North Toronto Stamp Club celebrates 80th anniversary

After debuting in 1938 – one year before the Second World War began – the North Toronto Stamp Club (NTSC) is now celebrating its 80th anniversary.

Rising from the ashes of the former Rosedale Stamp Club, which folded that same year, the NTSC is now the eighth chapter of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC). Its founding president and award-winning exhibitor Louis Lamoureux, who later became president of The RPSC (1954-58) as well as the editor of its bimonthly journal, The Canadian Philatelist (1959-67). He was named a Fellow of The RPSC in 1963.

“A lot of very famous philatelists have gone through the NTSC in its various iterations since 1938. We’ve had RDPs (Roll of Distinguished Philatelists) and Orders of the Beaver that have gone through us,” said NTSC immediate past-president John Wilson, who’s also the club’s historian and library chair.

“The club moved very quickly during the war years to go to exhibitions, and we’ve managed through thick and thin to keep at it. Our club does many things and tries to be many things to many people, but exhibiting is an important part of it.”

As part of the special events being hosted by the club throughout 2018 as part of its octogintennial celebrations, the 75th annual NTSC Exhibition was held this April during the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show.

A frequent exhibitor and nationally accredited philatelic judge, Wilson champions the idea of exhibiting as a boon to the hobby.

“Our exhibition is a social bonding event for all collectors in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), but secondly, it’s a chance for people who have studied material to get kudos for their knowledge as well as critique from national-level judges before sending it up to the national level – and then internationally, which some do.”

As part of the club’s recent exhibitions, the NTSC has issued a “one-frame challenge” to all GTA clubs, which are invited to submit three single-frame exhibits for the judges’ consideration. Each club can decide how its three single frames will be represented.

The award, which is held by the winning club for the following year, is a sculpture of a stamp collector in metal. It was donated to the Greater Toronto Area Philatelic Alliance (GTAPA) by noted philatelist Garfield Portch, who belongs to The RPSC’s National Office; multimedia program committee; and public relations committee.

The club’s exhibition also accepts submissions for eight-page “studies” – not a full frame but an “idea in progress,” Wilson said – and single-page exhibits from new exhibitors for non-competitive judging.

For more information about the NTSC, visit

RPSC inducts two Fellows


Grégoire Teyssier and Michael Street were inducted into the Fellowship of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) at the society’s recent convention in St. Catharines, Ont.

They join more than 145 RPSC Fellows, both living and deceased, that have been inducted since Fred Jarrett became the first Fellow at the society’s 1960 convention in Kitchener, Ont.

A philatelist for nearly half a century and an accomplished exhibitor, Teyssier won the Horace Harrison Grand Award at BNAPEX 2016 in Fredericton, N.B., for his exhibit, “Quebec 1763-1867: Un Siècle d’Histoire Postale et de Marcophilie.” Teyssier has also published several books, including La Distribution postale de la presse periodique Québecoise: 1851-1911 and Initiation aux marques postales du Québec, and numerous articles in Bulletin histoire postale et de marcophilie, Philatélie Québec and The Canadian Philatelist (TCP). He has also worked as a consultant for the Canadian Postal Museum, the Canadian Postal Archives and Parks Canada. He previously served as second vice-president and a board member of The RPSC as well as associate editor of TCP; as president, administrator and secretary of La Société d’Histoire Postale du Québec and editor of its journal; and as a board member of the Société philatélique de Québec. He has been a national-level judge since 1995.

A long-time philatelist, Street is an active member of the Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain (CPSGB) and British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS), the latter of which he also serves as book department co-ordinator. Elected to the BNAPS fellowship – the Order of the Beaver – in 1992 as well as the fellowship of the CPSGB in 2011, Street is also a member of the Brantford Stamp Club and The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada.

Social Media Committee aligning goals with RPSC’s new strategic plan

The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) social media committee is rolling out its initial strategy, which it describes as “a holistic approach to explore all media with the goal of aligning each medium with our strategic direction.”

Like other philatelic societies, The RPSC has used extensive effort in recent years to promote philately to younger generations.

