GEORGE TOWN: Collectors snapped up 1,000 private souvenir covers featuring 1935 Nobel Prize nominee Dr Wu Lien Teh within two hours at the Philatelic Stamps Exhibition and Fair at The Star Pitt Street here.
The covers were issued by the Penang Philatelic Society in tribute to the achievements of Penang-born Dr Wu (1879-1960), a distinguished plague fighter who was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Medicine.
The special event was held to coincide with the Penang Free School bicentenary celebration.
Society president Ng Wee Theng said the covers, sold for RM1 each, feature a portrait of Dr Wu and the building of the present Penang State Museum, which was formerly the old Penang Free School site.
Dr Wu’s early education was at the Penang Free School before he went on to pursue his medical degree at Cambridge University.
“Half of it was bought by online and walk-in customers on Friday.
“Many stamp collectors dropped by after they got their commemorative stamps and first day covers during the school’s bicentenary celebration.
“The response was overwhelming,” he said during the launch yesterday.
Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng said Dr Wu was an inspiration to many, as he was the first Malaysian to be nominated for a Nobel Prize in Medicine and also the first Chinese to enrol in Cambridge University.
“Each stamp, special cover or coin has a story to tell,” he said.
Today is the last day of the three-day fair, which starts from 9am to 6pm.
The event will showcase stamps, coins and collectible items by collectors from Singapore, India and Malaysia.
About 100 items will be up for bidding from 2pm today, including the Penang Free School private first day covers (from 1966) and Cinderella stamps featuring prominent figures such as the country’s first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.