South India Philatelists' Association popularly known as "SIPA" is a non - profit boby, with its main objectives to promote philately, create an awareness of the hobby among people from all walks of life and do further research in philately. 'SIPA' was started on 30th December 1956, by five keen enthusiastic stamp collectors, who felt the need for a stamp collector's club in the city of Madras. Through the most valuable services rendered by the past and present SIPA's office bearers, the Association has emerged today as an important philatelic body in South India, guiding innumerable collectors in this hobby. It is one of the founder members of the Philatelic Congress of India (PCI) and has very good reputation as one of the most respected philatelic societies doing pioneering work for the promotion of philately.
From its very inception, SIPA has been getting effective help and encouragement to promote philately from the successive Postmasters General and CPMG's of the Tamilnadu Circle. The Postal Department officials, apart from providing facilities for SIPA's monthly meetings, have also provided spacious place for the exhibitions being conducted on all Saturdays, which has made, SIPA a 'known' name today. The Association today has more than 600 life members from various walks of life all over India. It has distinguished and dedicated philatelists as its office bearers. SIPA's dedicated members have brought laurels to the Association, by participating and winning prizes with the highest awards in Zonal, National and International philatelic exhibitions. Senior members have guided many new members and brought out the best in them. Many educational institutions after seeing SIPA's philatelic activities have opened stamp clubs in thier respective places. Moreover, SIPA has conducted many philatelic auctions at various places thereby promoting philately.
SIPA's activities are managed by its elected office bearers consisting of a President, two Vice Presidents, two Secretaries, a Treasurer and ten members Executive Committee who are elected by the SIPA members once in two years. The managing committee conducts General Boby Meetings every two years and present audited accounts. The affairs of the Association are discussed in the Committee meetings regularly.
SIPA is one of the few stamp clubs in India that holds regular monthly meetings, promoting philately. It conducts its monthly meetings from 10.30am to 12.30pm on the 2nd Sundays at the Anna Salai CPMG premises, by the courtesy of the Department of post, Tamilnadu Circle. During the meetings, philatelic lectures, display talks, and other latest news about philately are discussed. The office bearers keep the members informed about the latest trends in philately.
Seminars and Workshops
SIPA has conducted many workshops in many educational institutions with the active involvement of the members who have given lectures on the same. During the workshops, students have been educated on how to develop a 'Stamp Collection' , participate in stamp exhibitions and enjoy the hobby. Moreover, members have conducted philately workshops at the State level exhibitions conducted by the Department of Post, Tamilnadu Circle. All the workshops are highly successful in promoting philately. SIPA is ready to conduct such workshops in any place on invitation to create awareness on philately.
SIPA has conducted the following stamp exhibitions in the city to promote philately. All the exhibitions were inaugurated by
distinguished personalities and the exhibits of the members have brought great recognition to the Association.
- 1956 - 1st SIPA Exhibition
- 1961 - Indo American Exhibition
- 1962 - Indo American Exhibition
- 1964 - Indo American Exhibition
- 1969 - Indo American Exhibition
- 1972 - Indo American Exhibition
- 1981 - SIPEX 81 Silver Jubliee Exhibition
- 1985 - SIPEX 85 Exhibition
- 1989 - BIOPEX 89 Exhibition
- 1995 - ECOPEX 95 Exhibition
- 2001 - TIEPEX 2001 Exhibition
- 2006 - SIPAGOLD 2006 Golden Jubliee Exhibition
- 2011 - SIPEX 2011 Exhibition
- 2016 - SIPADIAMOND 2016 Diamond Jublee Exhibition
Apart from the above said mega philately events, SIPA is holding weekly philately promotions on all Saturdays from 2003, on various themes at the Philatelic Exhibition Hall, adjacent to the Philatelic Bureau, Anna Road Post Office. The exhibition which was started on 13th April 2003 on the theme 'Cinema', and was followed by the other popular themes like Ships, Bridges, Transport, Environment, Ecology, Paintings, Road Safety, Architecture, Bharat Ratnas, Communication, Science, Football, Christmas, Light Houses, Mahatma Gandhi, Defence, Scouts etc., and country collections of India, both pre-independence and post-independence, Japan, Great Britain, Singapore, Joint Issue Stamps, Postal Stationery, etc. The exhibition themes change every month which are widely reported in the Print and Visual media and is appreciated by many visitors for its educational value. Due to this continuous weekly exhibitions in the Philatelic Hall, a big awareness has been created about stamp collection in and around the city which has motivated the members and the new comers of this hobby to exhibit on many unexplored themes which are of great educational value. This is the only continuous exhibition in the city conducted for more than three and half years. SIPA has also conducted many exhibitions in educational institutions. Moreover, members of SIPA have displayed their eye catching highly informative exhibits at various important funtions thereby promoting philately.
Special Covers are issued on certain special occasions educating the general public on social aspects. SIPA has brought out many Special Covers during the past on many occasions on a variety of themes, which has created an awareness of the same. On 1st April 1957, SIPA designed and issued a First Day Cover for the Centenary of the First War of Indian Independence (1857-1957). Then Special Covers were attractively designed and issued by SIPA during the Indo American Stamp Exhibitions in the years 1961, 1962, 1964, 1972 and during SIPEX '81, SIPEX '85, BIOPEX '89, ECOPEX '95, TIEPEX 2001, SIPAGOLD '06 stamp exhibitions. Apart from the above, SIPA also played a key role in bringing out many other Special Covers jointly with others on various ocassions. The Shivaji Prabhu Trust in association with SIPA have issued 11 Special Covers on Pioneers of the Indian Film Industry. Moreover, the Tamilnadu Tourism Department and the Government of India's Regional Tourist Office, the Committee for Centenary Celebration of Satyagraha Movement, the Department of Posts, Tamilnadu Circle along with SIPA, have issued Special Covers. All the Special Covers were provided with a special postal cachet cancellations. SIPA is proud that today, all the above said Special Covers have become collector's items of value.
BULLETINS AND SPECIAL SOUVENIRS
SIPA's Bulletin, an in-depth highly informative bi-monthly newsletter on philately, being issued from July 1980 onwards, is widely appreciated by everyone for it's interesting articles and stamp reviews. The Bulletin is circulated among the members of SIPA who contribute articles to it, and the bulletin enables them to understand the world of Philately. Apart from the Bulletins, SIPA has also brought out Special souvenirs during SIPEX '81, SIPEX '85, BIOPEX '89, ECOPEX '95, TIEPEX 2001, SIPAGOLD '06 stamp exhibitions. All the souvenirs carry highly educative and informative philately articles by senior philatelists, which were very well received for their quality. SIPA members also have contributed articles on philately to Souvenirs published by various postal departments during the State Exhibitions.
SIPA is constantly taking all possible steps to highlight the importance of collecting stamps and other philatelic items among the
people as a part of our heritage and culture and those items should be preserved for the future generations. SIPA appeals to all
parents, schools, college authorities and other educational bodies to encourage the hobby of collecting stamps among the youngsters
and start stamp clubs on their own in their respective places. To promote philately in a better way, SIPA wants to :
- Have independent premises of its own.
- Make more exhibit display frames.
- Conduct periodical stamp exhibitions at State Level and at National Level to emphasis the relevance of stamp collection.
- Develop maintain a good library.
- Conduct philately workshops in all Educational Institutions.