World of 1,000 Stamps inspires St. Catharines club

By Ian Gillespie

In November 2019 the St Catharines Stamp Club launched a club project – World of 1000 Stamps.

The idea came from a web search while looking for lists of stamp-issuing entities of the world which sourced the concept at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s “A Stamp For Every Country”. Their work has established an album with almost 800 stamps listed. The album pages can be downloaded from the American Philatelic Society’s website.

Essentially the categories are the seven continents, private corporations, post offices abroad, international posts, military and war occupational administrations.

After reviewing the listings, member Ian Gillespie spearheaded the project and with help from a membership committee located numerous gaps that deserved representation. By the first meeting in January 2020, more than 1,000 qualified entities made the list. Each of them could be found just using the Scott catalogue listings.

Members copied the format used by the Smithsonian exhibit in forming the pages and created an album that has 161 stamp pages with spaces for 1,062 stamps.  Members had been invited to add to the collection, their selection could be Mint or used, and those interested were given a random selection of five named entities and dates issued on the back of dealer card 107 – as an example:  Ireland, 1949 to Today, Republic. This brought reasonable results and 14 members participated taking 23 cards between them and by late January 58 stamps were added.

When COVID-19 prompted the club to cancel meetings we had already amassed a collection of more than 300 specimens, and sadly we endured a long pause until meetings resumed in April 2022. During COVID,  Gillespie and Stuart Keeley – a past president of the club – were able to double the specimens collected and with renewed club participation the club is back on track and now has built the collection to 760. Can the club improve the collection by replacing a specimen [or adding a specimen]? Yes, a member can do that and members are encouraged to find a stamp that has cultural significance to that entity. Can we add an entity? If a member finds a stamp not identified in the album it is placed on an addenda album page – we have a small number already, and with consensus would add them to the collection.

When a country changes its name – it is included – Persia, Siam, Zaire etc. If a stamp is difficult for many to identify, we will include it – examples Hejaz, Thrace, Early Turkey etc.

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