This image is the cover for the book Sammy the Stamp

Sammy the Stamp

About 80 years ago, I was a schoolboy! At home, we had a simple wireless, now called a radio, no TV and a telephone that was rarely used by my parents. Certainly, there were no mobile phones! So letter writing was very important and since there was no such thing as 'Junk Mail', one went to the letterbox in the hope of a letter from a friend. Good handwriting was important and people took more interest in the design of the stamps on the envelope. My father used to buy a book of 20 stamps and one day, he showed them to me and said, "DO you ever wonder where they will all end up?" That thought has remained with me ever since. Many years later, towards the end of the Second World War, I was in the British Army, camped on the blazing hot plains outside Madras, in Southern India. There, I used to see the simple village children with their great brown eyes and gentle manners whilst their thin fathers toiled away under that hot sun and their mothers carried great loads of wood or water on their heads with graceful strides. They were so poor that I remember these scenes so vividly to this day. I have no grandchildren, but I hope that this simple tale will give pleasure to others.

Pip Comport

A.L. (Pip) Comport was born in London in 1922 but was soon moved to Kent. He studied for a degree in mechanical engineering which was interrupted by war service in R.E.M.E, which took him to the Far East, including time spent camped outside Madras - the setting for this little book. Back in England, he studied at nights for four years, married an Australian girl that he had first met in Singapore, who produced a daughter. The family emigrated to South Australia in 1957. Work took them to Tasmania for two years. Returning to Adelaide, he was asked to set up an office for the London-based Chartered Surveyors Jones Lang Wootton, where he worked until retirement, at the age of 58. A holiday house was soon built on the Queensland coast and he was able to indulge his lifelong interest in art. For almost 40 years, he was able to paint and make prints. He held his last solo exhibition at the age of 93 in Adelaide.