Full week of lectures, seminars coming to Canada for Stamp Collecting Month

Toronto’s Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation is sponsoring and organizing a week of lectures and seminars to celebrate Stamp Collecting Month this October.

From Oct. 11-20, working alongside the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP), Royal Philatelic Society London (RPSL) and Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada (PSSC), the Greene Foundation will offer a range of must-see philatelic events with a resounding international flavour.

“There will be souvenir covers for each event franked with Picture Postage,” said Charles Verge, who’s a member of the invite-only PSSC and a Fellow of both the RPSL and Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC).

The weeklong celebration begins Oct. 11 with the annual Harry Sutherland Philatelic Lecture, which will be given by Professor Henrik Mouritsen, of Oldenburg, Germany.

“The Greene and the PSSC created the Sutherland Lecture to bring to Canada world-level philatelists and their great collections with the purpose of giving Canadian collectors the opportunity to hear these individuals and to have an opportunity to view their world-class exhibits on subjects that are not normally seen in Canada,” said Verge, who’s an award-winning exhibitor, an international-level judge, a past president of The RPSC and one-time member of Canada Post’s Stamp Advisory Committee.

Mouritsen’s talk, “Three Views of Danish Philately, 1875-1907,” will explore his large gold-winning 19th-century Danish exhibits, which he’s entered in the traditional, postal history and postal stationery classes. Through these exhibits, he plans to emphasize the multiple uses exhibitors can make of the same material in different exhibit classes.

A philatelic judge whose career started in Canada when he was a post-doctoral student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., Mouritsen is the author of the six-volume Danish Postal History 1875-1907 published in 2019. It’s the definitive detailed study of the transition to the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and its rates and regulations for all types of Danish mail before the implementation of the UPU treaty on Oct. 1, 1907.

Mouritsen is the deputy director of the Institute of Biology and Environmental Sciences at the Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität, in Oldenburg, where he specializes in avian and animal navigation.

The Sutherland Lecture, jointly sponsored by the Greene Foundation and the PSSC, will be held on Oct. 11 at the Rosedale Golf Club in Toronto at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased through the Greene Foundation at info@greenefoundation.ca or 1-416-921-2073.


On Oct. 12, in celebration of the RPSL’s sesquicentennial, that society’s Canadian branch is hosting an afternoon gathering for Fellows, members and guests of the RPSL.

The afternoon will include an update on the RPSL and its new premises, a show-and-tell hour and a philatelic presentation by Iva Mouritsen followed by a reception and “Dutch treat” dinner at Brownes Bistro in Toronto.

Mouritsen will speak to her open class FIP large gold-winning exhibit, “A Royal Ménage à Trois and its Historical Consequences.” This is a historically factual story of the loves, lies, secrets, intrigues and lives of 18th-century Danish King Christian VII, his Queen Caroline Matilda and his physician and prime minister Johann Friedrich Struensee, who’s also the queen’s lover. The presentation is illustrated with philatelic material, including some extremely rare and important historical and archival documents of the period.

Mouritsen is a multilingual court interpreter specializing in English, German and Croatian. She and Professor Mouritsen have two sons.

The RPSL meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Greene Foundation on 10 Summerhill Ave., in downtown Toronto. Everyone is welcome to attend, and while there’s no fee, tickets are required. To obtain a ticket and confirm your dinner attendance, contact the Greene Foundation at info@greenefoundation.ca or 1-416-921-2073.

The Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library (HSPL), which is located at the Greene Foundation, will also be open this day for its monthly “Open Saturday.” All library patrons are invited to attend Mouritsen’s presentation.


The FIP Jury Academy is also coming to Toronto on Oct. 15-17, when the Greene Foundation will host the Jury Academy’s seventh session.

This three-day retraining session and seminar is offered to all FIP-accredited philatelic jurors in an effort to improve their skills and share new judging techniques and approaches. Organizers hope most of the judges on the FIP roster will be retrained by the end of 2020.

“It’s also a feather in Canada’s camp to have been selected to be one of the hosts of the 2019 Jury Academy sessions. The Jury Academy is an important factor in the improvements Bernie Beston, president of the FIP, and the FIP want to bring to judging worldwide.”

Verge is one of six Jury Academy trainers, including  Peter Suhadolc, of Slovenia, and Gary Brown, of Australia, who will conduct the Toronto session.

The other three trainers include Mark Banchik and Peter McCann, both of the U.S., as well as Lars Peter Svendsen, of Denmark.

Earlier this year, sessions were held in Kamnik, Slovenia, as well as Huwan, China, where Verge worked alongside Suhadolc, Banchik and Brown to retrain FIP judges before the opening of the China 2019 international exhibition this June. The session was also observed by Beston.

The 33 FIP-accredited jurors who successfully graduated the courses included:

  • one each from the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ecuador, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates;
  • two each from South Africa, Brazil and Japan;
  • three each from Indonesia, Thailand and Chinese Taipei; and
  • seven from China.

This October in Toronto, the Jury Academy will once again be hosted by Brown and Suhadolc with Beston in attendance.

It’s an invite-only session, and the class will occupy the entire premises of the Greene Foundation, so the meeting room, as well as the HSPL, will be closed to collectors and the general public on these days. Librarians will respond to telephone calls or emails as usual.

The PSSC meeting scheduled for Oct. 16 is also postponed to Oct. 23.

Previous Jury Academy sessions were held in 2018 in Jerusalem, Israel, and Bangkok, Thailand. For more information about the FIP’s Jury Academy, visit f-i-p.ch.

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