The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada’s (RPSC) annual convention and exhibition is coming to London this weekend.
The Royal*2015*Royale, scheduled for May 22-24 at the London Convention Centre, is being hosted by the Middlesex Stamp Club. The opening ceremony takes place on Friday, May 22 at 9:30 a.m., followed by a series of meetings, seminars, exhibits, local tours and social functions before the convention closes on Sunday at 4 p.m.
John Sheffield, event organizer and Middlesex Stamp Club member, said this year’s theme is “Remembering In Flanders Fields”.
“This show celebrates the 100th anniversary of the poem written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of a fellow soldier and friend who died in the Second Battle of Ypres,” said Sheffield.
He said this year’s exhibition will serve as a highly visible tribute to McCrae’s famous poem, with countless images portraying its international influence throughout the past 100 years.
“We looked around and thought, ‘What’s the most seminal event that happened 100 years ago?’ This was it,” he said, adding he has some personal interest in the poem, too. “Members of the Sheffield family were buried in the battlefields of Europe in the First World War. My father’s brother was killed in the Battle of Passchendaele, which is known as the Third Battle of Ypres.”
The convention also boasts McCrae collection items as well as educational collection items for handling, an information booth and activities aimed at providing attendees with the best philatelic experience possible, Sheffield said. A museum interpreter will be with the exhibit at all times to answer any questions.
“We are pleased to welcome the Scouts on Stamps Society International (SOSSI), who are joining us for their international conference,” said Sheffield, adding the last time SOSSI hosted its international conference in Canada was in 1996 – nearly 20 years ago. “These folks are very specialized in what they collect, focusing entirely on stamps and postal history of the Scouting Movement.”
In addition to the McCrae-themed display area, the bourse floor will hold numerous frames of competitive exhibits and about 40 dealers from across Canada, the U.K. and the U.S.
The exhibition and bourse opens at 10 a.m. each day, closing at 5 p.m. on May 22 and 23 and 4 p.m. on May 24.
“Admission is free, and everyone is welcome,” said Sheffield.
On May 23, the RPSC will also hold an election at its annual general meeting (AGM), where seven directors will be chosen for the 2015-17 term.
The AGM begins Saturday at 10 a.m. with the Foundation board of directors meeting taking place later that day at 3 p.m.
Rod Paige, vice-president of the RPSC, said this year’s election is the first since 2006 and one of the few of recent memory to have more candidates than incumbents.
“I see a bright future,” said Paige. “It’s interesting this year because there are more people running for election than there are spaces, and that’s a good thing. It shows the hobby is alive and well and there are people who are willing to give up their time and put an effort into improving things for the future.”
It’s the first election in nearly a decade, and it’s sure to be an exciting one, with eight candidates vying for the board of directors’ seven spots.
For more information or directions to Royal 2015 Royale, visit canadianstampnews.com/event/royal2015royale-2.