Friday, November 29, 2013

Christmas Island Christmas 2003

Australia Post has been issuing stamps for Christmas Island since 1993. Through the years, Christmas Island Christmas stamp designs have depicted tropical visions of Santa's visit, incorporating island features into the designs.

Christmas Island's 2003 Christmas stamps, designed by Melbourne based Bill Wood, feature a fanciful depiction of Christmas festivities on Christmas Island.

The 45c stamp shows Santa arriving at Christmas Island astride a friendly whaleshark and escorted by red-footed booby birds, with the limestone cliffs of the island seen in the background.

The 50c stamp shows Santa distributing gifts, while sitting on a green turtle. His red-footed booby bird escorts are now singing carols from a tree branch, while Christmas Island's ubiquitous red crabs are receiving their gifts on the shore.


Date of Issue : 31 Oct 2003
Postmark : Christmas Island 6798
Denomination : 45c and 50c
Stamp Size : 30.5mm x 30mm
Paper : Tullis Russell
Printing Process : Lithography


Christmas Island is an external Australian territory located in the Indian Ocean, 2600 kilometres north-west of Perth. This lush, tropical island was named after its first recorded sighting on Christmas Day in 1643.

The warm waters surrounding the island are a world-renowned destination for divers, who often encounter Whalesharks - harmless, plankton feeding sharks and the world's largest fish.

The whaleshark is depicted in above 45c stamp.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Silver Jubilee of the Reign of HRH Sultan of Kelantan

His Royal Highness Sultan Ismail Petra was proclaimed the Crown Prince of Kelantan on 11 Nov 1967, at the age of 18. On 30 Mar 1979, on the demise of his father, His Royal Highness ascended the throne as the 28th Sultan of Kelantan, and was officially crowned as the Sultan a year later.

The only son and youngest child, His Royal Highness Sultan Ismail Petra has a strong foundation of religious education, and is well versed with the Kelantan royal protocol, as he had received proper education and training since young.

His Royal Highness's reign is witnessed with various changes and progress in the State of Kelantan, especially in matters relating to the development of land, agriculture, infrastructure and education. Other rapid developments are evident in the sectors of commercial, industrial and tourism.

Year 2004 marks 25 years of the reign of His Royal Highness Sultan Ismail Petra. This stamp issue is to commemorate this Silver Jubilee celebration.


Date of Issue : 29 Feb 2004
Postmark : Kota Bharu
Denomination : 30 sen, 50 sen and RM1
Stamp Size : 40mm x 30mm
Paper : SPM Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process : Lithography


On 8 Jan 2002, His Royal Highness was conferred the Honorary Doctorate in Political Science by Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Peace and Goodwill

The iconic, festive symbolism of the tree and star pre-dates their use in Christmas celebrations, making these designs welcome heralds of the holiday season.

The bright designs bring joy of Christmas to friends and loved ones, and the design’s universal appeal will be welcomed wherever their message of peace and goodwill is sent.

The 50c stamp design features the Christmas tree. From ancient times the tree has symbolised new life and fertility.

The 90c stamp design features the star, a universal symbol of hope and optimism. In a Christian context, the star symbolises the star of Bethlehem which guided the Magi to the Christ child.

The above designs are closely modelled on the original "Tree" and "Star" designs of the Season's Greetings stamps issued in Sep 2001.


Date of Issue : 5 Aug 2003
Postmark : Wisemans Ferry 2775 NSW
Denomination : 50c and 90c
Stamp Size : 30.5mm x 30mm
Paper : De La Rue
Printing Process : Lithography


Story has it that Christmas trees were originally hung upside down, without lights. Martin Luther was the one who changed this Christmas tree tradition by placing a young fir tree upright in a pot, high on the table.

Candles were removed from the triangle shaped holder, and used as the very first Christmas tree lights, flickering from the tree's delicate branches.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Snoopy's Label

As a result of collaboration between Uniqlo and Peanuts, the result is a selection of printed t-shirts featuring characters from Peanuts - Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy van Pelt, to name a few, as well as some designs with printed comics on it.

Not only the designs are attractive, but the labels too. This is how the labels look like ... 

Not only lovely, they serve as good bookmarks as well - talk about recycling!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Christmas 2002

Australia's 2002 Christmas stamps are again designed based on traditional Christmas story. The stamps are designed by Melbourne illustrator Tracie Grimwood, and she took her inspiration from the Gospels according to Matthew and Luke.

The 40c stamp design features the Nativity scene - Mary with her baby born in the stable because there was no room for them in the inn.

Meanwhile, the 45c stamp design features the three wise men from the East, with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, brought for the child.


Date of Issue : 1 Nov 2002
Postmark : Christmas Hills 3775 VIC
Denomination : 40c and 45c
Stamp Size : 26mm x 37.5mm
Paper : Tullis Russell
Printing Process : Lithography


Australia Post has been issuing special Christmas stamps since 1957. Since 1994, the designs have focused on traditional Christmas story.

Monday, November 11, 2013

50 Years Malaysia

When Malaysia (then Malaya) gained its independence on 31 Aug 1957, the multi-racial Federation of Malaya was established. This however excludes Sabah and Sarawak, which both are part of today's Malaysia.

