Singapore, Singapore, December 13, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- SATA CommHealth awarded third prize in international contest.
SATA CommHealth greeting seals – colourful depictions of everyday life printed onto stamp-like seals that many older Singaporeans are familiar with, having seen it affixed onto letters, parcels and even greeting cards during the Fifties till 2004 when it was last printed annually.
The seals were launched in 1948 by then SATA or Singapore Anti-Tuberculosis Association to fund its operations in its fight to help the society rid itself of the then dreaded disease, Tuberculosis. What was remarkable was the seals were all produced in-house from the design to the printing process done by ex-patients. It was a tradition that was started to raise funds for SATA by selling the seals at $1 for 20 seals. Owners could use it to adorn their parcels or letters mailed out especially during the Christmas season. These greeting seals used by other anti-tuberculosis associations over the world were commonly known as Christmas seals in other parts of the world. However, as Singapore was a multi-racial society, it was renamed as greeting seals.
The very first SATA seal produced in 1948 showed a snow laden Christmas tree while seals in later years have depicted different ethnic groups in their costumes as well as dances and festivals. There were certain years where the seals featured local flora and fauna, works of local artists as well as Singapore landmarks and buildings.
The production of the “SATA CommHealth Seals” was an annual affair in the past and was used mainly for fund raising. However, since 2004, SATA CommHealth has discontinued the annual production of the seals and is now only produced during special occasions to keep the tradition alive.
Origin of the Christmas Seals (Source: SATA newsletter, Aug 1948)
The Christmas Seals campaign was a traditional method of fund-raising for many Tuberculosis (TB) and lung associations worldwide. Consisting of a set of colourful stamps that either depicted scenes and culture particular to the country, they were commonly used to decorate greeting cards, letters and envelopes though not used as official stamps. The cross of Lorraine, the emblem commonly used by TB associations globally is often shown alongside a brief message with the seals. The Christmas seals first started in Denmark in 1904 by an idea from a Danish postman, Einar Holboell who was fond of children and felt for children suffering from TB. He then thought of raising funds to help the sick and needy children. He hit upon the idea of getting people to donate a penny a seal during the festive season. Later, the idea was so well received that the King of Denmark even appealed to the kingdom’s subjects to support the sale of seals.
In 1907, the idea then spread across to USA after it was seen how it had worked in Denmark to raise much needed funds for the needy and sick who were afflicted with Tuberculosis. A member of the Red Cross, Ms Emily Bissel decided to embark on this fund raising idea by creating the first seals as she had to raise $300 then to fund the Brandywine Shack hospital that was due to close. As part of her efforts, she managed to get the help of Philadelphia’s leading newspaper to help create awareness through stories and educating the public about this dreaded disease. As a result, Ms Bissel managed to raise $3,000 and the Brandywine shack hospital was saved.
International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) Annual Christmas Seals Exhibit and Contest
In November, the SATA CommHealth seals were awarded third prize in the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) Annual Christmas Seals Exhibit and Contest. The contest was held during the 43rd Union World Conference on Lung Health in Kuala Lumpur from 13-17 November 2012 at the KL Convention Centre, Malaysia. The contest attracted anti-Tuberculosis constituent members from 11 participating countries, namely Canada; France; Hong Kong; India; Japan; Malaysia; Republic of Korea; Singapore; Taipei, China; The Philippines; USA.
IUATLD holds a Christmas Seals Exhibit and Contest each year during its World Conference as a way of recognising this century-old lung health fundraising tradition. At the World Conference, the participating seals were displayed in The Union Village to be viewed by all delegates as well as for voting purposes. Union members voted for their favourite seals at the General Assembly.