15 October 2013

Vanishing Trades..



SingPost will release a special stamp issue on vanishing trades in Singapore on 16th October, featuring  Vanishing Trades of Singapore . These are definitive issues. Some of these stamps are related with Indian themes and could also be included in the collection of Indian themes on foreign stamps.

Need your knife to be sharpened? A bottle of fresh goat milk? A refreshing ice-ball to beat the heat? In early days, immigrants who came to Singapore started small businesses, with many of them as peddlers at the streets and along the five-foot-ways of the shop houses such as dairy men, beaded slippers makers, knife sharpeners etc. Many of these trades that were once a familiar sight are fast disappearing, instep with Singapore's development as an urban metropolis, financial and maritime hub. To preserve memories of the
vanishing trades in Singapore, SingPost will release a new stamp issue, Vanishing Trades Definitives on 16 October. They bear testimonies to growing and building of yesteryear Singapore and are part of Singapore’s rich cultural heritage.

Dairy Men (1st Local)

Dairy men migrated from Tamil Nadu in South India and Uttar Pradesh in North India to Malaya at the beginning of the 20th century. They catered mainly to the growing Indian community around Serangoon Road, and some were involved in the cattle trade in the Serangoon area. As part of their delivery routine, they would travel on foot from house to
house with their goats or cows to sell truly fresh milk. Some dairy men would also deliver
cans of milk by bicycles.
ƒ Beaded Slippers Makers (2nd Local)

Beaded slippers makers were traditionally Peranakan women who had to learn bead work prior to marriage as part of Peranakan customs. These makers would use brilliantly-coloured
miniscule glass beads to create intricate designs onto a piece of needlepoint fabric stretched
upon a wooden frame. Once the beading work had been completed, the beaded cloth would
be sent to the cobbler to be made into slippers.
ƒ Kachang Puteh Sellers ($0.05)

Kachang Puteh sellers were primarily Indian vendors selling nuts, beans or peas (collectively known as “kachang” in Malay). These kachang could be steamed, fried, roasted or coated with sugar. The early kachang puteh sellers were roving vendors who plied their goods which were usually displayed on a rack or tray.
ƒ Lantern Makers (S$0.20)

Lantern making was once a popular trade in the early days of Singapore. Lantern makers could paint over oiled paper stretched over interwoven ribs of delicate bamboo. The painted lanterns often depict famous legendary figures and/or Chinese characters for good luck and longevity.
ƒ Songkok Makers (S$0.30)

Songkok makers were predominantly from Sumatra or of Sumatran descent, and catered to
the Malay/Muslim communities in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. The Muslims wear Songkok (a traditional Muslim head gear) when attending prayers at the mosque,religious events and festive celebrations such as Hari Raya Haji and Hari Raya Puasa.

ƒ Goldsmiths (S$0.45)

Goldsmiths arrived in Singapore from Sri Lanka in the late 19th century and from South India and Gujarat in the mid-20th century. They would sit on floor mats or work over small benches while hand crafting pieces of jewellery. Their tools of the trade include screws, files, hammers, acid, sandpaper, water and a lamp. In addition to these tools, goldsmiths must have patience, creativity and skilful fingers.

Cobblers (S$0.50)

Cobblers offer shoe-repair services such as the replacement of worn out soles and heels as
well as the polishing of shoes. In the early days, this trade was dominated by Chinese males
who could station themselves along five-foot-ways, at the corners of pavements along busy
roads, and on sidewalks within the vicinity of bus-stops.

Knife Sharpeners (S$0.55)

Knife sharpeners were either Cantonese people or Malay. Many of them could ply their trade along five-foot-ways. Some could travel from one housing estate to another with their tools of trade. Their tools would typically include a pail of water, a grindstone and sheets of sandpaper.
ƒ Ice-Ball Sellers (S$0.65)

Ice-ball sellers were primarily Indian vendors who sold drinks and ice-balls on pushcarts. The ice-balls could be drenched in colourful syrup and/or milk, and could sometimes include fillings like cooked red beans or “attap-chees” (mangrove palm seeds cooked in sugar).
ƒ Parrot Astrologers (S$0.80)

Parrot astrologers arrived in Singapore in the late 19th century from India. They often used
parakeets to pick up tarot cards so that they could interpret the cards to foretell a person’s
future. The tools of their trade would include a small table or rug, a set of 27 fortune cards,
astrology charts, a notebook and a parakeet.

Club News

New Special Cover


A Special Cover was issued on Mahatma  Gandhi at GPO Lucknow on Philately Day, AHIMSAPEX 2013 12 October 2013. A two day Philately exhibition on Gandhi & Freedom fighter was also  held which concluded on 13 October 2013.

: Sandeep Chaurasia – Gorakhpur ; Himanshu Singh -  Deoria

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