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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Centennial of Suankularb Long Building Stamp from Thailand

This new Thai stamp is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Suankularb School.

Suankularb Wittayalai School is an all-boys secondary school in Thailand and the first public secondary school of the country.

"Suankularb" means "rose garden" in Thai, as the original school was located in the area of a rose garden in the Grand Palace. The school was established by King Chulalongkorn on 8 March 1882 and was originally for Royal Page Lieutenants; it has always benefited from royal patronage.

The school became popular and grew quickly, changing its focus from military training to a much more broadly-based curriculum that reflected the needs of its students. The number of students rapidly swelled to many hundreds, consequently some were relocated to other educational institutes outside the Grand Palace area. The opening of the first building at this site (called the Memorial Suan Kularb Building, but known among students as "the long building" because for many years it was the longest building in the country) was presided over personally by His Majesty King Rama V. It was at this event that he famously announced the importance of education as a means of developing the country.