Erhaltene Briefmarken! A Unique Exhibition of German Stamps by Fr Leo D’souza Sj

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Erhaltene Briefmarken! A Unique Exhibition of German Stamps by Fr Leo D’souza Sj

Erhaltene Briefmarken!(Got Stamps!) A Unique Exhibition of German Stamps of over 54-years by Fr Leo D’souza Sj-the Former Rector of St Aloysius Institutions; and also the Former Principal, St Aloysius College, Mangaluru- now on display at St Aloysius College Auditorium, near LHH Mosque- and open till 5 pm tomorrow (9 Nov)

Mangaluru: Stamps are an eyewitness of the past; they are emissaries to history. Stamps enable the past to speak to the present in the most visceral way and remind us that the past is real. Written letters always had a personal touch about it. The entire process of receiving a letter, reading it, sending a reply and waiting for a response, albeit lengthy, was an elaborate play of emotional scene we miss dearly in this day and age of rapid responses.

A frail man with a thunderous brain, a devout Priest, a humble and open moderator, a man who transcended all norms of conventional science. Above all, a highly social person, as evident by the numerous stamps, letters and post cards on display. Fr (Dr) Leo D’souza Sj, the Former Rector of St Aloysius Institutions and Former Principal of St Aloysius College-Mangaluru is not a philatelist. He did not amass such a huge collection in the name of stamp love! NO! He is an ardent fan of communication! The stamps are a reminder of the Golden days, and now, a product of Serendipity. The Exhibition

The philatelic club of St Aloysius High School and laboratory of Applied Biology, St Aloysius College are presenting a unique exhibition of German Stamps received on letters addressed to a single Indian Citizen, Fr (Dr) Leo D’Souza Sj over 54 years (1963 – 2017). This exhibition is a glimpse of German History, an unwitting capture by an ardent fan of epistles, Fr Leo. The inauguration of this Exhibition was held at St Aloysius College auditorium on Wednesday, 8 November at 2 pm, which was attended by a large gathering, including school children.

The programme began with a prayer song by St Aloysius High School students invoking God’s blessings, followed by welcome address and introduction of the guests namely chief guest, Dr Charles Lobo- Chief Post Master general, Karnataka Circle, and also a Alumnus of St aloysius College; guests of honor- Dr Frank Heuer, Ms Monika Heuer and Robert Heuer from Neuenkirchen, Germany; Jagadish- SSP, Postal dept. Mangaluru; Fr Dionysius Vas Sj-Rector, St Aloysius Institutions- by Fr (Dr) Praveen Martis Sj. Talking about his stamps and letters collections, Fr (Dr) Leo D’souza Sj said, ” I was doing my theology studies in Frankfurt, Germany from 1962 to 1966 and my Ph.D and post doctoral studies at the Max-Planck Institute at Cologne, Germany from 1966 till 1972. During those years I had made a large number of friends from all over Germany, among them are three of my great German friends, Dr Frank Heuer, his wife Monika and son, Robert, who are amidst us today.”

“The friends kept contact with me even after I returned to India by visiting him and sending him letters and greeting cards. I had saved all the stamps that were affixed to the letters, and post cards- and even saved the covers and letters. Today’s exhibition will feature about 1700 Commemorative stamps and Definitive of my collection, and also about 100 letters and post cards. They are of the categories like :”DEUTCHES BUNDESPOST” till 1995 issued by West Germany (Deutsche Bundesrepublik) and “DEUTSCHES BUNDESPOST, BERLIN” issued by the Western part of Berlin consisting of the American, British, and French occupation sectors. After about 1957, Berlin stamps closely mirrored the same stamp issues of the Federal Republic of Germany, with the only difference being the addition of the word “Berlin” to the legend on the postage stamps. “DEUTSCHE DEMOKRATISCHE REPUBLIK (DDR) issued by “East Germany till the fall of the Berlin Wall “DEUTSCHLAND” issued after the privatization of the German Post in 1995.” added Fr Leo D’souza Sj.

Chief guest Dr Charles Lobo in his inaugural address said, ” Once you start collecting stamps, then it’s hard to quit that hobby- you will be tempted to collect more and more stamps. Regarding the postage stamps and postal history of Germany and philatelically related areas-the main modern providers of service were the Reichspost (1871–1945), the Deutsche Post under Allied control (1945–1949), the Deutsche Post of the GDR (1949–1990), the Deutsche Bundespost (1949–1995), along with the Deutsche Bundespost Berlin (1949–1990), and are now the Deutsche Post AG (since 1995). The First postage stamp in Germany was released on 1 November 1849. The world’s first stamp was issued in UK in 1840, and in India in 1854; in Russia in 1850. Heinrich von Stephan, inventor known as the “Father of the postcard” and founder of the Universal Postal Union, was the first Postmaster-General in Germany.”

” It’s indeed great to know that one man, Fr Leo D’souza has collected nearly 1700 stamps/letters during a span of 54 years. His collection of these German stamps between the year 1963-2017 is quite unique and no doubt this exhibition will motivate many to start the hobby of stamp collecting. And good news for school children is that the Karnataka Postal Dept. has decided to give scholarship to students who will show interest and take up philatelic as hobby. I am sure with the introduction of the scholarship, more young students will start the stamp collecting hobby. I wish this exhibition all success, and also commend Fr Leo D’souza for his initiative of this unique exhibition” added Dr Charles Lobo.

Rector Fr Dionysius Vas Sj speaking during the occasion said, ” Though this exhibition is small but it is beautiful and unique. and for that matter anything that is beautiful and unique in St Aloysius Institutions, Fr Leo is the man behind it. Fr Leo is multifaceted person, having interests in many things, including art and philatelic. This exhibition will surely be an source of interest for those who want to start collecting stamps. I wish the exhibition all success”. German Dr Frank Heuer also speaking and complimenting Fr Leo said, ” Myself being a passionate stamp collector, I admire the stamp collection done by Fr Leo between 1963-2017 on German stamps. The stamps are classified year wise and letters with best stamps, so called as “Belege”.

“All this shows the diversity of Fr Leo’s contacts and relationships in Germany. It is indeed a great job by Fr Leo to classify and sort out all these stamps and letter, and display them at this exhibition. With all the good relationships that Fr Leo had throughout Germany and Europe, chances are that he as an Indian stamp Collector with so many contacts will expand his collection even bigger, and some day we may be fortunate to view Fr Leo’s much more and bigger stamp collection exhibition. May God bless Fr Leo” added Dr Frank Heuer.


The vote of thanks was proposed by Ms Sheryl Prabhu- Teacher at St Aloysius High School, and the programme was very well compered by Dr Lyned Lasrado, Lecturer in the Dept. of Bio-Chemistry, St Aloysius College. – and an introduction of the exhibition was done by Ms (Dr) Shashikiran Nivas. Dr Charles Lobo was felicitated during the occasion for his achievements, being an Alumnus of St Aloysius College.

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