Senior Americans Visit City’s HPO Philatelic Bureau as Part of Cruise Ship Sightseeing Package

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Senior Americans Visit the City’s Head Post Office Philatelic Bureau in Pandeshwar, Mangaluru as Part of the Cruise Ship Sightseeing Package, and enjoyed every bit of their time going through the Indian stamps and learning about the history from the postal department staff. The recent cruise ship MS Nautica berthed at New Mangalore Port had 590 passengers who were predominantly American Seniors hailing from various cities in the USA, and were making the best use of their Social Security Dollar money enjoying the cruise tour.

Mangaluru: As per an American journal, in a world of email, texts and social media, 41% of Americans nevertheless look forward to checking what is in their mailbox each day. Americans 65 and older are more likely than younger adults to enjoy checking the mail, but 36% of Americans under 30 also feel this way. While more than six in 10 Americans now own a smartphone, and the vast majority of Americans have email addresses and communicate electronically, the results show that checking what the letter carrier brings each day remains a positively anticipated experience for a sizable minority of the public.

In particular, over 90% of Americans say they have a very positive or positive reaction when receiving personal letters and cards. A sizable majority of Americans also feel positive about receiving packages (83%) and, to a lesser degree, magazines (60%). Perhaps not surprisingly, sentiments are mostly negative when it comes to receiving letters from businesses, bills and especially advertising fliers. Americans who say they look forward to receiving the mail each day are more positive about getting every type of item than those who don’t think much about checking the mail.

Until last year, a visit to the Mangaluru HPO Philatelic Bureau was not on the local sightseeing agenda for the cruise ship passengers after they alighted from their ship at the Mangalore Port. And this time for the cruise ship passengers, who were predominantly American seniors between the age of 65 and above, their visit to the Mangaluru HPO brought back memories of their younger days visiting the post offices in the US and dropping off a card or letter. And a group of these passengers totalling around twenty of them bought picture postcards and posted them through letter boxes addressed to their respective addresses back home. The postage cost of picture postcards to any location in any country across the world was only Rs 15, and that price was peanuts for these foreigners, who bought a bunch of postcards and mailed them to their relatives and friends back home.

This group had opted for the city-based Lia Travel’s local package that included a visit to Mangaluru Philatelic Bureau at the Head Post Office in Pandeshwar, among other local sightseeing places. They later had lunch at the house of a Catholic family and experienced the rich culture of the port city. Ms Lisa Prigen (72) from Florida, USA made her visit to Mangaluru a moment to remember by posting a picture card with a stamp to their residential address in the USA at the post box in Mangaluru Head Post Office. Yet another couple Scott and Lisa Prigen, both in their 70’s made their visit to Mangaluru memorable by posting a picture card with a stamp to their residential address, in Chicago, USA, at the local post box.

Charles Johnson ( 68) hailing from New York said, “Visiting this Philatelic Bureau and HPO brought back memories of my younger days when we used to buy postcards or Christmas cards and mail them through postboxes. But after the internet and digital mode came in, the usage of postboxes or mailing letters became extinct. Today we are having some fun, affixing stamps to the postcards and sending them to our friends back home. These Indian stamps are lovely to look at and we are all sure that a philatelic spot is included in the sightseeing agenda”.

“The Philatelic Bureau is excellent,” Kim Driussi from California, USA said. Many in the group, while buying picture postcards to send to their homes, added that the Bureau has changed their views about Indian post offices. The picture postcard was about ‘Kurunji’, the purple-blue flowers which bloom in the hills of Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru once in six years. The stamps were about Beautiful India, as per Vidya Kishore Bagalodi of Mangaluru Philatelic Bureau.“Five foreigners also purchased a philately kit for foreign travellers, a brainchild of our senior superintendent of post offices (SSPOs) Shriharsha N,” Vidya said.

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, N Shriharsha said “The kit was conceptualised for foreigners who visit the bureau and are not sure about what to take back home. The kit includes a picture postcard, inland envelope, inland letter card, postcard, miniature sheets, definitive stamp, commemorative postal stamps, and sheetlet on Ramayana and is priced at Rs 160”. Shriharsha recalled latching onto the offer from Lia Travels to include a post office in the local package offered to foreign tourists as they had been planning to open a Philately Bureau at the New Mangalore port. “This is the second batch of tourists visiting our Philately Bureau,” Shriharsha said with a smile.

“The local package, which includes visits to Philately Bureau and local market, Tmples, St Aloysius Chapel, M Pais Vintage Store, among others, is one among the four packages offered to passengers on board the cruise ship,” Eulalia D’Souza, has been arranging sightseeing trips for foreign passengers arriving at NMP for over two decades, said. “We are working to bring more foreign tourists,” she added, and the next cruise ship to arrive at Mangalore Port will be in a few weeks.


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