“Is this the right demographic to target to increase our membership? Surely, because many adult returnees indicate they collected when they were young, it is necessary to ‘plant the seed of philately’ in young minds; however, one can easily conclude this effort will not yield immediate or actionable results,” said committee chair Sam Chiu, a Fellow of The RPSC, who added it’s “highly questionable how successful we can claim to be using this strategy to increase membership.”

The committee’s strategy will aim for measurable and actionable results to determine if its actions can be deemed successes, Chiu said.

In addition to the ongoing redesign of The RPSC website (, the society has also launched a Facebook page ( and is discussing the feasibility of using other social media, including Twitter and Instagram.

In regards to the strategy’s target audience, it has been suggested the committee support, facilitate and attract adult returnees to the hobby. Click here to continue reading.

“The reasons for not supporting a broad base of youth activities is ever expanding. This is not to say that we should not seize the opportunity to mentor the occasional exceptional youth as the opportunity presents itself,” said long-time philatelist and active member of the West Toronto Stamp Club Garfield Portch. “In order to ensure survival, we must attempt to recruit a different demographic. Our efforts should be concentrated on the folks in the 40 to 50 year age group. These people have (generally) matured, have their careers, have their families and their homes. They also have some disposable income available for entertainment or a hobby. What they need is a distraction from the stresses of life.”

RPSC President Ed Kroft said the “key is making philately relevant in the 21st century,” adding the best avenues for this approach are postal history and thematic and topical collecting.

“The reason I have been beating the drum on investing in technology is because we heavily emphasize and rely on the wrong platforms (shows, clubs and meetings – physical and face-to-face) to promote the organization.”

In addition to Chiu, the members of the social media committee include:

  • Hugo Deshaye;
  • Robert Lunn;
  • Leon Matthys;
  • Robert Pinet;
  • Jesse Robitaille;
  • Robert Timberg; and
  • Mike Walsh.

July-August Issue of The Canadian Philatelist reveals ‘the most expensive Cinderella’

An article highlighting the Lady McLeod issue – “the most expensive Cinderella in philately” – graces the cover of the July-August issue of The Canadian Philatelist (TCP), the official bi-monthly publication of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada.

Authored by Richard Logan, the article pays tribute to a mail steamer called the Lady McLeod, which provided a much-needed postal service across the Gulf of Paria between the Port of Spain and San Fernando on the island of Trinidad.

The local economy was expanding rapidly with an influx of immigrant workers from Asia to harvest cocoa and sugar crops. The cheap labour stimulated growth, which prompted desperately needed communication to market the island’s bounty.

The Lady McLeod was put into service to carry letters, officials, magistrates and police across the bay. She also provided a link with ocean-going vessels, which transported the produce to international markets.

Throughout this remarkable history, a label and stamp were developed, both of which are much sought after by philatelists around the world.

“The number of Lady McLeods actually existing is not known; however, it is believed that the number includes some 26 mint never hinged, 24 used, and 39 on cover, although some of these may be bogus,” writes Logan, whose article is found on page 208 of TCP. “Forgeries do exist and buyers are advised to obtain a certificate of authenticity by a reputable authority.”

Sales of the iconic Cinderella stamp are “rare and even copies with minor damage fetch a high price,” he adds. “Mint never hinged copies sell for more than 50 thousand U.S. dollars; pen cancelled copies for about 12,500 U.S.; skinned off copies sell for less than that; and covers go for anywhere from five to nine thousand U.S. dollars.”

President’s Message — July 2018 Newsletter

By Ed Kroft, President

Hi everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the summer and have an opportunity to participate in your various pastimes, including stamp collecting. What follows is a brief update on the activities of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada/La Société royale de philatélie du Canada (RPSC).

ROYAL 2018

The annual Royal Convention held in St. Catharines, Ont., in late June was a great success. Helpful dealers, committed volunteers, outstanding exhibits, informative seminars, an annual general meeting, an awards banquet with excellent food and renewed and new friendships involving the discussion of philately—a great way to spend one or more days! Plans are well under way for Royal/Royale 2019, which will be held next June 21-23 in Mississauga, Ont.. The RPSC hopes to see you there!


