One of the great pleasures of being president of this Club is contacting those individuals who have been awarded the Lichtenstein Award. Elsewhere in this journal you will read more extensively about Patrick Maselis and Mark Banchik, but if I would be permitted to add my perspective.
The Lichtenstein Award process starts with nominations being solicited from our membership and these being considered by a committee headed by Steve Reinhard. All the committee members are past winners of the award and the only reason I was admitted to this august group was because of the presidential ex-officio entitlement. There were ten nominations in total and each supported by papers attesting to their contributions to the hobby. All the nominees are extraordinary and they have all made huge contributions to philately. I was and remain in awe of them all. Choices would not be easy. Four nominees were forwarded to the Board of Governors for their final consideration.
When the Board voted, it was clear that for the first time that we were selecting co-winners. The caliber of the nominees made breaking precedent easier than we might have thought. After the vote was completed, I had the honor of informing the winners. When I spoke to each gentleman, one in San Diego and the other as he was about to board a plane somewhere in Europe, I heard genuine surprise, humble appreciation and a quiet undercurrent of emotion. Not only are Patrick and Mark huge contributors to this hobby, but they are good and genuine men, their reactions were humble, they were both very touched and appreciative. There is no question that the process worked.
The question then naturally follows: having had to defer last year’s annual Lichtenstein dinner on account of COVID, but what of this year’s event? (You’ll recall that John Barwis was selected last year.) But, first, we must digress.
Having been diverted by matters viral, we have come to recognize that in 2021 The Collectors Club will celebrate its 125th anniversary. 1896 to 2021. AND, in addition, this journal, celebrates its 100th anniversary. These are two estimable events we must mark.
Circumstances present their difficulties but we would like to strive for a very special event occurring over a two-day period in New York on November 10th and 11th, in which we will mark the 125th anniversary of this Club, the 100th anniversary of this journal, bestow the Lichtenstein award on 3 individuals and maybe more importantly, start to bring us all out of the dark places we have had to be while this virus has had its way with us all. We recognize the difficulties and the challenges, but we expect that we will be almost all vaccinated, that NYC will be re-opened and that life will start returning to normal. We understand the challenges but we believe we have to persevere since otherwise we surrender to despair.
Specifically, on Wednesday, November 10th, we will hold our single frame competition in the Club house and we hope that this will be an exhibition for the ages. In the evening, we will arrange multiple dining and entertainment options for all attending.
On the evening of November 11th, we will hold a special dinner at a landmark location to mark our multiple anniversaries and honor our award winners. As I write this in late February, I expect that many will have concerns and some trepidation, but we will only hold this event provided we have confidence in the prudent health measures in place. We have all come too far and dealt with too much to do otherwise.
Oh, and did I mention that we will be preparing a very special book, 100 years of the Collectors Club Philatelist? A book which will contain the best, the most representative, the most evocative articles that have appeared in this journal. It is going to be great.
We have started work on all the details and as those details firm up we will be sharing those with you. But please, circle these dates. No need to make a commitment now. Get your single frame in shape and please stay safe and healthy because it is going to be a great and safe party.