Hello everyone. Since my report to the membership at the RPSC annual general meeting at St. Catharines in June 2018, I have been busy trying to advance the interests of the RPSC and philately both inside and outside of Canada.
I have been advocating for an inclusive Society in which members of the RPSC may volunteer to participate in activities. There have been five Board meetings at which Directors from across Canada participated in two-hour teleconferences . Preparation is required for each board meeting to facilitate efficient and productive dialogue. Regularly, directors communicate about ongoing organizational issues affecting the Society. These include discussion about benefits for members, the planning for upcoming conventions and shows, Canada Post, membership dues, The Canadian Philatelist magazine, international participation in shows by Society members, financial statement reviews, funding and branding for the Society, creating awards for members including volunteers, and other important housekeeping matters such as records retention and our valuable relationship with the VGG Foundation .
Our focus at the Board level has been to implement all or some of the principles set out in a new Vision Statement adopted by the Board last year. It has taken a lot of work and commitment from Directors and volunteers to try to bring about the changes. We are attempting to demonstrate the RPSC is willing to take a leadership role in promoting and encouraging “stamp collecting” (which includes the collection of topicals, thematics, postal history, aerophilately, and the use of postcards and other ephemera) for Canadians of all ages, genders and ethnicity and to be an inclusive not exclusive organization.
We have been working hard to partner with various philatelic organizations within and outside Canada to appeal to our audience , including the public at large , beginning collectors, specialists and the philatelic community at large. We need to make sure the public has a better idea of what stamp collecting is all about.
The RPSC now publishes a regular newsletter every four to eight weeks to keep members current of the workings in the Society. My thanks to Mike Walsh for assistance in the production and delivery of the newsletter. Chapter news and other information finds its way into the newsletter. The RPSC welcomes your contributions. So far the feedback has been positive.
The RPSC has also been discussing the offering of educational programmes to collectors to enhance the pleasure and friendliness of “stamp collecting”. We will need more volunteers and fundraising to do a better job at this. We are also considering the implementation of a mentoring programme to help collectors and exhibitors at all levels.
In 2019, we are rolling out the new volunteers recognition policy to ensure our Society signals to the philatelic community in Canada that we must acknowledge those across Canada who promote our hobby in one or more ways – whether at the local, regional or national level. In doing so, the RPSC is trying to promote and encourage volunteerism in “stamp collecting,” philatelic exhibiting and philatelic judging. At the 2019 Annual General Meeting, we will be acknowledging the efforts of over 20 individuals across Canada who are outstanding volunteers who help to keep our hobby vibrant and who help other collectors.
The RPSC also continues to represent residents of Canada in worldwide philatelic exhibitions and in worldwide philatelic organizations . The RPSC, with other outstanding organizations in Canada tries to serve as the Canadian centre of excellence for collectors, philatelic exhibitors and philatelic judges . The FIP will be holding an international judging academy at the VGG Foundation at which philatelic judges from Canada and other countries will attend. Plans for an international stamp exhibition in Canada in 2022 is at a very preliminary stage .
I am grateful to the unwavering assistance offered by my Board of Directors , Margaret Schulzke, Ted Nixon, Charles Verge, George Pepall, Rob Timberg and Garfield Portsch and to all volunteers across the country and in chapters and clubs. Thanks also to Robin Harris, editor of The Canadian Philatelist and our webmaster . All of you help to keep our Society strong. Thanks to Jim Szeplaki at Trajan for the help with The Canadian Philatelist and to Jesse Robitaille of Canadian Stamp News for coverage of the RPSC and its activities.
A special thanks to Margaret is warranted. After many years, Margaret is stepping down as the Executive Assistant of the RPSC. Her wealth of knowledge, and experience with Society matters has helped us all along the way. We will all miss her pleasant and polite manner and her never ending desire to assist. We welcome her replacement, Lee Ann Stewart, and look forward to a long working relationship with her.
In a recent edition of the newsletter and The Canadian Philatelist, I spoke of myths and truths about the RPSC. The RPSC tries to break even annually in an effort to offer benefits to its members . The RPSC wants to do more for you but it needs funding. Society dues can only pay for so much. Therefore, in the upcoming year, the RPSC or one or more of its affiliates will likely seek funding through various means, including the issuance of tax deductible receipts for charitable contributions. The RPSC would also like to apply for grant funding from various public and private organizations. We need help in this regard. We need volunteers who can assist with identifying possible funding sources and writing grant applications. Please do contact me if you can or all willing to help.
There is a lot for me to do in the role of President of the RPSC. It is an unpaid job as are directorship positions. Thanks to those of you who have or will be retiring from the Board. Many of us work full-time as well so our dedication to the RPSC is truly a labour of love for the RPSC and the hobby we enjoy so much.
I cannot emphasize enough we need your help to keep our Society strong, relevant and inclusive. Please join to help the RPSC implement its goals and to make collecting an enjoyable experience for you.
I hope to see all of you at the upcoming Royal convention in Mississauga and in Fredericton on June 19-21, 2020.
Ed Kroft QC, RPSC,CPA (Hons.)