CHRISTMAS SEALS OF THE
NEMY RIVERA, R.I.P.
We are sad to report the passing of our good friend NEMY RIVERA
last January 20, 2016.
Known as Father of Philippine Christmas Seals, Nemy was
instrumental for the Christmas Seals section on our website. His knowledge and enthusiasm kept the hobby alive. We would like to extend our condolence and prayers
to his family. Nemy Rivera will be forever remembered.
Nemy L. Rivera, Philippines
of Philippine Christmas Seals
Nemy L. Rivera started collecting stamps early in his
adult years, but got fascinated with the colorful seals that appear
on mails during the Christmas season much later. Learning where
these seals came from, Nemy started frequenting the offices of the
Philippine Tuberculosis Society (PTS) in Quezon City. Aside from buying
seals, he befriended the Society’s staff, studied its records when
permitted to do so, and ended up buying quantities of excess proofs
and printer’s waste every so often.
To broaden his insight in seal collection, Nemy wrote
to a big number of TB societies around the world, about a third of
whom answered back, sending information and samples of their
country’s seals. But more importantly, a few referred him to
prominent seal collectors. Thus Nemy got in contact with Henry
Irwin, editor of Seal News of Chicago, and the hall-of-famer
worldwide seal collector, Dr. J. M. Offringa of The Netherlands.
Both became Nemy’s long time mentors in the hobby. And
surprisingly, both were avid collectors of Philippine Christmas
Henry Irwin early advised Nemy to secure a copy of
Green’s Catalog of the Tuberculosis Seals of the World, and to
become a member of the “Christmas Stamps & Charity Seals Society” in
order to touch base and interact with advanced seal collectors. Nemy immediately complied. Eventually, he was able to accumulate and
mount several complete and comprehensive albums of Philippine
In the early 1980s, The PTS requested Nemy to
form a seals committee to advise it on the design, production and
marketing of Christmas seals. Nemy invited three prominent
philatelists and a paper and printing expert who all agreed to serve
in the committee as volunteers. Additional members were
recruited from time to time. Nemy has worked closely with the
Society in this capacity for the past 22 years. He is credited with
the design concept of six seal issues.
At age 22, Nemy was a captain in
the Philippine Army, integrated from guerrilla service. After
mustering out, he went through a series of small and big jobs,
including a stint as network supervisor over several radio stations
in the Visayas, and sales manager for a small multi-product company
operating in the whole of Luzon, in the process developing "momentum
and experience". Although a college undergraduate, Nemy later
became vice-president of a large advertising agency, and a senior
executive / field manager of two leading manufacturing - marketing
organizations, one after the other, until his extended retirement at
Nemy L. Rivera receiving a plaque of
appreciation from Mrs. Zeneida Quezon
Avancena, President of the Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Inc.,
during the launching of the 2008 Christmas Seals of the Philippines.