By Jesse Robitaille
The Canpex organizing committee has issued a challenge to clubs across Canada for what will be the fourth gathering since the show was reinvented in 2016.
Dubbed the “National Stamp Club Challenge,” the new nationwide initiative will be held in conjunction with Canpex 2019, which is slated for next Oct. 19-20.
“This fun event provides an opportunity for club members to become more involved in our great hobby,” said Canpex co-chair John Sheffield. “I know there are a lot of club members who have never exhibited, and this is their opportunity to put their little toe in the water.”
The idea came to the organizing committee while they were exploring ways to promote Canpex, interest in the hobby in general and interest in and among Canada’s local stamp clubs.
“One of the bright lights said, ‘Why not do a national stamp club challenge and challenge clubs to enter a one-frame exhibit – 16 pages – on a specific topic,” said Sheffield, who added next year’s topic will coincide with the 2019 show theme.
LONDON MILITARY HISTORY
Each year, Canpex recognizes a significant event or milestone in the history of London and Southwestern Ontario.
Next year’s theme is the area’s “rich and proud” military history, beginning with the British regiments garrisoned at London in 1839 to guard against border raids following the Rebellions of 1837-38. The garrison “contributed significantly to the economic growth of London,” according to a historical plaque erected in London’s Victoria Park.
“Although its troops were withdrawn in 1853 to serve in the Crimean War, and military duties were assumed by pensioners, it was re-occupied by British regulars in 1862 when the American Civil War posed a threat to the province,” reads the plaque. “To help repulse an expected invasion of Fenians, militant Irish sympathizers, the garrison remained active until 1868. Six years later, this part of the old military reserve was set aside as Victoria Park.”
In later years, London was the home of various battalions of the Royal Canadian Regiment, which operates a regimental museum near Victoria Park.
Today, the 1st Hussars and 31 Canadian Brigade Group call London home.
“London has a big military presence,” added Sheffield.
CLUB CHALLENGE RULES
The National Stamp Club Challenge is open to all stamp clubs in Canada, and the rules are “simple,” Sheffield said.
Clubs should inform the Canpex organizing committee of their commitment to participate by completing and mailing – or emailing – the entry form no later than March 31.
Exhibits should be received by the organizing committee no later than Sept. 15.
Exhibition pages should be numbered on the reverse – one through 16 – so they can be mounted in the appropriate order.
Lastly, a minimum of two club members must supply material for the exhibit, and no club member should create more than two pages in the exhibit.
The exhibit will be displayed at Canpex and judged by attendees as “the people’s choice.”
In addition to year-long “bragging rights,” Sheffield said the winning club’s exhibit will also be displayed on the Canpex website “for all to see what a winning entry looks like.”
“Exhibiting keeps the hobby going, and it exposes people to it,” said Sheffield, who added one club has already accepted the challenge as of the middle of November.
Other clubs are planning to discuss the idea at their next club meeting, Sheffield added.
“It’s a great opportunity for clubs to engage their members.”