On September 1, Alexandra Girls’ English Institution at Fort will kick off its 150 years celebrations. The sesquicentennial anniversary will be marked by way of a special cover – a special envelope created for the occasion by the General Post Office (GPO), to mark the occasion.
“It is a special moment and we wanted to mark the occasion with a cover. It would also be a collector’s item,” said Freny Mehta, principal of Alexandra. The design was created by the teachers of the school.
Special covers are printed as limited edition envelopes, with the GPO sanctioning special covers only to institutions, not individuals. The occasion has to be suitably historic and of relevance to the state. The cost of the cover is around Rs10, 000 per order and the institutions have to bear the cost of printing. The process of applying and getting sanctions takes a month or so.
So far, in 2012, aside from Alexandra, Sri Ram Welfare Society School in Andheri has also released a cover. Two proposals have also come from schools in Nagpur and Chandrapur. “This trend has picked up quite a bit recently. It enhances the institute’s profile and has philatelic value. It’s like India Post is sanctifying your success,” said Abha Singh, director of postal services for Maharashtra and Goa.
For the past few years, landmark anniversaries of institutions have been stamped and sealed by the GPO. In 2009, Kamla High School in Khar got a special cover done as did Sathaye College in Vile Parle (50th anniversary) and Dadar Parsee Youth Assembly School (100th anniversary), who also sanctified their celebrations through covers.
In 2010, HR College, Churchgate, got a cover released for its 50th year celebrations. Cathedral and John Connon School at Fort was among the first schools in the city to make a stamp for its sesquicentennial celebrations in 2010. Avabai Petit School in Bandra, which turns 100 this year, aims to emulate that and has applied for a stamp.