Saturday, November 8, 2008

1965 Methodist Church

1965 Methodist Church Cover

"Methodist Church Cover - front and back"

I always believe that every cover tell a story. The stamps, pictures, words or even content of a letter/cover could be a significant piece in the history of a nation. This cover, for instance, have recorded a history of Methodist Church movement to Singapore, Malaysia, Sarawak and even the whole of south east Asia.

The cover was sent from Singapore to USA. I have calculated the postage on the cover and discovered that is was $4.70 !!! That was a really high postage changes as $1 should be able to feed a family of 3 for a week at that time. This letter should be sent by air. It was sent on 29 December 1965 and arrived in Alabama, USA on 3 January 1966 (6 days).

"Malaysia - Singapore bridge?"

Many entities have printed their own envelope in the history for various purpose: for advertising, convey certain message (environmental msg etc), uplift corporate image etc. This cover was obviously printed to commemorate Methodist Church movement to south-east Asia. I could not figure out where is the picture on the front taken from. My guess was the Malaysia-Singapore bridge. However, I could be wrong.

"Methodist Church Slogan: One People"

On May 10, 1939, Bishops from the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Protestant Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church South declared "the Methodists are ONE PEOPLE," thus becoming the Methodist Church. "One People" have become the slogan for methodist church missionary in the 1960's.

"Missionary to Sarawak and Indian"

"Chinese and Kenyah"

This cover was interestingly colorful and full of details. It just don't make economic sense to produce such cover unless you are mass producing it. Remember, this was the 1960's and there was still no laserjet colour printer at that time!! This lead me to believe that there should be quite a number of these cover available in the hand of collector. However, this is the only one I have seen so far.

As illustrate on the back of the cover, the Harries family was the missionary send to established Methodist Church and spread the word of god in Sarawak in the 1960's.

History: Methodist Church of Malaysia

The Methodist Church in Malaysia shares part of its heritage with the Methodist Church in Singapore as both the territories shared a similar political history.

The history of the Methodist Church in Malaysia began 120 years ago following a decision taken at the South India Conference held in Hyderabad in 1884, when William Oldham was appointed as a missionary to Singapore in 1885.

The Tamil work started with the coming of a Ceylon Tamil, Mr Underwood. In 1894 the Tamil work was started in Penang by the Pyketts, and in Kuala Lumpur by the Kensetts and was continued by Rev. S Abraham from Ceylon in 1899.

Methodism came to Sarawak in the year 1900 when a group of immigrants came from Foochow in mainland China. Missionaries came in 1903 in the persons of J.M Hoover and G.V Summers. Methodism grew rapidly in the town of Sibu and a solid foundation was laid.

The work among the indigenous people, the Ibans, began in 1937 with pioneers like Lucius D. Mamora and Paul H. Schmuker who took the Gospel to the longhouses.

The Methodist Church in Singapore and Malaysia became a self governing body in 1968. After the separation of Singapore from Malaysia, the Methodist Church in Malaysia became autonomous in 1976.

PS: I found it strange to put the Kenyah boy in the cover instead of Ibans as Iban is the major tribe in Sarawak. However, I really like the Kenya boy coconut head hair style. :)


Jose said...


Great blog you have here! Congratulations.

Please visit mine at

Can you help me getting the 2008 Malaysia issue regarding SPACE?

Thank you,

Gulfmann Stamps Collection said...

Its so exciting to see that
early registered cover,
especially the picture of
Singapore-Malaysia bridge,
waiting to see more early
philatelic items.

Syeon said...

Hi Jose,

Thanks for visiting. You have a great blog too.

Sorry to tell you that I am now in Australia and thus could not help you on that. But you should be able to get the stamp on ebay fairly easy.

Or maybe you could ask Mr Khor (from help. He is a nice guy.

Syeon said...

Hi George,

Nice to see you here.

It look like Singapore-Malaysia bridge. But I am really not sure. I was not even born in 1965....