On 31 Aug 1963, the British territories in North Borneo (i.e. Sabah and Sarawak) and Singapore were granted independence. History was once again created with the incorporation of Federation of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore under one banner, and Malaysia was thus formed on 16 Sep 1963.

Singapore was subsequently separated from Malaysia 2 years later, and hence Malaysia is made up of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, as we see it today.

In 2013, Malaysia celebrated its 50 years of formation, also its 56 years of independence. Pos Malaysia has issued a commemorative stamp to mark this milestone in Malaysia's history.

The stamp design portrays the 3 main icons of Malaysia - the Malaysian flag known as Jalur Gemilang, the map of Malaysia and the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.


Date of Issue : 16 Sep 2013
Postmark : Kuala Lumpur
Denomination : 60 sen
Stamp Size : 50mm x 30mm
Paper : SPM Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process : Lithography (Gold Printing)


In the past, only the Independence Day is celebrated and a public holiday in Malaysia. In 2009, Malaysia Day was declared a public holiday.

The first Malaysia Day was celebrated on 16 Sep 2010. Malaysia Day would be celebrated with events that would foster closer unity, understanding between the different races and community success and achievements in various fields, with the objective to spur the 1Malaysia spirit.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Season's Greetings

One of the most important Christmas rituals is decorating the family Christmas tree. Trees had become a part of the Christmas festival by the 12th century, and were hung from ceilings as a symbol of Christianity.

Decorations came later and included apples, cakes and sugared almonds, crafts, tinsel, silver wire ornaments, candles and small beads. Glass ornaments and eventually electric Christmas lights appeared in the late 19th century.

The 40c stamp features a bold, graphic illustration of a Christmas tree, with "Season's Greetings" printed in the tab.

The 80c stamp features a striking graphic star, with "Peace and Goodwill" printed in the tab.


Date of Issue : 4 Sep 2001
Postmark : Merrylands 2160 NSW
Denomination : 40c and 80c
Stamp Size : 30.5mm x 30mm
Paper : Tullis Russell
Printing Process : Lithography


Story has it that oak was the inspiration for the first Christmas tree.

Long long ago, a monk named Boniface chopped down an oak tree as he was angry because people thought that the oak was sacred, and he wanted to prove them wrong. When the oak fell, it crushed everything in its path, except a small fir sapling. Boniface said the survival of the little sapling was a miracle.

So, people planted fir saplings to celebrate Christmas from then onwards. They didn't bring trees inside and decorate them as we do now.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Katz Tales : Living Under The Velvet Paw

Katz Tales : Living Under The Velvet Paw is a collection of light-hearted and heart-warming stories of Ellen Whyte's cat-masters - the wise yet wily Scoop, his sturdy and inventive cat companion Au, and the perpetual kitten Target.

The tales in this book cover the more than 10 years Ellen has lived in Malaysia. Stories include how Scoop, Au and Target moved into her lives, and subsequently having ruled their human-servants under their velvet paw. Also, the time when Scoop fakes an illness in order to reach a secret goal, the time when Au is outsmarted by the neighbourhood birds and the near disaster as Target is trapped behind a giant wall.

Also included in this book are some handy FAQs for new cat lovers, giving advice on how to train kittens, prevent disease, bathe cats, support grieving animals and other common issues.


ISBN-13 : 978-967-3035-64-9
ISBN-10 : 967-3035-64-4
Author : Ellen Whyte
Publisher : Marshall Cavendish
Published : 2009


A special birthday present from one of my best friends couple of years back, as this friend of mine knows that I like cats.

A book that I really enjoy, in fact have read it 3 times, as I can easily relate the stories in this book to my cat-masters as well.

The FAQs provide me with more understanding on cats, which is worth a read by both new and existing cat lovers.

Feel free to visit Ellen's Katz Tales blog at

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Diwali

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, or the "Festival of Lights", is one of the most important festivals of the Hindus. It is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes.

Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. The word Diwali is a contraction of Deepavali, which translates into "row of lamps".

Here wishing all Hindus Happy Diwali. May all beings in the world be free and happy :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Christmas 1999

Australia's 1999 Christmas stamps are designed by well-known Australian painter and tapestry designer, John Coburn.

Coburn's paintings favour large, stylised shapes, often painted in glowing colours. His work radiates an intense joy that has no counterpart in Australia painting.

The 40c stamp features Madonna and Child, while the AU$1.00 stamp features an abstract Tree of Life.


Date of Issue : 1 Nov 1999
Postmark : Christmas Hills 7330 TAS
Denomination : 40c and AU$1.00
Stamp Size : 26 mm x 37.5 mm
Paper : Tullis Russell
Printing Process : Offset Lithography


John Coburn's artwork also appeared in Australia's 1969 Christmas stamps, along with George Hamori.

Coburn's "Tree of life and Baby Jesus" is depicted in the 25c stamp while Hamori's design, featuring nativity scene in a stained glass window, is depicted in the 5c stamp.

(Stamp images from

In 1960 and again in 1977, Coburn won the Blake Prize for Religious Art. He was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in 1980 and an honorary doctorate at James Cook University, Townsville in 1991.