By Jesse Robitaille
After two years of unprecedented pandemic postponements, 15 philatelists from around the world – including one from Canada – are set to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists (RDP) this February in Britain.
The 2020, 2021 and 2022 honourees are slated to add their names to the iconic RDP, philately’s highest honour, on Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. (GMT). The signing ceremony, to be held at the Royal Philatelic Society London (RPSL) headquarters in England, will take place during the London 2022 international philatelic exhibition and will mark the 101st anniversary of the RDP’s establishment.
Among the Canadian honourees is Charles Verge, who was elected to add his signature to the RDP in early March 2020, just one week before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic (“Canada’s Charles Verge to receive ‘highest and most prestigious honour,’” CSN Vol. 44 #25).
Verge currently serves as the historian and archivist of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC), of which he’s a Fellow, and as the vice-chair, vice-president and one of nine directors of the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, on whose expert committee he also sits.
Verge will be only the eighth Canadian – and one of fewer than 400 people – to be elected to sign the RDP since its inception more than a century ago. When he signs the roll, he will also become Canada’s sole living signatory following the death of Michael Madesker, who signed in 2000 and died last December (“Iconic philatelist, RDP signatory Michael Madesker dies at 96,” CSN Vol. 46 #21).
In addition to Verge, the 2020 honourees include:
- John Barwis, of the United States;
- James Grimwood-Taylor, of the United Kingdom;
- Michael Ho, of Taipei; and
- Yamil Kouri, Jr., of the United States.