Eighteen exhibitors came home with gold medals, following the Royal 2014 Royale, the annual convention of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, held in Halifax, N.S., May 30 to June 1. The exhibits were noticeably strong this year, possibly because collectors are down to their last year to qualify for the next North American international show, being held in New York City in 2016.
The Grand Award went to Ron Brigham, for his exhibit, Canada: Commemorative, 1908-1914. Other gold awards in the multi-frame category went to Steve McGill: The British Non-Denominated Series 1989-2013; Michele Cartier: Postmarks of Hamburg (1673-1867); John Cooper: The Way Mails of New Brunswick; Loic Detcheverry: Loose ship-letters from St-Pierre; Al Hurst: Mail in the County of Northumberland, England 1604 -1847; Graham Locke: The Story of the Penny Black – The Plates, Varieties and Usage; Ken Magee: Used in Ireland, 1840-1901; Graham McCleave: New Brunswick Decimal Issue – 1860 – 1868; David McLaughlin: The Maple Leaf Issue of Canada 1897 – 1898; Rodney Paige: Great Britain: The Early Cancellations; Mary Pugh: Great Britain George V Commemorative Issues; Hugh Rathbun: Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia: Communications of the 1700s and Postal Markings of the 1800s; Gary Steele: Canadian Dead Letter Office Hand-stamps; Jean-Jacques Tillard: Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon Ses surcharges au 19eme siècle; and John M. Walsh: New Foundland Precursor Stampless Documents and Proper Use of 1898 Queen Victoria First Revenue Stamp Issue.
Four golds were awarded in the single frame category: David Bartlet: Booklets of Newfoundland; John McEntyre: 1930 Canada Weights and Measures Revenue Issue; Garfield Portch: Canada: The Half-Cent Small Queen; and Tillard: Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, le renard, emission de 1952. Tillard also took the reserve grand award for his multi-frame exhibit, while the one frame grand award went to Bartlet.
Nina Richards received the youth grand award for her exhibit on figure skating.
Joel Seiner was head judge, assisted by Stephane Cloutier, Robert Lunn, Michael Peach, Phillip Stager, and Ed Kroft. Awards were presented at the annual banquet, held at the Pier 21 Museum on the evening of May 31. Three collectors were made Fellows of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, Jack A. Forbes, Dartmouth, NS; John G. McEntyre, Montreal, QC; and Jean-Jacques Tillard, St. Pierre and Miquelon.
The host club, the Nova Scotia Stamp Club, paid tribute to the 125th anniversary of the first philatelic show in Halifax, held in 1889 by the Canadian Philatelic Association, a forerunner of the RPSC. Among the Court of Honour was an exhibit on Henry Hechler, a Halifax stamp dealer and president of the Canadian Philatelic Association in 1889, the time of the first Halifax convention. There was also an exhibit of Brigham’s international award-winning exhibit on the 1851-1868 pence and cents Issue of Canada. Event’s formal kick-off was the launch of the stamps commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland in the St. Lawrence River. Among those participating were George Pepall, president of the RPSC, and Sean Weatherup, president of the Nova Scotia Stamp Club. Dealers reported that while the attendance at the bourse was lower than most Royals, activity was strong and most “had a good show.”
The three days of the convention saw a number of collector activities. There were six education events, held by various philatelic experts on everything from the joy of collecting to how to write for philatelic publications. Meetings were held by organizations as diverse as British North American Philatelic Society, and the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors. At the RPSC general meeting, members were told that the organization is in a steadily improving financial position. The society’s office continues to field calls from the general public about stamps, and in some cases has received the donation of inherited stamp collections.
For a full list of awards presented go to www.rpsc.org.