Credit : vPost.
My wife asked me a few days before National Day if I would like to buy the new National Day stamps (above). I immediately recalled I’ve one very special National Day stamp below;
What so special about the above stamp of mine? 2 things you must take note – 1. Date was 3rd June 1961 and 2. The “State Of Singapore” instead of “Republic Of Singapore”.
Maybe it’s a printing error that National Day was 3rd June in 1961, you may said. But no no, from 1960 to 1963 our National Day was on 3rd June. Let me show you with the use of stamps.
In fact our first National Day issued stamps were on 3rd June 1960. You may wonder why is that so if we gained independence on 9 August 1965 right? Before I proceed, here are our first National Day stamps;
So why was our National Day on 3rd June then? Let’s take a peek at my son’s Pri. 5 Social Studies textbook two years ago… Under the Chapter 2 “Steps towards Self-Government” : In 1957, Lim Yew Hock asked for control over Singapore’s internal affairs and the British government agreed to grant Singapore control over it’s internal affairs but not the external affairs like defence and relations with other countries. Following this, an election was held 3rd June 1959 to elect leaders to from the new government.
So when Singapore achieved full internal self-government in 1959 after the election, it became known as the “State Of Singapore”. In that year, British symbols were replaced by Singapore’s National symbols and Yusof bin Ishak became our first local Head of State.
The above stamps were issued on 1st June 1959 to celebrate Internal Self-Government and note the “State of Singapore” printed on them. The portrait of Queen Elizabeth 2nd was printed on the top right hand corner.
Below are the National Day Stamps issued on 3rd June from 1961 to 1963;
Then why the 3rd June National Day stamps end in 1963 and not 1965 (the year we gained independence from Malaysia)? OK, let’s continue with the history…
Singapore became a part of Federation of Malaya on 16 September 1963 together with Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia. However, the merger didn’t last long…the shocking news that Singapore’s exit from Malaysia on 9 August 1965 may be a disbelief to many.
Credit : SPH, Straits Times.
Though we gained indepedence on 9 Aug 1965, we didn’t have our National Day on 9 Aug until 1966. That year we celebrated our First Anniversary of Republic with these stamps;
In 1967, we finally had our own Republic of Singapore National Day Parade stamps on 9 Aug;
So I celebrated my First National Day on 3rd June 1962!