On today’s date in 2016, long-time philatelist and Fellow of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) Tony Shaman announced his retirement as editor of The Canadian Philatelist (TCP) during the 88th RPSC Convention in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.
That year’s convention ran from Aug. 19-21, during which time Shaman also received an 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 then 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 wrote his first editorial for the May/June 2001 issue (Vol. 52, #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.”
Upon his retirement, which was effective Dec. 31, 2016, Shaman said those words rang as true as they had 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.”
After a year-long stint by former CBC Radio broadcaster Herb Colling, TCP’s editor role was assumed by Robin Harris, of Manitoba, who’s also a Fellow of The RPSC.
Well-known for his contributions to Canadian philately, Harris is the webmaster of The RPSC website and editor of the Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps. He also writes the “Around the World” column for CSN and previously sat on Canada Post’s Stamp Advisory Committee.
In addition, he edits the British North America Philatelic Society Elizabethan study group’s newsletter Corgi Times and recently won the John S. Siverts Best Study Group newsletter award for the fourth time. A stamp collector for about 50 years, his interests include but are not limited to Canada, particularly the Elizabethan II era; Great Britain Machins; United Nations; and the U.S.
Anyone wishing to submit articles for publication is encouraged to contact Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.