Can you win a line of philatelic bingo?

One year ago, long-time dealer and auctioneer Bill Longley shared a pair of philatelic bingo cards at CSN’s National Postage Stamp & Coin Show (Virtual Edition), hosted in haste just about a month after the COVID-19 pandemic began.

More than a year into the pandemic, let’s revisit both philatelic-themed 25-box bingo cards, whose top rows read “COVID.” Those five letters sit atop columns, each with five philatelic accomplishments. One card is filled with more general accomplishments like attending a show or owning watermark fluid, but a more difficult version would likely stump even the most advanced collectors.

“I made the easier card to increase engagement and give people something fun and philatelic to do,” Longley, the owner of Waterdown, Ont.’s Longley Auctions, told CSN last year.

While the boxes on the easier card include things like “Attend PHSC Symposium” and “Serve on Club Executive,” Longley’s “extreme” version includes “Held 12d Black in Hand,” “Newspaper Stamp Columnist” and “Sign RDP,” the latter of which refers to the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists (RDP)—but more on that below.

For now, can any CSN readers win a round of philatelic bingo by completing any of the rows, columns or diagonals?

HOW RARE ARE RDP SIGNATORIES?

The sole living Canadian RDP signatory is Michael Madesker, who signed in 2000; however, Charles Verge is slated to add his name to the iconic roll after being elected to the RDP last year.

Madesker is one of 81 living signatories (excluding the 2020 and 2021 inductees) from 24 countries and six continents.

Verge, who’s also a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, will be the eighth Canadian – and one of fewer than 400 people – to sign the RDP.

Due to COVID-19, both of last year’s signing ceremonies were postponed. The rescheduled ceremony is set for September 2021, “with little likelihood it will happen,” Verge told CSN this January.

While there were no RDP signing ceremonies from 1941-45 due to the Second World War, the event was never been postponed before COVID-19.

He expects the ceremony to be postponed once again until February 2022, when the Royal Philatelic Society London (RPSL) hosts London 2022, another postponed event originally slated for 2020.

In addition to Verge, the 2020 signatories 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.

The 2021 signatories, announced on March 4 at the annual RDP board of election, are:

  • Dénes Czirók, Hungary;
  • Seija-Riitta Laakso, of Finland;
  • Jose Ramon Moreno, of Spain;
  • Henrik Mouritsen, of Denmark; and
  • Randolph Neil, of the United States.

All 10 inductees are RPSL Fellows.

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