Far be for me to suggest that we are out of the woods, but maybe, just maybe, we are getting there.
Here is some good news for you: as you may note elsewhere in this journal, we are beginning the process of reopening our Club house at 22 East 35th Street. With prior reservations, members who wish to conduct philatelic research in the Library will be welcomed back Your Club plays host to a number of local chapters of national specialist organizations. Each has been offered the opportunity to return. In addition, we expect to resume hosting live programs from the Club house, which will be live streamed on the internet for you in September and October. As you know, we still are committed to our Zoom programs every other Wednesday.
Traditionally, you have looked forward to the Governor’s Open House in December. This was obviously not the case this past holiday season. Instead now, wouldn’t it be a wonderful for all of us to enjoy a pre-summer Open House? A welcome back, in a sense, for our Club family. The event would not feature a live program. This will be a much needed chance to reacquaint. Perhaps, we’ll twist the arms of some of our Board members to place some material in the frames. Now, wouldn’t that be great, real material in real frames? Picture yourself enjoying time among your fellow club members while enjoying some light refreshments. Hold your calendars open for June 23 to join in. We will send an email around with details as we get closer.
And, yes, just in case you’re unsure, all the proper protocols will be observed and safety first. We’ve all been through too much to take our re-opening lightly, or without proper precaution.
It is just not in New York where we will be re-engaging. Your Club will be at the WESTPEX stamp show, July 30 to August 1. WESTPEX is always a highlight of the philatelic year for avid collectors from around the country. Your Collectors Club is supporting WESTPEX as a convening society. Subject to all the responsible precautions, an informal group of club members plan to enjoy dinner and if you’re interested, you are definitely invited to join along. The Collectors Club will also be hosting speakers giving a philatelic program, a video of which will be posted on our website..
A bit later in the summer, we will be supporting the Great American Stamp Show in Rosemont, Illinois, just next door to Chicago’s O’Hare airport, August 12 to 15, 2021. Once again, we will be meeting members and friends at a table on the show floor along side our friends from the Philatelic Foundation, and hosting a dinner on Wednesday, August 11th after the Tiffany program. The Collectors Club will also be hosting speakers giving a philatelic program. Later on, a video of the program will be available from our website.
Summer moves into Fall, we expect to support both NOJEX (October 15 to 17) and then a week later NAPEX (October 22 to 24). As we get closer to these dates, the specifics will be become clearer.
The bottom-line message for WESTPEX, GASS, NOJEX and NAPEX: we want to see and speak with you and re-engage in person, while our club continues to also increase our virtual presence through our popular Webinar programming.
Finally, the Club plans to finish off our year off with an extraordinary event. This year is the 125th anniversary of the Club and the 100th anniversary of our journal, the Collectors Club Philatelist. At this event we will be conferring the Lichtenstein Award on three very well deserving winners: John Barwis (2020), Patrick Maselis (2021) and Mark Banchik (2021).
Save the date for this two-day anniversary festival spanning November 10 and 11. On November 10, you are invited to compete and attend our long-standing single frame exhibit competition. In the evening, expect a wide variety of dining and entertainment options. On the following evening, you can expect a celebratory dinner at the renown Harvard Club. An exceptional venue to cap off our anniversary celebration.
As you read this column you may drop back in thought to see a lot of activity and a determination, if we might say, to get back into the flow of a vibrant and active philatelic calendar. You might ask why? Why not just hang back and let things come back? Why not go with the flow?
We have spent a great deal of time thinking about our role and our mission in the hobby as your Club. We are convinced that our mission is for the Collectors Club to bring its members and friends together, virtually and in person, at its home in New York and around the country to educate, inspire and support them in pursuit of their philatelic goals. We are your club, the club for the avid and engaged philatelist, wherever you may live. Everything your club does is with this mission in mind: the Zoom Webinar programs, re-opening the Library, the presence at major shows, our sponsorship of our own single frame competition, our honoring our past and the leaders who have brought true excellence to the hobby we all love.
This is who we are. This is your Collectors Club.