Recently two Board members of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada made sure that visitors to two recent weekend shows were offered a friendly greeting, information about membership, a complimentary back issue of The Canadian Philatelist and a candy. Conversation about stamps and the show was a bonus.
The first was Canpex at the Hellenic Centre in London. This two-day national level show featured 34 diverse exhibits, 22 dealers, a youth table and a focus through four show covers on the 150-year history of London’s Western Fair. It was noticeable that lining up the exhibits to one side of the room made best use of space and rendered the dealers more accessible.
Lucky draw announcements and conversation among philatelic friends broke up any moments of silence. London’s Doug McAndless, a RPSC director, presided over our table for most of the two days, but I put in a stint to allow Doug a chance to check on the exhibits and dealers. Doug was one of the workers setting up the Canpex show under the veteran leadership of co-chairs Steve Johnson and John Sheffield, who are to be commended for proving that you don’t have to be in a megacity to put on a strong show.
A week later in Guelph a very different environment was the scene of the annual Guelphpex show, held for the first time in memory in a church in a downtown neighbourhood, which on a sunny fall day made for a pleasant walk when matters philatelic needed to be left for a while to the dealers and collectors.
Ten dealers, a silent auction and 40 members’ circuit books drew lots of attention and filled the church’s gym. It was interesting to see that several members had brought out non-competitive exhibits of local material in traditional six-page wooden frames. I noticed as well that the kitchen volunteers were obeying all the requirements of public health in making up delicious sandwiches.
Over the two shows, close to 100 collectors checked in with us and signed our visitor pages. It is the hope and plan of the RPSC Board, as part of its new strategic plan, to provide a presence at as many shows as possible. Members’ help in doing so would be much appreciated.
For Doug McAndless, George Pepall