Thursday, 28 May 2020

Postcard Story : University of Yangon

The University of Yangon, formally known as Rangoon College, Rangoon University, and Rangoon Arts and Sciences University, is located in Kamayut township.  It is the oldest and best university in Myanmar.  The university was founded in 1920 and it is celebrating its centenary in 2020.  Myanmar post also issued the miniature sheet and set of postcard for the commemoration.

Rangoon College c 1900, Ahuja Postcard ID 121
Its forerunner, Rangoon College was established in 1878 as a affiliated college of the University of Calcutta.  The college was renamed Government College in 1904, and University College in 1920.  The University of Rangoon Act merged the University College (was Rangoon College) with Judson College (also known as American Baptist College) in 1920 to establish the Rangoon University [1].

Judson College c 1900, Ahuja ID 120
Convocation Hall was completed 1927 and it became the most iconic building on the campus. Since then has hosted the annual graduation ceremonies [2].  Prior to that, the graduation ceremonies were held at Jubilee Hall.

Convocation Hall c 1997, published by YU. Photographer Sai Phone Htoo.
Another modern building which become iconic on campus is Recreation Centre.  The building was built by U Kin Maung Thint, together with architect and planner Oswald Nagler, around 1960 [3].

Recreation Centre c 1997, published by YU, Photographer Sai Phone Htoo.
Another botanical landmark in the YU is the Thitpok tree (Tetrameles nudiflora).  The tree is old and about 60 m height [4].

Thitpok tree c 1997, published by YU
Photographer Sai Phone Htoo

[1] Wikipedia contributors. "University of Yangon." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 May. 2020. Web. Retrieved from on 22 May. 2020.
[2] "Rangoon University : Convocatio Hall", Yangon Time Machine, Retrieved from on 22 May 2020.
[3] "Yangon University", Architectural Guide Yangon, Retrieved from on 23 May 2020.
[4] Wikipedia contributors. "Tetrameles." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Apr. 2020. Web. Retrieved from on 24 May. 2020.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Centenary of Yangon University MS

Following the Yangon University pre-centenary issue of postcard set, Myanmar Post issued the miniature sheet to commemorate the centenary celebration on 20 May 2020.  Yangon University was opened in 1920 and they celebrates their 100 years birthday in 2020.  Yangon University, located in Kamayut, Yangon, is the oldest university in Myanmar's modern education system and the best known university in Myanmar.  Yangon University has its own University Post Office, also known as Kamayut Post Office.

Miniature Sheet Design
Featured on the MS are convocation hall of YU, symbolic Thitpok tree (Tetrameles nudiflora), Gantgaw flowers (Mesua ferrea), them emblem of YU and the poem by Maung Sein Win (Padigon). All related to the historic icons of Yangon University.  Thiha Lwin (TMH) is credited as designer.

The MS are sold as uncut strips of three miniature sheets.  One pack contains 50 uncut strips with the total of 150 sheets and costs 30,000 Kyats.  On the first day, Mandalay GPO sell 6,000 sheets.  Empty FDCs were sold at 200 Kyats. Yangon GPO sold 1500 empty FDCs and Mandalay GPO sold 1100.

Technical Specifications
Date of Issue : 20 May 2020
Printer : Security Printing Works (Myanmar)
Printing Process : Offset
Sheet Size : 117 x 69.5 mm
Stamp Size : 84 x 30 mm
Color : 4
Perforation : 14
Denomination : K200
Sheet Composition :  3 Miniature Sheets per Strip
Quantity : 300,000 sheets.
Stamp Designers : Thiha Lwin (TMH)

 <Stay Tuned for more updates>

Sunday, 17 May 2020

MPS Philatelic Talk Episode 1 : Foreign Aerogrammes of Burma 1946-2001

Ko Toe Philately is organizing the Philatelic Talk Series of collectors in Myanmar together with Myanmar Philatelic Society via Zoom.  The talk is hosted on the Zoom cloud meeting.  As the fist episode of the series, Ko Toe himself gave a talk on "Foreign Aerogrammes of Burma 1946-2001" on 16 May 2020.  

About 18 attendees were present at the live session.  Many late comers and some with technical difficulties cannot join the live session, but watched recorded video posted on the Myanmar Philatelic Society Facebook page.
Video URL:

The talk will be held on Saturday every two weeks.  Next episode is "Vintage Picture Postcard of Burma" by Ko Thein Tun Kyaw on 30 May 2020, 2:PM Yangon time.  Stay tune MPS facebook page for zoom meeting link and more information!

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Royal Mail issues End of Second World War MS, one stamp featuring Taukkyaun War Memorial

Royl Mail issued the commemorative Miniature Sheet focuses on memorials honouring servicemen and women who gave their lives to serve their country, as well as victims of the Holocaust.  Four stamps feature memorials in Jerusalem and Rangoon, as well as Runnymede and Plymouth in the UK, on a Miniature Sheet carrier bearing the title in stone carved lettering.

Taukkyan War Memorial

The date of issue is 8 May 2020 which represents the day, exactly 75 years ago, that the Allies formally accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany’s armed forces.

