Celebrate ‘Stamp Collecting Month’ at Canada’s last national show of 2019

By Jesse Robitaille

As Canpex returns to southwestern Ontario later this month, organizers are eager to launch the inaugural “National Stamp Club Challenge.”

Announced late last year, the new initiative is aimed at providing “an opportunity for club members to become more involved in our great hobby,” said Canpex co-chair John Sheffield.

“The idea is for club members across the country to collaborate in creating a one-frame, 16-page exhibit based on a supplied topic or theme.”

In keeping with this year’s show theme, the topic for this year’s club challenge is the military.

“The only limitations are in the imaginations in the creators,” added Sheffield, who’s also the executive director of the Canadian Stamp Dealers’ Association.

Five frames of material will be displayed throughout the two-day show on Oct. 19-20, with show-goers deciding on a winner by popular choice.

“The entry from the winning club will be displayed on the Canpex website, and that club gets ‘bragging rights’ until Canpex 2020.”

The deadline for entries was Sept. 15.

Fédération Internationale de Philatélie President Bernard Beston, of Australia, is slated to attend the Canpex awards presentation on Oct. 19.

STAMP COLLECTING MONTH

This year’s Canpex will be the fourth outing since the show was reinvented by organizers with the Middlesex Stamp Club in 2016.

Held at the Hellenic Community Centre on 133 Southdale Rd. W., the show boasts free admission and parking. With its central location in London, Ont., the show is also a chance for collectors near southwestern Ontario to attend what’s Canada’s final national show of 2019.

“October is ‘Stamp Collecting Month,’ and there’s no better way to celebrate than by attending Canpex 2019,” Sheffield said. “Visitors to Canpex will see world-class exhibits, find additions for their collection from the 20-plus dealers in attendance and receive information from the many philatelic societies who have booths.”

Groups with booths on the bourse include The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, British North America Philatelic Society and American Topical Association.

“They can also renew old acquaintances with fellow collectors and meet new collectors with similar interests,” said Sheffield, who added it’s “an opportunity not to be missed.”

PSSC ‘MEET & GREET’

The invite-only Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada (PSSC) has once again chosen Canpex as part of its outreach program. On Oct. 19, during the show in London, Ont., the PSSC will host an hour-long “meet and greet” for show-goers, who are invited to learn more about the society while also meeting current members. The meet begins at 2 p.m., and snacks will be served.

‘THE MILITARY’

As mentioned, this year’s show has a military theme, owing to London and southwestern Ontario’s “rich and proud military history spanning over 180 years, starting with the British Garrison,” Sheffield said.

“The British Garrison, established to guard against border raids in the wake of the Rebellion of 1837, contributed significantly to London’s economic and social life. The troops were withdrawn in 1853, but with the threat posed by the American Civil War, the garrison was reoccupied during the 1860s.”

The British Garrison is featured on one of three themed souvenir covers produced for this year’s show.

“In addition, the annual Canpex souvenir cover will be available,” said Sheffield, who added each of the four covers also includes a customized Picture Postage stamp featuring its respective theme plus a special show cancel provided by Canada Post, which has also donated door prizes.

The “Holy Roller,” a Canadian Army Sherman Tank manned by the 1st Hussars based in London and nearby Sarnia, is featured on another show cover.

“Prior to the British Garrison leaving, the 1st Hussars was founded in 1856 with the formation of the First London Volunteer Troop of Cavalry,” said Sheffield, who added the troops were expanded to become the 1st Regiment of Cavalry in May 1872.

“Today, the 1st Hussars is a primary reserve armoured reconnaissance regiment of the Canadian Army. As part of 31 Canadian Brigade Group, the regiment is based in London and Sarnia and provides the brigade with highly motivated and trained armoured crewmen. The 1st Hussars has a long and storied history that includes the D-Day landings as well as more recent peacekeeping operations and support to the Afghan mission.”

The third themed show cover features Wolseley Barracks, which was established just outside of London in the 1880s, after city officials traded a farm property for the downtown Victoria Park, then owned by the military.

By the end of the decade, the barracks were the home of what’s now the Royal Canadian Regiment, which has continuously occupied the barracks since Wolseley Hall was completed in 1888.

COMPETITIVE EXHIBITION

Canpex also features a more than 100-frame competitive exhibition that’s part of the American Philatelic Society (APS) “World Series of Philately.”

“Competitive exhibition entries are strong, and we expect to top out at 120 or more frames,” said Sheffield.

“Visitors to Canpex can expect to see material showing how the mail was carried by rail in Canada, postcards from China, Canadian postal rates of the King George V ‘Admiral’ era, Great Britain stamps used in Ireland from 1840-1901 and so much more.”

In addition to Canpex, this year’s Canadian national-level shows include:

Novapex, which is held every September in Dartmouth, N.S., alternates between regional and national status, with this year’s show being a regional exhibition.

The Grand Award winners from these national shows are invited to exhibit at the APS StampShow each year.

The 134th annual APS StampShow – to be co-hosted with the American Topical Association and American First Day Cover Society – will be held Aug. 20-23, 2020, in Hartford, Conn.

The single-frame Grand Award winners from the aforementioned national shows will be invited to exhibit at Chicagopex 2020, to be held in conjunction with AmeriStamp Expo 2020 on Nov. 20-22, 2020.

“As a national-level exhibition, Canpex provides collectors wishing to do so the opportunity to qualify their exhibit to the next step, the international level,” Sheffield said.

International exhibitions are sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP), whose President Bernard Beston will also be travelling from Australia to London, Ont., to attend the Canpex awards reception on Oct. 19.

Tickets to the “wine-and-cheese” reception are required and cost $25, which includes food and drink “not intended to replace dinner,” according to organizers.

For more information about the banquet or to buy tickets, email info@canpex.ca.

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