Mark Banchik, of California, and Patrick Maselis, of Belgium, are the joint recipients of the 2021 Alfred F. Lichtenstein Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Philately.
Banchik, a retired physician administrator living in San Diego, and Maselis, an agricultural industrialist from Belgium, are the first joint recipients since the award was established by the New York-based Collectors Club in 1952.
In its 69-year history, the honour has been bestowed on two Canadians, the most recent being Harry Sutherland in 2002.
“A resident in Toronto, Canada, Mr. Sutherland was for many years Queen’s Counsel, the highest level in Canada’s legal profession,” wrote U.S. philatelist Robert Odenweller, a Roll of Distinguished Philatelists signatory, in a 2001 issue of the Collectors Club Philatelist. “In spite of those professional demands, he has always seemed able to find time to be associated with virtually every major philatelic activity, both in Canada and on the international scene.”
The other Canadian winner, Vincent Greene, also of Toronto, was honoured in 1964. Both Greene and Sutherland’s names grace some of Canada’s top philatelic institutions, including the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation and Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library.
The Lichtenstein Award is traditionally handed out each spring in New York; however, because of the pandemic, the Collectors Club is still planning this year’s ceremony.