By Sadisha Saparamadu
Bureau of the Department of Post organized ‘Mudara Dekma’, a Stamp and Currency show in the Postal Department Headquarters ends today.
The Stamp Show was an opportunity for stamp and coin collectors around the island to meet and showcase their personal collections, as well as for vintage stamp and coin sellers to advertise their wares.
Mr Andrew Gooneratne, a coin collector of 10 years, who was present at the show emphasized the historical and cultural value of stamps and coins, especially to younger generations as they often commemorate special events and special moments in history.
Elaborating on his knowledge about coins, he mentioned the oldest coin minted in modern Sri Lanka, a 1957 silver coin commemorating the 2500th anniversary of Lord Buddha’s Birth.
He also talked about one of the rarest and most valuable coins which he still had not yet laid eyes on, a 22-Carat gold coin of former President J.R. Jayawardena, of which only 39 coins were minted. Mr Gooneratne told us he was glad events like the Stamp Show were being organized and hoped they were more frequent in the future.
Mr Abdul Rahman, a collector and salesman of 15 years who specializes in stamps, coins and national and international banknotes, showed us a variety of special coins and stamps, including the aforementioned silver coin, as well a 1918 One Penny Stamp printed in British-ruled Ceylon. He also had a variety of Dutch VOC coins dating back to the 1700s and Sri Lankan Banknotes.
Mr S.N. Jackson, a veteran member of the Sri Lanka Philatelic Association and stamp and coin collector and salesman, talked to us about the importance of stamps as a hobby. ‘Everyone needs a Hobby that is separate from their profession’ he says, and mentions it is an excellent hobby for both children and adults alike. When one gets serious about stamp collecting, he says, it is almost an addiction to complete one’s stamp collection.
He also sells books, covers and protective sleeves for collectors, Mr Jackson has a wealth of old and diverse stamps and coins; ‘wealth’ used literally, as his collection is worth a high price. His stamp collection ranges from 18th Century Two Pence and One Penny stamps, as well as Queen Victoria Stamps. He also has Banknotes dating back to 1968 and British Pennies dating to the 1880s.
A special coin in his collection is a 1952 Sri Lankan coin commemorating the late Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation; the first coin minted on the day of the Queen’s coronation in the world. His stamps also record Sri Lanka’s wide history, including stamps issued by the LTTE when they controlled the North-East, stamps issued by British Officials in British-ruled Ceylon, and a special stamp with an image of the Sri Pada footprint that became rare after protests by Buddhist monks taking offence in the stamps being mechanically-punched from paper, leading to its destruction across the island.
Mr Rajitha K. Ranasinghe, Deputy Postmaster General, about the organizing of the Stamp Show. Mr Ranaisghe mentioned the event was held to celebrate World Post Day, held on the 9th of October. Stamp Collecting is an ancient hobby, he says, and it is important to show its significance to school children, as well as an event that assembles stamp collectors in one location. The Deputy Postmaster General also said that similar exhibitions were being held on Postal Premises around the island to reach more people, including a special ceremony held in the Badulla Postal Complex to benefit Badulla School Children.
Source: 8th October 2022 Sunday Times