We are coming back, aren’t we? Familiar pre-pandemic in-person meetings and shows are returning. Of course, there is a certain degree of trepidation, but it is beginning to look safe or, at least safer, to come out and say this out loud. In the US, the regular routine of stamp shows are now back at their usual time slots. Back in late July 2021 we were at Westpex, and this year it was good seeing Westpex return to its usual time in April 2022. Similarly, Napex was, where it belongs, in early June. And, after several years of cancelations, Nojex is on the schedule for October. Internationally, London 2020 turned into London 2022, and a very successful show it was. I recently returned from Lugano Switzerland, attending the Helvetia 2022 World Stamp Expo, and the reports from Toronto speak to great success for the first-ever single-frame-only international, at CAPEX, Canada’s international show held once every ten years.
Closer to home, we held our first post-pandemic in-house program in April and this was quickly followed by our second in May. These programs were in-person from 22 East 35th and simultaneously live-streamed via Zoom, providing a chance for all members to enjoy the benefits of our fine talks and club comradery. It was wonderful being back in the Clubhouse and we are grateful for those who presented, Steve McGill and AJ Valente. Importantly, we are grateful to those in the room and watching live on Zoom.
It is highly probable that these may have been the very last live programs from 22 East 35th. We are in contract to sell the building and although there are a few contingencies, we do not expect any issues. We will, in short order, start the actual relocation. It is an inevitability given the challenges of selling a building, negotiating and signing a long-term lease, and fitting out new premises, we will not have a fixed abode for a short period of time. You may recall that in 2000, during extensive renovation, the Club needed to vacate, and similarly, when the Royal transitioned from Devonshire Place to Abchurch, they were without their usual home for an extended period.
As to our new home, we are targeting a wonderful site on West 40th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, and are in lease negotiations now as this is being written. We hope to conclude these quickly so we can continue to proceed. We will keep members updated as we make further progress.
One of the best experiences many of us have had with the post-pandemic return to business was the Lichtenstein Awards dinner held on May 8th at the Harvard Club in New York. There were more than 80 members and guests in attendance. The reports that reached my ears were all positive and it was a true delight to finally be able to honor our four recipients: John Barwis (2020), Patrick Maselis (2021), Mark Banchik (2021), and Chris Harman (2022). This celebration was all very much overdue and each honoree was able to attend. We enjoyed the pleasure of watching them accept their medals.
The dinner also was an opportunity to honor our other award winners. These are mentioned either at our annual meeting or at a Club show, but it was a great chance to mark their accomplishments without “distractions”. These other award winners included the Robert P. Odenweller Award for Best Article in Collectors Club Philatelist winners James P. Mazepa (2019), Lin Yangchen (2020), and David Zemem (2021). You are invited to read their wonderful articles in your Collectors Club Philatelist issues.
We also marked the winners of our Best Meeting Presentation: Nicholas Kirke (2019), Daniel Piazza (2020), and Patricia Kaufmann (2021). We have an extraordinary video archive and I’ll take this opportunity to mention that you catch each of these superlative presentations from our website presentation archives.
The Annual One-frame competition is a feature of our calendar and our winners were Barry Schwartz (2019) and Vernon Morris (2020). Our reserve grand winners were Michael Beck (2019) and Steven Walske (2020). We also made note of the winners of the Friendship Cup, which was given by Alan Holyoake in recognition of the friendship between collectors in the US and Great Britain: Scott Trepel (2019) and Roger Brody (2020).
We rounded out our awards with the President’s Medal for Outstanding Service to the Collectors Club to Joan Harmer (2020) and Irene Bromberg (posthumous) (2022).
Beyond being a splendid evening, it was a very special opportunity to mark a return to something much closer to philatelic normalcy. A night we all enjoyed!
Speaking of dinners, we will be holding a tripartite dinner with our close friends, the Royal Philatelic Society of London, and the Boston 2026 Organization Committee. The dinner is set for Wednesday, August 24th evening prior to the official beginning of the Great American Stamp Show in Sacramento California. We start at 7 pm, immediately following the APS’s Tiffany event. We invite you to reserve a spot; we would love to see our members joined together for an evening dinner. If you cannot find an email invitation, please call or email the office. During the show, we will be sharing a table with our friends at the Philatelic Foundation. We look forward to greeting you in Sacramento.
Here is something to ponder: A great friend of our Club offered us a manuscript on an unusual colonial topic. The work is a very interesting exploration and is the result of a tremendous amount of original research. In manuscript form, it runs somewhere in excess of 15 thousand words. Dropping only the text into my version of InDesign, this translated into some 44 pages, before images. We could easily see this running 60 to 75 pages. That would be a bit more than what could be typically handled by our, or any other philatelic journal. But, it falls into a size range that is less than what the typical book runs.
We are all familiar with the massive philatelic tome that lands on the desk with a thud and might weigh in at 4 or 5 or even 10 pounds. Works this size are difficult projects. They are expensive to edit and produce. And, very time-consuming.
We suspect there are many projects that do not require 800 pages split into 2 volumes. Important work needs to be published. Important research or insight will vanish into mist if not published and there is a gap between the large magisterial opus and the much briefer journal article, even broken into 2 or 3 parts.
We believe there is a need that is not yet being addressed. A work, such as the one we were presented with is much easier to bring to the press and not nearly as daunting a project. Much less expensive to edit, produce and acquire. We hope to explore this further. What suggestions do you have?