WTSC begins 2016-17 program

On Dec. 6, 1917, while loaded with explosives, the SS Mont-Blanc collided with the SS Imo; the subsequent explosion was the biggest blast the world had seen prior to the atomic bombs of the Second World War.

This evening, guest speaker Leon Matthys will tell the story of the Halifax Explosion through the lens of a philatelic exhibit as the West Toronto Stamp Club (WTSC) continues its 2016-17 club program with a discussion group.

Held each Tuesday of the month from September-June, the WSTC meets at the Fairfield Seniors’ Centre in Etobicoke, Ont. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the meetings and presentations beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The club’s first meeting of the 2016-17 program took place last week, on Sept. 13, when members reconvened for an auction. Next week’s meeting, which would have fallen on Sept. 27, is cancelled as the Fairfield Centre is fully booked.


On Oct. 4, the WTSC will also host its inaugural Learning Workshop, which will provide a forum for member’s to study their various areas of interest. Aimed at “the general collector,” the program invites participation from all attendees and encourages collectors to explore various aspects of the hobby without being overwhelmed by specialists. Any workshop may address more than one subject, and no business is to be conducted by attendees.

The first topic is slated to be about the members’ favourite issues.

“Be it old or modern, the question is simple: Why did you pick it? Is it old or modern? Was it the beautiful engraving, its over-all appearance, the colour, the size, appealing artwork—a combination of all of the above?” said WTSC Vice-President Ian Robertson.

“The most important factor is participation,” added Robertson. “Your session doesn’t have to be long. And the more the merrier, as the old saying goes.”

A second Learning Workshop, this focused on Canada’s 1967-72 Centennial Issue, is scheduled for Nov. 1.


This October, the WTSC will also host a three-evening series of talks similar to last year’s sessions with noted philatelist Robin Harris.

Beginning Oct. 18 at the WTSC Study Group; continuing on Oct. 19 at a Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada (PSSC) meeting; and concluding on Oct. 20 at the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, guest speaker Ken Pugh, of British Columbia, will speak about philatelic fakes, forgeries and counterfeits.

“Ken is one of the world’s leading authorities on fakes, forgeries and counterfeits,” said Garfield Portch, the WTSC official responsible for club auctions and discussion group meetings.

On Oct. 18, Pugh will discuss detection techniques. Among the selected material will be OHMS perfins and overprints, the De Thuin forgeries and fake fancy cancels.

The following evening, he will discuss the personalities, including Jean de Sperati; Fred Eaton; and Raoul Charles de Thuin, among others. This meeting is only open to PSSC members and their guests.

Lastly, on Oct. 20, Pugh will discuss specific examples selected from various classifications, each from his extensive personal collection. This meeting, sponsored by the Greene Foundation, is open to everyone to attend.

Portch said the club will also produce a 24-page booklet to accompany the series.

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