Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Singapore Harbour 17.12.1972
Singapore, with its deep harbour and ideal geographical location, was a natural calling place for ships plying between the Asian and Western routes. It was with this vision that Sir Stamford Raffles arrived one day in February 1819, and founded the free port of Singapore – which today has grown into the world’s fourth busiest port. The vessels, which anchor in Singapore port, are indeed varied – ranging from the early days when movement was totally dependent on the wind to the present giant container ships. A significant vessel in the early days was the Chinese junk, which operated in the South-east Asian region from time immemorial, and in increasing numbers from Raffles’ time. These vessels were basically the only means of communication then between the early Chinese immigrants in Singapore and Mainland China. With the advent of steam, vessels became more sophisticated and ships like the ‘Maria Rickmers’ came into being and were sometimes seen in Tanjong Pagar waters at the turn of the century.
An area rich in history and culture, Tanjong Pagar is a port district located within Singapore’s Central Business District that’s also home to some of the tallest skyscrapers in the city-state. The lifeblood of Singapore since 1819, the district owes it success to early immigrants, who under British rule, helped establish Tanjong Pagar as an important centre for trade and commerce. Today, the area is still an important focal point for Asia, boasting the world’s busiest trans-shipment hub. Tanjong Pagar is also a major financial centre with several regional and international banks headquartered there. Well into the 20th Century, the port of Singapore had grown into a major international port of call. Singapore is also industrializing rapidly – including the development of the shipbuilding and ship-repairing industry. Symbolic of this development is the ‘Neptune Ruby’, the first Freedom-type vessel to be built in Singapore.
Against this background of development is the increasing sophistication in cargo-handling techniques. Starting with conventional methods, the Port of Singapore Authority entered the container era in June 1972 when its East Lagoon Container Port officially went into operation.
The “Shipping Series 1972” stamp issue comprises three stamps featuring the Chinese Junk, “Maria Rickmers” and “Neptune Ruby”. The three stamps were also produced in a miniature souvenir sheet as shown on the FDC. The sheet also shows a sectional view of the East Lagoon Container Port. These stamps were issued on 17.12.1972.