Monday, March 1, 2010

History bits to celebrate my 1st Blogosversary!

How time flies when one is blogging! To think this newbie had to have the ABC's of blogging taught to me by my friend, Emily. And a few months down the road, Blog4ft came along and I just dived in to take my blogging to another level. Really, I wanted to write more and better. Hopefully also to win prizes too -which I did. All this and more happened within a space of 365 days. I made new friends on the blogosphere. I 'travel' the world to say 'hello' to you now and again and at home, in Malaysia, some friends are just round the corner. Blogging for FT, I had a chance meeting with Mahsa from Iran who was visiting Thean Hou Temple. On that sunny day, our paths crossed and we are corresponding. How nice! So, it's been a kind of a whirlwind journey. A year is about to pass ( March Thursday, 12th, to be exact) . I thought I'd better be early so friends will know that I'm celebrating !!

Thank you, dear friends wherever you are.

Over the Chinese New Year, my husband found his whole collection of first day covers and stamps in the cupboard of his brother's house. Thank goodness his childhood treasures are safe! Having left Taiping and moved on , things got left behind. But to have them with him again was a big 'ang pow'!

As a young lad growing up in serene Taiping, hubby had many hobbies. He kept many pets like budgies, dogs, fishes -goldfish and fighting fish. All of them have passed on but his priceless collections stay. Among the first day covers there are some from India and Indonesia too. As for the stamp albums (one has gone astray), the stamps range from A -Z countries of the world.

Looking at hubby's collection, the oldest first day cover belongs to the commemorative stamp on MERDEKA! Indeed, 31 August, 1957 is fresh as ever. We will be 53 years old as a nation come this August. That great leap that propelled the nation to independence is always cherished. I hope we let unity be our strength and never falter on that. And we can be sure that Tunku, our great statesman, our Father of Independence would want nothing less of his people. By the way, how old were you or even us when history was in the making? Just say, we are now proud parents of 3 big kids and not in any hurry to get to 100!!

Do browse through the first day covers. At random, I've picked a few to show my readers. Our country has certainly made great, monumental strides since achieving independence. Historical events escape the mind so easily as the years fly past and their historical significance get blur.

Seeing Eleanor Roosevelt on the first day cover is something of a 'discovery'! It is the first time I've ever seen a non - Malaysian on our first day cover! What about you? I'm glad of the recognition accorded her - a true citizen of the world.

These collectibles occupied a good part of a little boy's growing up years. To him, it was the passion to own bits of history on small squares of paper/envelopes. And the joy to accumulate knowledge.

It was at the 3rd World Orchid Conference at the annual Chelsea Flower Show, that the Malayan Orchid Society's exhibit came into prominence. The bright and gay tones of the Malayan orchids literally opened the eyes of the thousands who visited the exhibit. The queue in front was 12 deep and jammed tight hour after hour for the duration of the show. With this success, Singapore was the asked to host the 4th World Orchid Conference . It was declared open by the H.E. the Yang di- Pertuan Negara on Tuesday, 8th October, 1963.

Shortly after the death of Eleanor Roosevelt 0n November 7, 1962, the late president JF Kennedy appointed Adlai E. Stevenson chairman of a distinguished group of Americans eager to keep alive the work and memory of the Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial Foundation to continue those interests which Mrs Roosevelt had dedicated her life.

After her husband's death in 1945, Mrs Roosevelt expected to retire to private life. Instead, she began a career which earned her the name of 'First Lady of the World'.

As a member of the Commission of Human Rights and a member of the General Assembly of the UN, and a volunteer worker for the Americans Assoc of the UN, she began a series of world travel that took her to England and the Far East, including trips to Russia. Of special concern to her were international peace, the establishment of equal rights for minorities and the ceaseless battle against world hunger and disease. She was the Architect of the 'Declaration of the Human Rights'.

At its meeting on the 30th July, 1957, the then Executive Council agreed in principle that the Federation government should make a substantial contribution towards the construction of a National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur as a gift from the peope to Tunku Abdul Rahman , then Chief Minister, in appreciation of his services in leading the coutry towards independence.

It was to be named 'Masjid Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra but upon the request of Tunku himself, to this day, we know it as Masjid Negara (National Mosque).

The mosque was designed and supervised by the architects and design research branches, Federal Public Works Dept. It took over 3 years to build at a cost of $10,000,000.
Public donations have been received from people of all races and religions in the country. The mosque, in fact symbolizes the goodwill and brotherhood of the people.

The National Monument has been described by the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman as ' a symbol of the eternal gratitude of the people of Malaya for the devotion and patriotism of all those brave men and women who suffered and died in the twelve long years of the Emergency'.
The well -known American sulptor -cum-painter, Mr Felix W. de Weldon designed the Monument and Italian craftsmen were employed to turn out the bronze seven statues.

