A passionate stamp collector from Port Elliot, South Australia, has assembled, sorted and packed almost 70,000 stamps as part of fundraising efforts to support young children dealing with cerebral palsy.
For many years, Malcolm Wheeler who originally hails from Leighton Buzzard, a town in Bedfordshire, England - infamously known for The Great Railway Robbery of 1963 - has collected stamps.
The hobby began during his childhood and has blossomed ever since.
The use of stamps dates back to the 1840s and many collectors are fascinated with the link they provide to the past, depicting a near-infinite variety of subjects and moments in time.
It was this doorway to the past that drew Malcolm in as a boy, when he became interested in the portrayal of history, geography, art and world cultures through stamps.
In more recent years, Malcolm has honed his passion as a means to bring joy to others, having done some incredible work with the Australian chapter of the Lions International Stamp Club.
"I've collected stamps all my life and fundraised back in the UK, so when I moved to Elliot Gardens [retirement village] two years ago, I put the feelers out there as to how I could help here in Australia," said Malcolm.
"I saw an article in a Lions magazine, that a club was working wonders collecting stamps from all over the country and then auctioning them to raise funds for the Australian Lions Children's Mobility Foundation."
With all proceeds from this endeavor being directed to the purchase of 'Hart Walkers' and other mobility devices, this initiative helps young children with cerebral palsy out of their wheelchairs to "walk, explore, play and socialise" with their peers.
Malcolm began work in January 2020 and since then he has collected, sorted, segregated and packaged close to an astounding 70,000 stamps to be auctioned for the foundation.
He has since put the word out locally and through the nation-wide network of Lendlease villages and stamps are continuing to roll in.
"The oldest stamp I've seen was from 1901, however that was a rarity. The majority I see are from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and beyond," said Malcolm.
"Right now, I'm holding a moon landing stamp that has come from Hungary. However for me... it is Australian stamps that have been the most eye opening.
"They're so colourful with plants, animals, trees and horses. I currently have thousands of stamps to sort through before they go to the Lions Club."
Malcolm said it was fulfilling to be using his long-time hobby as a way to help others.
"I just hope that I can continue to generate interest and awareness for the foundation. I've even had a letter from the president of the Port Elliot Lions Club thanking me, as well as the other residents for our efforts," said Malcolm.
"Our village is so well activated with initiatives, and Vicki our village manager makes this one very special, and it has taken a community of donations to get to where we are now."
Stamp donations can be dropped off or posted to Elliot Garden's offices or directly to Malcolm at:18 Montpelier Terrace, Port Elliot SA 5212.
To learn more about the Australian Lions Children's Mobility Foundation visit: alcmf.lions.org.au or contact your local Lions Club via: lionsclubs.org.au