The Postal History Society of Canada (PHSC) hosted its inaugural PHSC Symposium this July, and according to the society’s President Stéphane Cloutier, it was an “overwhelmingly successful” four days. Aside from an extensive bourse and exhibit display, the symposium offered a chance for PHSC members from across the country to meet for the first time. “The camaraderie – I think that’s word that comes up a lot – has been very big. A lot of members of the PHSC have never met each other, myself included,” said Cloutier, who has been president of the society for eight years and secretary-treasurer for another eight years before that. “I’ve emailed and corresponded with a lot of these members but never met them. Today, I can see a lot of these people.” According to Cloutier, there were about 10 members visiting from British Columbia, several from the Maritimes, one from Yukon, several more from the U.S. and at least one from across the pond in England. “We have members in a couple of other countries, such as Israel and Africa, but they didn’t make it,” he added, with a laugh. Cloutier said there was “a lot of talk” throughout the four-day symposium that it was the first symposium of its kind in Canada. “I don’t know of anything else which is not purely just a bourse and an exhibition, or sometimes one or the other, where sometimes there are talks and breakout sessions, which are super interesting.” One of the breakout sessions – held July 22 by Alec Globe and Bill Radcliffe – featured an in-depth analysis of Canada’s two- and four-ring fancy cancels. “The social aspect is also stronger,” said Cloutier, adding the four-day PHSC Symposium is more like a vacation than a quick two-day visit. Continue reading →
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