By Jesse Robitaille
Charles Verge, a veteran collector and champion of “Organized Philately” in Canada and abroad, has announced his retirement from several of his long-running posts.
Effective March 1, Verge has resigned as the vice-chair, vice-president, historian and archivist of the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, of which he is the longest-serving director. The move also entails resigning from the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) as its historian and archivist owing to that group’s “closely intertwined” history with the Greene Foundation, Verge said.
“The Greene was a big portion of my life,” said Verge, 74, who added he tendered his resignation for two main reasons, both aimed at “reorienting my life.”
“One has to do with my age – I think it’s time that there should be new blood – but I also have a lot of started books and projects that I’d like to finish before I go from the planet.”
Verge, who this February became just the eighth Canadian to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists (“Finally, Verge signs iconic RDP,” CSN Vol. 46 #24), intends to remain involved in international philately, including as part of the RPSC’s international liaison committee. He will also participate in CAPEX 22 “with a vengeance” this June, when it comes to Toronto as Canada’s first international show since 1996.
“I’m not leaving Organized Philately – let’s put it that way,” said Verge, who will still manage the Greene Foundation’s presence at CAPEX. “But once all of that is done and CAPEX is over, I want to concentrate on writing, research and the international world.”
A Fellow of both the RPSC and Royal Philatelic Society London, Verge has a “worldwide reputation” as an author, exhibitor and international judge, according to his RDP citation.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on the initiative, he also organized and presented the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) Jury Academy, a series of training seminars through which international judges can hone their skills in critiquing competitive exhibits. He plans to continue this work as restrictions and hesitations around international travel continue to diminish.
Verge is also nominated for election as a FIP director for the Americas – a role to be decided during the 76th FIP Congress in Indonesia this August. He’s up against fellow nominee Aldo Samame, of Peru.
To date, the only Canadian FIP board member has been Harry Sutherland, who served as a director from 1976-81.