The topmost figure of a man symbolizes leadership as he holds a flag which itself is the symbol of unity and strength as well as of the ideals of the country
On each side of the figure are 2 powerful men of the Security Forces who fought against the odds to win.
In the centre front a man is aiding and giving comfort to a wounded soldier whose facial expression portrays his suffering.

Penang Free School was the 1st English school and the oldest in Malaysia. The founder, Reverend R.S. Hutchings, the Colonial Chaplain of Penang, wanted Penang Free School to be a secular institution open to all children of all races and religion. That was the reason to name it Penang Free School.

The products of the Penang Free School have played a prominent role in the moulding of the nation.The noted alumni include national leaders such as The Third Yang di Pertuan Agong and Tunku, Tan Sr P. Ramlee, Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, 2nd Chief Minister of Penang and many others.

Penang Free School has a great tradition in training its students of all races to live, learn and play together -to achieve a plural society for the prosperity of the nation

Bank Negara Malaysia was established on January 26, 1959 , under the Central Bank of Malaysia Ordinance, 1958.
The principal objectives of the bank are as follows:
1. to issue currency in the federation and to keep reserves safeguarding the value of the currency
2. to act as a banker and financial advisor to the Government
3. to promote monetary stability and a sound financial structure and
4. to influence the credit situaton to the advantage of the federation

Bank Negara assumed the sole currency issuing authority in Malaysia on June 12, 1967. Prior to June 12, 1967, currency in Malaysia was issued by the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Malaya and British Borneo, which was also the currency issuing authority in Singapore and Brunei.

This project was the largest in South East Asia and was completed in a period of 30 months at a cost of $52 million. The opening of this airport meant that all airlines would be able to include Kuala Lumpur in their schedules.

The new airport connected to Kuala Lumpur 14 miles away . The civil engineering works were designed by the Public Works Dept. The site was ideal as there were no obstructions in the vicinity and the orientation of the runway fitted in perfectly with the prevailing winds from the South West and the North East. The site preparation involved the removal of a village to a new location and the clearing of 500 acres of rubber trees and the excavation of 6 1/2 million cubic yards of soil.


  1. I once sailed in Asian seas in a boat called Merdeka!

  2. Congratulations on your first year!

  3. Wow! It's still Sunday for me. What a lovely collection you have. I particularly liked the idea of the Penang Free School.

  4. Wonderful blog, Keats, as usual. You make everything come alive. It is like I am going with you in your eyes.

  5. Hi
    Laura in Paris, Great news! To know that Merdeka has touched your life in another way. Let Freedom sail!

    Rena, thanks so much for your wishes. Have a good week ahead:)

    Anne Lyken-Garner,thanks! the time zones do not keep us apart!

    Lucy, thanks, my friend. Glad you enjoy my blog and thanks for your wonderful support, as ever. Keep well.

  6. Congratulations on your 1st Blogiversary, Keats! I am so glad we met in blosphere and in real life, too. Strange that we are MNS members but our paths never crossed until we met online!

    Your husband's 1st Day Cover and stamp collection is awesome! My Dad collects 1st day covers too. I love Ravi's triangular stamps. You don't see many of those anymore. I collect animal-themed stamps. 1 album for domestic animals, 1 album for wild animals, 1 for birds!

    Oh and the 6 sen stamps! Now that the use of the 1 sen coin has been discontinued, it makes the 6 sen and whatever-odd-sen stamps even more quaint and valuable! I can imagine your future grandchildren rolling with laughter over that one! What can they buy with 6 sen?!?

    Wishing you all the best in the Blog4FT contest. Truthfully, I've lost interest and faith in the contest by now, LOL! Still trying to get rid of the second Blackberry but the Celcom package is the most expensive so very few takers.

  7. nice collection! i still have mine.

  8. Happy Blogoversary, my dear! Wishing you even more joyful moments to share on your blog. Thanks for being here :)

  9. Happy Blogoversary!

    You're a walking wikipedia for Malaysia, Keats!

    You do us proud! Kudos!

  10. Congrats for completing one year in blogosphere.

  11. This is a really a nice collection ! And Congrats on your one year of blogsphere.

  12. Hi
    ~Covert_Operations'78~, I'm glad I started a blog - so many things have happened- new friends like you and many others,learning how to see with my camera,talking about Malaysia to the world, etc. etc.
    I'm not surprised your dad has a collection of 1st day covers too. Hobbies such as collecting stamps, trading cards etc were the 'rage' then. Good on you - you can watch your collection grow too:)
    We did our best in the Blog4FT competition. Let's wait for the final results.

    wenn, nice one there too! Glad you have a collection.

    Rosidah Abidin, thank you for being a great blogger friend - always ready to help and support others too.

