Schools is another interesting topics in philately. There were few stamp issues launched by Pos Malaysia in recent years to commemorate centennial anniversary of few schools in Malaysia. There is a full review article titled “A Philatelic Journey of the Schools in Malaysia” via the link https://myfdc.me/articles/a-philatelic-journey-of-the-schools-in-malaysia/
In Penang State itself, there were three schools stamp issues launched by Pos Malaysia three years consecutively, i.e. Penang Free School Bicentenary on 21st October 2016, Chung Ling High School Centenary on 9th February 2017 and Jit Sin School Centenary Anniversary on 9th October 2018. In this blog, I would like to share my collections of my mother school Jit Sin Centenary Anniversary (JS 100) issue.
Jit Sin School was originated from “Yi Xue Tong” (义学堂）located at current taoist Tua Pek Kong Temple on Pasar Road, Bukit Mertajam, Penang mainland, on 2nd March 1918. The school name “Jit Sin” (日新）was taken from Chinese poem meaning renewed or reform (‘to reinvent oneself continuously’—according to Pos Malaysia brochure ). It started off as functioning charity primary school that time. In 1931, in view of increasing students number, the school was extended to Cross Street. On 10th October 1949, three schools i.e. Jit Sin, Zhong Zheng and Sin You combined into a single school– Jit Sin School. In 1950, Jit Sin Secondary School was established for further education. Two years later, in 1952, Jit Sin School was shifted to new compound sponsored by Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple committee at Aston Road. In 1962, Jit Sin Secondary School was further divided into Jit Sin High School (public) and Jit Sin Independent High School (private).
Jit Sin Independent High School
It was established since 1962 and currently located at Aston Road, Bukit Mertajam city centre. It is a private secondary school. The school was honoured ” 5 stars private education ” by Malaysian Ministry of Education in 2013. It is the largest independent secondary school in northern region.
SMJK JIt Sin
SMJK Jit Sin or Jit Sin High School (JSHS) previously shared the same school compound with Jit Sin Independent High School at Aston Road until 1992 when it was moved to new compound in Taman Sri Rambai. JSHS was awarded Cluster School of Excellence (Sekolah Kluster Kecemerlangan) in 2011 and it was the first vernacular secondary school in Penang to obtain this premier status.
SRJK (C) Jit Sin A & B
SRJK (C) Jit Sin A & B or Jit Sin Chinese Primary School A&B were two separate primary schools located within the same compound. They were previously shared the same school compound with Jit Sin Independent High School until 1965 when they were shifted to the current location at Jalan Berapit. Since I am the alumnus of Jit Sin A, I only focus my JS 100 Philately collection on Jit Sin A. Note that Jit Sin B was the mother school for our Malaysia’s Ex-Badminton world champion player Datuk Lee Chong Wei.
Jit Sin School Union, basically Jit Sin alumni society, posted an announcement via their website on 27th August 2018 for the limited edition JS 100 stamps set. With donations of RM120, the donor would be able to get the limited edition set which include 3 full stamp sheetlets, 1 miniature sheet (MS) , a folder, 2 FDCs with special setenant 3V stamps and MS with special “JIT SIN SCHOOL PULAU PINANG” cancellation, 12 schools postcards and a beautiful nylon bag. Each donor was limited to only five sets. There were initially 8,000 limited sets produced. Subsequently, another 2,000 sets were added which total up 10,000 limited sets.
Pos Malaysia posted a revised tentative stamp schedule on 25th September 2018 with the note that JS 100 issue sale date had been postponed to 25th October 2018.
On 28th September 2018, two commemorative covers was issued by Penang Philately Society (PPS) and it was open for sale to PPS members.
Jit Sin Centenary Anniversary Grand Dinners were two days events held in Jit Sin Independent High School from 6th-7th October 2018, to celebrate such an auspicious moment. On the 6th October Grand Dinner, JS 100 stamps issue was first introduced officially by the committee. According to the introduction, the stamps and the MS were printed in France by La Poste. Due to technical issue, it’s sale date was postponed to 25th October instead of 9th October 2018. Interestingly, during the anniversary dinner, Jit Sin School committee also announced a unifying school logo for all four schools. The new silver logo was printed on the Pos Malaysia JS 100 first day cover as well as 3v stamps and MS.
9th October 2018 marked the date of issue of JS 100. Of note, 9th October is the anniversary date for Jit Sin School. I was very lucky to get my PPS commemorative covers early. Hence, I headed to Bukit Mertajam post office(PO) to get the PO hand-chop on my covers to mark THE important date.
On the 12th October 2018, Pos Malaysia officially launched JS 100 stamps issue via media conference at Jit Sin Independent High School, Bukit Mertajam together with stamp issue committee. SODA members were able to get the special FDCs with setenant stamps and “JIT SIN SCHOOL” cancellations.These were the links to few Chinese papers’ reports. A short video clip was included in the reports as well.
Finally, after such a long 16 days waiting period, public was able to get the stamps and FDC from post office throughout Malaysia on 25th October 2018. I first headed to Penang General Post Office. The crowd was there even before post office opened! It was a bit out of my expectation to see quite a huge crowd in Penang Island since Jit Sin School is located in mainland. After completing “PULAU PINANG” philatelic bureau cancellation on my covers, I went back to mainland Bukit Mertajam. I first stopped at Kota Permai mini post office which is the nearest post office to SMJK Jit Sin. I still remember there was a mini post office Taman Sri Rambai previously, which was located very near to the school and it would be the best concordant cancellation to SMJK Jit Sin if it had not closed down. Next stop was Jalan Kulim mini post office. Both Jit Sin Independent and primary schools are very near to Bukit Mertajam post office. Since I chose Bukit Mertajam as the concordant PO for Jit Sin primary school ( the only PO nearby, 1.8km distance ), I decided to make Jalan Kulim mini post office as the concordant PO to JS Independent High School ( 1.7km distance ). My final stop was Bukit Mertajam PO. The philatelic bureau cancellation “BUKIT MERTAJAM” was very hot that day! Post officer Bukit Mertajam was very kind to allow public to use the cancellation until 27th October 2018, Saturday due to very high demand.
To complete JS 100 philately journey, Pos Malaysia also launched setenant strip sheets for JS 100 on 17th November 2018 during stamp week 2018 events at Kuala Lumpur Philatelic Bureau.
With that, as a core Jit Sin alumnus, I had completed my philatelic task for my beloved mother schools! May the Sun continues to shine for the next centennial years~~
P/S: Another premier school in Bukit Mertajam, BM High School, mother school for our fifth Prime Minister Tun Dato’ Seri Haji Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, will be celebrating it’s 100th anniversary in year 2027!