Majors’ rate study exhibit earns Grand at BNAPEX

By Jesse Robitaille

This September, esteemed exhibitor Ronald E. Majors was awarded the BNAPS Horace Harrison Grand Award for his rate study of decimal-franked and stampless covers from the mid-19th century.

Entitled “Canadian Postal History: A Rate Study using Decimal-Franked and Stampless Covers (1859-1868),” the exhibit was “the best representation of the postal history of the period ever put together,” according to Chief Judge Victor Willson, of Texas.

“Mr. Majors’ exhibit covered the uses of Canada’s second set of stamps, which coincided with a great increase in Canadian trade and communication. The shift from pence to cents as the Canadian currency acknowledged the shift in trade balance from England to the U.S. as well,” said Willson.

“Several previous BNAPEX high-level exhibits had focused on this issue, and Mr. Majors’ exceeded them all, having incorporated much of those into it over the years.”

Majors’ exhibit was one of about 140 entries in the joint convention hosted by the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS) and Calgary Philatelic Society (CPS) on Sept. 1-3.

Show co-chair Hugh Delaney said the event was “extremely successful” with attendees from “quite a number of different countries around the world.”

“It went very well according to most of the dealers I spoke to, and I tried to speak with all of them,” added Delaney, who’s a past president of the CPS as well as the Calgary BNAPS Regional Group. “They were all quite happy with the results they had at the show.”

In addition to an extensive bourse, the annual BNAPS convention – dubbed “BNAPEX” – included a national-level exhibition while a separate regional exhibition was hosted by the CPS.

“There were over 140 exhibits, and I went through them all,” said Delaney, who added this year’s show theme was the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. “It was interesting to see all of them because there were some extremely professional exhibits, and then there were others that were more humble.”


Among the other top award winners was David Piercey, whose exhibit entitled “Steamship Mail in the Early Decimal Period of Newfoundland 1865-1910” won the Allan Steinhart Reserve Grand Award.

“Mr. Piercey’s exhibit was seen by the judges as the best representation of Newfoundland steamship mail we had ever seen,” said Willson. “It represented extremely rare material to and from small places in some of the most remote areas of Canada. It was beautifully presented and clearly was a contender for the top award.”


Six BNAPS special awards were also handed out at the recent exhibition. These include the Ed and Mickey Richardson Award for the highest level of achievement in research, originality, innovation and/or presentation. This year’s honour was given to David Bartlet for his exhibit entitled “Vended Postage Automation.”

Kevin O’Reilly’s exhibit entitled “A Postal History of Labrador before Confederation” was given the Daniel Myerson Award for the “most complete presentation in the finest quality” of British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland.

The Canadian Military Mails Study Group Award, given to the best military exhibit, went to Jon Johnson for his exhibit entitled “WWI Canadian Army Nursing Sisters Serving Overseas.”

The William G. Robinson Award is given to the best railway post office exhibit, which was Sean Weatherup’s “The Railway Post Office Operating between Halifax and Sydney.”

The John D. Arn White Queen Award for the best exhibit of Elizabethan material went to Joel Weiner for his exhibit entitled “The Centennial Booklets of Canada 1967-1973.”

The Herb McNaught Memorial Award for the best single-frame entry was given to Peter J. McCarthy’s “Canadian Railway Post Office Markings.”

Lastly, the Order of the Beaver Novice Award, which goes to the best exhibit by a person who has not exhibited previously at a BNAPS exhibition, was given to Gordon William Turnbull for his exhibit entitled “Booklets and Coils of Canada – The Canadian Postal System Enters the Machine Age.”

This year’s BNAPEX jury included Chief Judge Victor Willson, of Texas; Jean-Claude Michaud, of Halifax, N.S.; and Gary Steele, of Middle Sackville, N.S.

The Caltapex jury included David Piercey, of Edmonton, Alta.

Mark Berner, of Montreal, Que., also served as an apprentice judge.

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