was quite fun, there is a tiny sofa for you to sit. Children can play with the windows, drawers as the are allowed to pull and find out the hidden treasures, this also will stir up their curiosity and find out the stories behind it.
Philately is the hobby of collecting and learning about postage stamps. The word Philately is derived from Greek words philos (love).To study a stamp is to learn about the richness of the world behind the stamp.
Old Postcard dated back in 1893 – Greeting from Singapore
Children Puzzle – Fun Corner
Room of Rarities
This room showcases the Singapore Philatelic Museum’s permanent collection. Spanning across almost 200 years, the collection traces the philatelic and postal milestones of Singapore from the Straits Settlements period to today. Some of the rarities on display are the early Queen Victoria covers and postage stamps and other archival materials of the three kings collection and postal artifacts.
The setting of the Heritage Room is like a coffee shop in the olden days. There are plenty of activities you can do here.
1. Sit and relax at the old coffee shop
2.Pretend Selling Cendols In An Old Bike
3.Walking Around In Red Clogs Slippers
Dutch has their clogs so do we. Our clogs are slippers instead, both made from wood!
Clogs were preferred by women when working on wet surfaces particularly when they were washing clothes, working in the kitchen or going to the bathroom. Clogs do not slip easily.
4. Check out the Spice
There is a spice corner for you to learn about spice!
5.Play “tikam” at Mamak Stores
This mamak store offer an interesting board game – Tikam Board. Have you ever tried the “tikam” game /random pick a card to win prizes? You don’t get to see this nowadays. I remembered when I was young I saw a rich boy get fed up as he did not win any prizes from the “tikam” board game after so many attempt of random pick, so he went back home to get more money and bought the whole board game home! So funny.
Artifact donated by Singapore Post – Yellow Posting Box
This is designed locally back in 1971, in bright yellow color. The new boxes featured double posting apertures for separating the mails meant for “Singapore” and “Other Countries”.
Wooden Cabinet, c 1950
This antique cabinet was used for registered letters. These mail were safely locked up and postman would have to sign out for the mail of the respective postal beats from the registration clerk who would be working at the desk.
Lamp Posting Box
Have you seen a post box sitting so high up? Not for short people like me I guess. This kind of lamp post box is popular in some of the remote area back in the old days. Normally the post boxes were tied up high to lamp posts, the lamp light will allow people to read the letters or do any last minutes changes to the letter. I am struggling to reach to the top to collect the mail.
Abode of Peace and the Lion City: A Brunei – Singapore Exhibition
This is a temporary exhibition hall till Feb 2018 which displayed the many of the Brunei and Singapore notes, also the Currency Interchangeability Agreement. The deal allows the Singapore and Brunei dollars to be used in each other’s country on par.
Bruneians can use these currency to purchase thing in Singapore and by right, all shops should accept without dispute.
Have you seen $10,000 dollar note?
The Singapore $10,000 note are the world’s most valuable banknotes that are officially in circulation but printing has stopped since Oct 2014. I have never seen a $10,000 note before coming to this museum, the paper note is quite big size.
Old stamps – depicting stories behind each stamp!
Japanese Banana Notes
The Japanese introduced a new currency for Malaya, Singapore and Brunei. It was known as “banana notes’ because the $10 note featured a banana plant. I heard my grandfather use to tell us banana notes has no value and people that time usually don’t dare to accept them. In fact, its value decreased dramatically after the war ended.
Overprinted Straits Settlements – King George VI Stamps
Three types of overprints were used – Postal Seal Handstamp, Romanised “Dai Nippon” and Kanji Overprint/大日本 back in 1942-1945 during Japanese occupation. Japanese likes to call themselves Dai Nippon but Chinese in mainland China would call Japan as 小日本 adding a (Small ) in front 🙂
Provisions Purchasing Card
A ration card used during the Japanese occupation of Singapore. The card is used to control the food during war time due to food shortage. Item such as rice, salt and sugar all needed to recorded down in this card when buying the food. So you would expect long queue at the shop and occasionally some fights.
Time for “masak-masak” again in the old fashion kitchen.
More of Brunei Cultural Heritage
To celebrate the deep-rooted friendship between Brunei and Singapore,there are more rooms feature for Brunei and Singapore Exhibition. Through stamps & artifacts, you get to discover Brunei’s rich cultural heritage.
Virtual Tour to Brunei – Ulu Temburong Forest
You also get to sit up a sampan/wooden small boat to explore the forest in Brunei – Ulu Temburong to search for some rarest flora and fauna in the world.
The souvenirs shop is at the entrance of the shop. Your kids may like some of these mini coin bank in the shape of post boxes. The shops also sell postcards, first day covers and other postal item.
Opening Hours & Admission Charges
- Foreign Visitors : Adult $8 Child (3-12 years) $6
- Local Singaporean and PR : Free
- 10 am to 7 pm
- By mrt : City Hall and 10 mins walk from Exit B
- Address : 23-B Coleman Street Singapore 179807
Anime X Stamps – upcoming (from 16 Nov 2017 – 01 Apr 2018)
The key themes of the exhibit do change over time so you can always coming back for different exhibition.
Other Singapore Museum you may like :
- Honor the brave at Singapore Civil Defence Heritage Gallery
- Singapore Peranakan Museum – Baba & Nyonya – a unique hybrid culture in South East Asia
- Singapore National Museum
- Singapore : Asian Civilization Museum