The Volunteer Recognition Program is intended to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to philately as a member of The RPSC or a member of an RPSC Chapter or Affiliate. Full details of the program are forthcoming, but the following is essentially a synopsis.

Who is Eligible?

Any living member of The RPSC plus any living individual who is a member of an RPSC Chapter or Affiliate is eligible for the program. Fellows and Directors of The RPSC are not eligible.

Eligibility Criteria

The criteria for the nomination for recognition will be left entirely to the discretion of the nominating Chapter or Affiliate of The RPSC.

The Nomination Process

Any Chapter or Affiliate may forward the names of any number of nominees at any time of the year. The nomination will be forwarded to The RPSC Awards Committee, which will immediately prepare and send the Certificate of Thanks to the Chapter for presentation.

The Recognition

Each award will be recognized by a Certificate of Thanks from The RPSC. A current member of The RPSC will receive a 25 per cent discount off of one year’s annual membership dues in The RPSC. Recipients who are not and have never been RPSC members will be eligible for a 50 per cent discount off of a one-year membership in the RPSC. Recipients who are Life Members of The RPSC will receive a Certificate of Thanks only.

The name and details of each recipient’s contributions will be reported in The RPSC’s electronic newsletter.


Do you wish to share your knowledge of philately with others?

Please consider taking your time to write an informative and scholarly piece for The RPSC’s flagship bi-monthly publication, The Canadian Philatelist. Please contact our esteemed editor Herb Colling ( or a member of our talented editorial board, which includes Gray Scrimgeour, Richard Gratton, Rob Timberg and Francois Brisse.


The RPSC is interested in seeing more collectors attend RPSC chapter meetings. We hope the newsletter will assist in this regard; it will contain details of upcoming chapter meetings, including the names of speakers and locations. Even if members cannot attend meetings, they may learn of interesting topics and be able to source presentations from those who volunteered to share information. Please send us details of upcoming meetings, locations, speakers and topics.


We are fortunate to have Robin Harris as our webmaster. The RPSC hopes to continue to provide members and non-members with current information about the society’s operations and topics in philately. If you have done a PowerPoint presentation on philately for a chapter meeting or organization and you think it would be useful for others to see on our website, please send it to us and we will consider it for publication on our website or as a presentation to be made available to other Chapters.


Following the annual general meeting of The RPSC, there are 14 members on the board from across Canada. They are Ed Kroft (President), Sam Chiu (Vice-President), Arlene Sullivan (Secretary), Stuart Keeley (Treasurer), Jim Taylor (Immediate Past President), Rob Lunn, Rob Timberg, Doug McAndless, Michelle Cartier, Jean-Jacques Tillard, Lawrence Pinkney, Hugo Deshaye, Mike Walsh and Joel Weiner.

The RPSC also appreciates and benefits from the wisdom and continued assistance of Garfield Portch and past presidents George Pepall (Second Vice-President) and Charles Verge. The RPSC greatly benefits from the support of the Toronto-based Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation and the assistance of RPSC National Office Executive Assistant Margaret Schulzke. Please feel free to visit the Greene Foundation’s Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library during its regularly scheduled hours.

RPSC National Office/Bureau National

P.O. Box 69080, St. Clair Post Office

Toronto, ON   M4T 3A1

Tel: 416-921-2077

Toll-free: 1-888-285-4143

Fax: 416-921-1282



The RPSC also thanks the many volunteers who work on national committees and at various national and regional shows as well as at chapter meetings. Keep up the great work!


The Members of the Board of Directors will be continuing to work on strategies to gradually implement various components of the strategic plan, its vision statement and the objectives set out in the last newsletter. The RPSC will need the help of its members to do so, so we hope members will assist wherever possible.


The RPSC has a committee that deals with the accreditation of philatelic judges in Canada. I wish to thank David Piercey for his outstanding work and mentorship for many years as chair of this committee. David will remain as a member of the committee but has passed the chairmanship reins to Joel Weiner, who is in the process of contacting judges.


Do you have any ideas to improve The RPSC? Do you want to volunteer or help recruit new members? With your assistance, The RPSC will continue to be Canada’s national stamp club.

Please feel free to contact me via email at

Have a great summer!

Best wishes,