By Jesse Robitaille
In a recent column, I called upon the philatelic community to step up and volunteer their time leading up to 2022’s potential international exhibition here in Canada.
Today, I offer an incentive.
Keeping in line with its new strategic initiative, The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) recognized more than 20 hard-working volunteers at this year’s Royal Convention in Mississauga. The RPSC kicked off what will now be an annual recognition of volunteerism – for both members and non-members alike – by honouring 22 philatelists for their work in promoting the hobby at large. The honourees come from 14 clubs or societies and seven of Canada’s 10 provinces, and organizers are on the hunt for more volunteers to recognize next year—but more on that later.
“We want to reward people, honour people and acknowledge people for service before they’re 50-year members because who knows if they’ll make it,” RPSC President Ed Kroft told attendees of the society’s annual general meeting this June.
While the crowd chuckled at Ed’s comment, this act of acknowledgement is a good idea because – by honouring non-members, too – it extends beyond The RPSC and into the general hobby.
Along with certificates, award winners received pins designed by RPSC Senior Fellow Michael Madesker “to recognize them while they’re out and about at shows and are unique from any other pin worn by members of our society,” Kroft added.
This year’s honorees and their nominating clubs include:
- Wilma Borger, of the St. Catharines Stamp Club;
- Derren Carman, of the British Columbia Philatelic Society;
- Chuck Colomb, of the Lakeshore Stamp Club;
- Bud Cutler, of the Edmonton Stamp Club;
- Patrick Delmore, of the Middlesex Stamp Club;
- Dianne Earl, of the Fredericton Stamp Club;
- Michel Houde, of the North Toronto Stamp Club and Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada;
- Trevor Larden, of the British Columbia Philatelic Society;
- Kelly Liusz Moser, of the Edmonton Stamp Club;
- Janice Newman, of the Saskatoon Stamp Club;
- David Nickson, of the Lakeshore Stamp Club;
- Robert Owczarz, of the Polish-Canadian Coin and Stamp Club (Troyak);
- Yves Racine, of the Quebec Philatelic Society;
- Sylvain Robitaille, of the Shawinigan Stamp Club;
- Peter Sakkit, of the Saskatoon Stamp Club;
- Jim Senecal, of the Calgary Philatelic Society;
- Dale Simpson, of the Fredericton Stamp Club;
- Douglas Smith, of the Saskatoon Stamp Club;
- Sean Weatherup, of the Nova Scotia Stamp Club; and
- John Wilson, of the North Toronto Stamp Club.
“It’s a nice distribution of Canada,” said RPSC Director Rob Lunn, who’s also chairing next year’s Royal Convention in Fredericton, N.B.
Officials are hoping for “a flood of nominees as the years go on,” Kroft said, adding he wants to see honourees from all 10 provinces in 2020.
“We know they’re out there.”