   Stamp specifications

Stamp size: 60mm x 30mm
Miniature Sheet size: 192mm x 74mm
Design: Hat-trick Design
Printer: International Security Printers
Print process: Lithography
Perforations: 14.5 x 14.5
Phosphor Bars as appropriate
Gum: PVA

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Experimental POs of 1950s and 1960s

This post will not be the comprehensive study of the experimental POs during the period of 1950 to 1960 but it will gave some example of postmark and their usage records.  The experimental post offices from early 1950s to late 1960s have the postmark like the example below with different post office number.  The following postmark example shows type 2 of PO 281 dated 22 Sep 1961.  Type has been seen used since 1940s.

Type 2 (left) and Type 1 (right)

The following are the records of some examples with date of postmark and sender's address.

Type 1
PO R-63
xx Jul 1951, Thonze

PO R-81
30 Jan 1951, Myingyan

PO R-89
29 Aug 1957, 27th Road, Between 80 & 81 Street

Type 2
PO 22
22 Dec 1953, Mandalay 26th B Road, Between 81 & 82 Road
22 Aug 1955, Mandalay University College
30 Jan 1956, Mandalay University College

PO 28
17 Jun 1960, Rangoon, Cantoment PO, Fraser Road

PO 46
26 Jul 1953, Moulmein, LM Road
14 Oct 1953, Moulmein, LM Road
1 Jan 1955, Moulmein, LM Road
18 Nov 1955, Moulmein, LM Road

PO 201
23 Jul 1956, Rangoon, 31st Street
25 Apr 1957, Rangoon, Mogul Road (Shwe Bontha Road)
19 Aug 1957, Rangoon, Godwin Road (Lanmadaw Road)
28 Aug 1957, Rangoon

PO 203
23 Jul 1957, Rangoon, Bazaar Street, Kemmendine

PO 271
9 Mar 1961, Rangoon, York Road (Yawmingyi Road)
29 Aug 1961, Rangoon, Mogul Road (Shwe Bontha Road))
16 Jan 1962, Rangoon, Shwedagon Pagoda Road
29 Mar 1962, Rangoon, Mogul Road (Shwe Bontha Road)

PO 281
22 Sep 1961, Rangoon, Thaton Hall, Rangoon University

PO 282
30 May 1961, Rangoon, Mogul Road (Shwe Bontha Road)
11 Jan 1963, Rangoon, Kemmendine, Shwehlaing Road

PO 355
1 Aug 1963, Rangoon, Mogul Road (Shwe Bontha Road)

PO 680
25 Feb 1970, Pakokku, People's Hospital

The list will be extended whenever I found new example to be recorded.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Date slugs in Burmese

All the post offices throughout Burma were distributed with slugs in Burmese for the year part of postmarks since January 1986.  The following two telephone bill payments receipts from Kyonpyaw Post Office shows the Sep 1985 postmark with year slug in English and Jan 1986 postmark with year slug in Burmese.
Most post offices used year date slugs since then.  The following examples shows Botataung Registered postmark dated 8 Jul 1996 and Moulmein College postmark dated 24 Oct 1986.  Both examples have the year slugs in Burmese.
At the major post offices like Yangon GPO are provided with all date slugs in Burmese.  The following postmark from Yangon GPO dated 9 Jun 1997 used all date slugs in Burmese.

But earlier than that, there are some usages of Burmese Wording in the date portion of postmarks.  Interestingly all the examples I have seen are from Rakhine Division (Arakan Division) ရခိုင်တိုင်း in Burmese.  The copies in my collection are Taungup (Taungoke) dated 8 Dec 196x and Myebon dated 28 Aug 196x and are in sue since 1960s.

Telegraph marking with Burmese words may be precursor of such postmarks.  The following examples of telegraph marking stamp are from Central Telegraphic Office, Yangon dated 26 Feb 1962 and Taik Kyi dated xx Jan 1966.

My previous article on inverted date slugs shows how the postmark device and date slugs looks like.  Please browse the article at this link. Following the 1986 year slugs, the next change of postmark is the usages of shiny postmark which are totally in English. I will write another article to cover them up. 

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Example usages of Education Tax stamps

Education Tax stamps are used by Ministry of Education to accept the payments for some of their services.  This note records some of its usages as an example.  There are eight values issued to dates and are 5K, 10K, 20K, 50K, 100K, 200K, 400K and 700K.  400K and 700K are late additions to the set and are recorded in 2005 and 2010 respectively.  Mickey also noted 5K and 10K are known postally used.  

The above example is from 1996, submitting the application form for marks certificate of matriculation examination.  The student has to pay 100K application fees to Ministry of Education as of 1996.  Two 50K education tax stamps were affixed on top left corner of the form as payment.  Such fees as of 2019 is 200K.  The following is the application form to be affixed with 200K education tax stamp before submitting.

The Ministry of Education announced on 21 Aug 2019 to submit the application for 2020  matriculation exam and the examination fees are to be paid using stamps.  The 2020 exam fees is 700K.

Whenever I get the new information about the education tax stamp, I will update this post.