    Veronica Lee,thanks! a little research always helps:) May Malaysia and all of us prosper!

    Onkar, thank you for your kind wishes. Do drop in again.

    Sonia( Nasi Lemak lover), I'm glad you like it. Just something to share.

  13. Once upon a time I did collect them but as time goes by the sizzling just dies of. Great collection. thanks.

  14. happy blog anniversary! it's so easy to dive into blogging and super easy to meet new people, I'm always glad to read any comments so, thanks for your visit

  15. Hi
    Chea@S@n, i understand - some hobbies stay and some time goes by,we engage ourselves in our pursuits.

    lissa, thanks! you're one of the new people! the globe has shrunk! - all the better to learn from one another too.

  16. Happy Blogoversary....
    Keep blogging !!!!!!

  17. Interesting post - as always!
    Happy blog anniversary!
    You have many days to celebrate...let's see how you doing when the party's over :)
    Have a great day!


  18. Hi
    Anya, YEAHhhhh!Sure thing - blogging keeps all of us connected. Thanks for being my blogger friend.

    BLOGitse, thanks so much! you and everyone help to keep my blog active- you pop in to say 'hello' and make my day.

    Claudia, thank you for joining in the celebration. Have a good day!

  19. Congrats for completing a year!
    Your husband's collection is amazing!

  20. Happy Blogosversary!!! Many more to come.
    You are lovely collection.

  21. Hi
    Indrani, I'm happy to be one!! LOL! thanks for supporting my blog through the days, weeks and months:)

    Urban Green, thanks! Glad you're one of my visitors. Have a wonderful day!

  22. Hi Keats! March has arrived and maybe this awful winter will be gone...
    Congratulations!! Many years to come for us to enjoy!!

    Meanwhile, Blogtrotter 2 is still in Haiti, now at Malfini Beach, waiting for you. Hope you enjoy and have a great time!!

  23. I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

  24. Congrats on you first blog aniversary. Nice old stamps, I have some in my collections as well! LOL!

  25. Happy 1st year anniversary seem not long ago when we met in blog land. I just met a good blog friend - 3rd meeting for us this time, and 3rd year of blogging too for both of us. So, I guess it's time for us to actually meet up soon. Have a fab weekend. Been too busy, no time to blog anything at all. Hugs/M

  26. Happy Blog 1st Anniversary and may you have many many more. I am glad we have bloggers like you and I am glad to know you. May you achieve new heights!

  27. Hi
    Trotter,I understand this winter is sooo long and awful!Here in Kl, we're feeling the heat and it will prolong till April!Thank you for being a regular on my blog. All the best to you too!

    Pete, Thanks for your wishes. have a you a big collection ?

    M. Kate, I guess you've been busy 'coz I've missed you:) Thanks for being my blogger friend. Will call to tie up - shouldn't delay anymore!

    Autumn Belle, thanks for your kind wishes and your support. Bloggers need each other:) You're doing a great job with the passion of your life - plants. So, keep blogging!

  28. Yay! Congrats on your 1 full year of blogging! Keep it up and don't stop because you write so well and I do enjoy reading your posts. Looks like we started blogging around the same time too. These stamps are PRICELESS! My dad has a collection of very, very old stamps too. He's very proud of his collection!

  29. Happy 365days old. Keep up your good work love your blog.

  30. Hi
    petite nyonya, so, how are you celebrating?? Happy one year then!! thanks for your really kind words -this blog is one way to express myself:)
    Glad your dad has a very old collection himself.Is it in a vault?? LOL!

    Bananaz,thanks for your thoughtful and kind wishes. They say shop till you drop. What about blogging??Ha! ha! have a good day!

  31. Is it one year already Keats?! Wow how time flies when you are having fun. Those first collections are priceless and I am glad your husband found them.

    I am honored I "bumped" into you. In a way, I'm thinking what if I didn't. Of course one doesn't miss what one doesn't know what one is missing:) But you do set a standard in blogging Ms Keats and I am proud of you!

    Hey, when are we going for that massage together?:)

  32. Hi
    Ocean Girl, the days fly so fast, it's kinda hard to count them!!!
    Same here.I'm glad we found each other. Now we have to connect.Will definitely catch up soon. Am sorry for the delay.
    Oh! I'm turning red with embarrassment!Sometimes I think I should 'lighten' up a bit and not be so 'cikgu' style!!!BTW, I enjoy your style of writing too:)

    Elizabeth Mahlou, welcome to my blog. Thanks so much for coming by and for your warm wishes.

  33. What a precious collection!

    Happy 1 year blogging anniversary.

  34. Hi
    Icy BC, thanks so much for your kind wishes. yes, the collection is priceless. Looks like there are ardent collectors among my blogger friends too.


Great to have you popping in!