Tales behind the cards keep deltiology thriving

Impressive.

I am referring to the Toronto Postcard Club’s 35th annual show and sale. It all started as soon as I arrived at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Don Mills. The parking lot was filling up fast and the lineup to get inside the show stretched back to the entrance doors. One club member told me they were expecting at least 200 attendees. Well, there’s no doubt in my mind they exceeded that number and more.

Inside, the hall was lined wall-to-wall with some 40 tables with dealers offering antique postcards representing most countries around the world and, no doubt, likely every theme imaginable.

In a feature story Canadian Stamp News published last year, club president George Sachs said postcard collectors often enjoy the personal stories on the back as much as the historical images on the front.

“We have about 300 members in the Toronto Postcard Club, but we cater to many guests at our annual show and sale,” said Sachs. “Both our members and the guests joining us are after the stories on the cards, not just the cards themselves.”

I have a small collection of historic postcards that centre on where I was born and where I have lived over the years. At the show, I found several postcards from my hometown of Mount Forest, Ont., located along Highway 6 about 65 kilometres north of Guelph. I found several that show the old Mount Forest Post Office, which rekindled childhood memories of visiting that massive Edwardian stone community building located in the heart of our downtown.

I remember walking up, what at the time, seemed like a massive (and endless) row of steps to get inside the post office, where my mother would pick up our mail and walk to those high counters to buy postage to mail a letter. While the post office itself was relocated to a new building in the mid-’70s, fortunately that majestic building was kept up-to-date and over the years has been home to the town’s municipal and police offices. Currently, it is home of the Mount Forest Museum and Archives.

Not only did the postcards I discovered at the show take me back to my childhood, the various images revealed the building’s vibrancy and place in the community throughout decades of service and community celebrations.

Mike Smith, CSN’s deltiology columnist, said it best when interviewed for the feature story on the Toronto Postcard Club.

“Card collectors are really collecting photos – they’re collecting stories,” the lifelong collector of Canadiana said.

I found a lot of great stories, thanks to the Toronto Postcard Club and its “granddaddy of postcard shows.”

Impressive.

For more information on the Toronto Postcard Club and its annual show, visit torontopostcardclub.com

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