Long-time philatelist and Fellow of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) Tony Shaman has announced his retirement as editor of The Canadian Philatelist (TCP) effective Dec. 31.
Shaman made the announcement public during the 88th Convention of The RPSC this Aug. 19-21, during which time he also received a RPSC President’s Award in honour of his service to the society.
“Tony is that rare person who not only willingly collaborates for the good of the cause, but prefers to work that way,” said RPSC President George Pepall. “Whether it’s an imminent deadline, a technical point on the hyphen or the comma, or an obstreperous would-be writer, Tony remains composed and good-humoured. Sometimes his editor’s role must seem thankless, but let that no longer be true.”
His journey with TCP began in 2000, when the Kitchener-Waterloo Philatelic Society, of which Shaman is a member, was celebrating its 65th anniversary.
“[Then-RPSC President] Charles Verge tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to edit the thing,” said Shaman. “I was writing articles for Canadian Stamp News at the time, but I was getting tired and didn’t really have a lot of new ideas, so I thought if I started editing the magazine it would save me from having to come up with new ideas every two weeks for a column.”
A few months later, Shaman would write his first editorial for the May/June 2001 issue (Vol. 52, No. 3) of TCP.
“Assuming a new responsibility is always an exciting occasion particularly when the task is close to one’s heart. Becoming the editor of The Canadian Philatelist is such an event and I look forward to the challenge,” he wrote in 2001.
In keeping with the themes of fellowship, camaraderie and volunteerism – each closely related to philately and The RPSC – Shaman offered some timeless advice in his inaugural editorial.
“Further real improvements will occur only with the cooperation of you, the reader,” he wrote. “Every one of you is a stamp collector with a committed interest in some aspect of philately. Otherwise, you would not be reading this editorial. And that means that you have a story or, quite likely, several stories to tell.”
Shaman said that’s as true now as it has ever been.
“If we are to maintain the wide variety of topics included in this issue, I can only repeat my earlier plea: please think about that story that is tucked away between your album pages and write it up. Your fellow collectors will thank you for it.”
Shaman said the November/December issue – the only themed issue throughout the year – is slated to be his final issue as editor, although the society’s executive is already on the hunt for a replacement.
“I guess the biggest responsibility is sort of a co-ordinator. A lot of people can do the other things – write a column, dot the Is and cross the Ts – but essentially, the buck stops with the editor,” said Shaman.
“I certainly enjoyed my tenure as editor. I’ve been doing this for 15-plus years; I really don’t know where the years went,” he said. “It’s a fun job.”