Stamp clubs represent a reinvigorated hobby’s pulse

The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada has good reason to feel optimistic about its future and the state of the stamp hobby.

As you will read in this edition, for the first time in nine years there’s going to be an election – instead of acclamations – for positions on the board of directors. This is a good sign as I believe people are finally recognizing – or acknowledging – the positive impact the RPSC is having on philately in Canada.

It also suggests collectors are taking a vested interest in the hobby by sharing their talents with a national organization whose purpose is to serve as “Canada’s national society for philatelists (stamp collectors, enthusiasts and aficionados). The RPSC speaks for all Canadian collectors at provincial, federal and international levels of philately and is a member of the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) and the Federation Inter-Americana de Filatelia (FIAF).”

“I see a bright future,” Rodney Paige, vice-president of the RPSC, told Canadian Stamp News. “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.”

Just recently, I met with Paige, and other members of the RPSC executive, including President George Pepall, Treasurer David Oberholtzer and Robert Timberg, executive manager, national office. It’s been a tradition for the executive to meet annually with CSN management as we have a partnership in producing the society’s popular magazine, The Canadian Philatelist.

Our meetings are always arranged to coincide with the day the St. Catharines Stamp Club meets, so the executive members can attend that meeting as well, which says a lot about this organization’s desire to stay connected with its members. While the focus of our meeting is on the Philatelist, the discussions often turn to the state of the stamp hobby in Canada. And I’m certainly sensing optimism that the stamp community is starting to enjoy a renewed interest in Canada.

Yes, part of it is due to the fact an increasing number of collectors are entering retirement and have more time to give to the hobby, which is a huge benefit to everyone. But I also feel collectors – of all ages – are beginning to acknowledge the importance of getting involved with stamp clubs and national organizations such as the RPSC.

Becoming actively involved will serve to encourage others – especially the so-called closet collectors who are not club members yet – to realize there is so much to learn and gain by joining a stamp club.

As Paige states in the CSN article: “What we’re seeing are a lot people in the end stages of their working life – so they’re in their 50s or so – and they’re getting back interested in this as a hobby. It has so much to offer if you get involved. It really does.”

I agree. Let’s get on the bandwagon and turn this into a wave of steady growth and longevity for Canada’s stamp community. My thanks to the current and future directors of the RPSC for giving their time to strengthen and grow the stamp collecting hobby in Canada.

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