Peter Butler a ‘catalyst’ of philately

The recent tribute paid to Peter Butler was a super way to cap off a wonderful year for Canada’s philatelic community.

My wife, Karen, and I were honoured to be invited to attend the recent annual banquet of the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada. It’s a wonderful evening of socializing with some of Canada’s – and beyond – premier philatelic specialists who are dedicated to expanding the knowledge and resources for our hobby.

It’s also a great evening of expanding one’s own knowledge and this year’s keynote speaker – John Walsh of St. John’s, N.L.,  – lived up to the high expectations of providing an insightful and fun presentation on “Musings on a Life in Philately.”

The emotional highlight of the evening, of course, was the incredible and well-deserving accolades paid to long-time philatelist Peter Butler.

As George Pepall, president of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) opened his presentation, “Where to start in paying tribute to Peter Butler?”

Pepall jokingly talked about Peter’s contagious laugh, his keen interest in the Blue Jays even though he was “always a day or two behind the latest developments” or “most dreaded at all, that bone-crushing handshake”.

However, the RPSC president summed up Butler best for his determination – “ and I mean with a bulldoglike focus and dedication to bring our hobby into the recent 21st century and leave the more confining ways of doing the hobby safely behind in the 20th century.”

Butler, clearly a devoted and passionate philatelist, has given a lot to our hobby as the five speakers praised and recognized him as “a devoted philatelic organizer,” “…a vital force in shaping the appearance of the Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library…”, and “being the catalyst” in the reactivation of Stampex.”

Butler even shared his incredible knowledge and his gift of sharing with other collectors – whether a beginner or seasoned – through his popular column, Grassroots Philately, which appeared for years in Canadian Stamp News.

On behalf of CSN and our readers, I want to thank Peter Butler for his incredible contributions to Canadian philately. Now, Peter, it’s your turn to step back and enjoy the fruits of your labour and the great things that are happening in our hobby which you have contributed greatly to.

As I stated at the start, the tribute paid to Peter Butler is an important reminder at this time of year that philately in Canada has a strong and active heartbeat.  Indeed, Butler is symbolic of the passion, devotion and determination many like-minded philatelists have for our hobby. It’s this passion that will drive our hobby forward.

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