150th Anniversary of Singapore, 1819–1969 150th Anniversary of Singapore, 1819–1969

150th Anniversary of Singapore, 1819–1969

First-ever souvenir stamp sheet issued in Singapore to commemorate the country's 150th anniversary

Philatelic Bureau, General Post Office

Printer: Bradbury Wilkinson and Co Ltd.
Dimensions: 120 x 120 mm

Singapore marked 150 years since it was founded by the British in 1819 with a special set of "historical" stamps. It was the first time in the country's stamp history that a series with different designs for each value were issued. The set consisted of six designs, each depicting a major event in the modern history of Singapore:

  • $10 — Founding of Singapore in 1819
  • $5 — Japanese Occupation, 1942–5
  • $1 — International self-government, 1959
  • 75 cents — Singapore in Malaysia, 1963
  • 30 cents — Independence and sovereign member of the United Nations, 1965
  • 15 cents — Singapore as a centre of commerce, industry and communications, 1969

This set was part of the first designs to be commissioned by the Stamp Advisory Committee formed in 1968 to ensure Singapore created more attractive stamps. The committee worked with local artists to achieve this goal. The 150th anniversary series was designed by Eng Siak Loy and Han Kuan Cheng who combined abstract symbols with pictorial forms.

Although some initially feared the stamps would be poorly received because of their unusually high denominations, the first day covers and souvenir sheets were sold out within days. The Singapore Stamp Club called the series "the most successful of all the commemorative stamps issued since 1948".