Justice Choudry and Oundo Francis Introduce triangular postage stamps in Uganda. Sikh centenary celebrations
Sitting in an unassuming room in one corner on first floor of Posta Uganda Building,Justice Anup Singh Choudry, judge of the High Court of Uganda and Oundo Francis Production Manager Posta Uganda sat to work on issuance of Sikh commemorative postage stamps to mark the centenary of the presence of the Sikh community in Uganda since 120 years ago when they first arrived with the British as soldiers and later curbed the Kabaka’s rebellion in 1899 and fought the German occupation of the then East Africa.
Justice Choudry and Opundo Francis in a sober mood came up with an idea to produce triangular stamps for the first time since independence 50 years ago.Posta Uganda applauded the idea for introducing a different type of stamp that will attract the public, the international community and excite the philatelic world. The four international commemorative stamps were to include a Sikh Flag, a Sikh Emblem, the Sikh Gurudwara on Sikh Road Kampala and the world famous Golden temple surrounded by a lake in Amritsar, the sanctum sanctorumof Sikhism -visited by Kings , Queens and saints of different faiths as well as tourists and devotees.Triangular stamps have been issued by some countries in Asia, Europe but it is the first time that Africa will produce these stamps and Uganda will be one of the leaders in triangular philately.
According to one staff in the Posta Uganda, the stamps are very attractive and the design is exceedinglyinteresting. The Golden temple looks fantastic, she said.The stamps were launched jointly by the Sikh Community and Posta Uganda on 17thJanuary 2014 and Sikhs in Diaspora at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel Entebbe.Justice Choudry edited a Special Commemorative Issue Magazine showing glimpses of the Sikh history. And how they started the Police Force in East Africa in 1895, ran the railways, built towns in Uganda from ground zero and how they got heir local name KalaSingha or Singh Singha. It includes famous Sikh personalities such as his legendary uncle S.S Gupta of Mbarara.
The designer of the stamps Mr.Banadda Godfrey , a lecturer in Arts at Makerere University has done a wonderful job, said Justice Choudry .I chose the final colours which have made the stamps truly beautiful.
According to Justice Choudry, when he was at School he would swap Ugandan stamps with his penfriends in different countries from the time of Independence to around 1970 but would feel very envious when he wold see triangular stamps from some of those countries at that time.. He saved every Ugandan stamp issued from the day of independence up to 1970 and has First Day Covers up to 1972. ‘I am so excited that Uganda has produced triangular stamps and it is incredible that I was the one to contribute to that idea 50 years later in conjunction with Posta Uganda and made it a reality in Uganda. Its like dream come true said Justice Choudry