This charming editorial was first published in “The Stamp Collectors’ Fortnightly” (February 4, 1911. We have taken the liberty of changing the original title of “Philatelists of To-day” to “Philatelists of Yesteryear” to avoid confusion.
IF THE EXPRESSION “to-day,” forming part of the general title of these articles, be interpreted literally, it may be said that Mr. A. H. Clark is not merely a “Philatelist of To-Day,” but the philatelist of Saturday, February 4th, 1911 ; for the success which now seems assured for the South Essex Philatelic Society’s Exhibition will be very largely a personal success for the Society’s President. From first to last Mr. Clark has been untiring in his labours for the display which will be inaugurated at Walthamstow to-day, and he is entitled to the warmest gratitude from his fellow-members of the S.E.P.S. for the ardour and the enthusiasm he has brought to bear upon the undertaking.
The love of stamps was inherited, in Mr. A. H. Clark’s case, from his father, who was an enthusiastic collector. Naturally the subject of our sketch was encouraged to take an interest in Philately in his turn. In his school days he formed a small general collection from the duplicates given him by his father and the specimens he received from time to time from a friendly schoolmaster of philatelic leanings.
Becoming a member of the Junior Philatelic Society at the time of the Exhibition of British Stamps at Exeter Hall, Mr. Clark became more keenly interested in the hobby, and also took an active interest in the doings and the welfare of the “J.P.S.” He rendered valuable assistance at the later Exhibition of the Junior Society at Caxton Hall, Westminster, and served as Hon. Secretary of the Paper Making Exhibition at Clifford’s Inn Hall in 1909.
Invited to take part in the formation of the South Essex Philatelic Society, he devoted himself to the task heart and soul. The S.E.P.S. being successfully inaugurated, Mr. Clark was elected President, and with Mr. Douglas Armstrong as his fellow delegate, he represented the Society at the Second Philatelic Congress. In all likelihood he will visit Birmingham in a like capacity this year.
As a strong believer in the adoption of popular and attractive methods of interesting the general public in Philately, Mr. Clark holds that all philatelic societies should do something to justify their existence. He advocates the giving of attractive lectures in all parts of the country, for it is by such means that outside attention is attracted to the study of stamps, and many people destined to become good and useful philatelists are introduced to the charm and fascination of our hobby. In connection with Philatelic Societies, by the way, Mr. Clark holds that the high offices connected therewith should pass into new hands from time to time so that the proverbial benefits of an infusion of new blood may be experienced.
He is an ardent-lover of British stamps and has made no small number of interesting discoveries in the later issues during his experience as a specialist–notably the dot before “Postage” on the 1d. scarlet, and other minor varieties.
He has collected Gambia and other colonies and is now devoting himself to a group of European countries.
As chief organiser of the Exhibition opening its doors to-day, it has been Mr..Clark’s good fortune to bring into friendly association two old political opponents in Sir John Simon, K.C., M.P., and Mr. L. Stanley Johnson, who, as Patron and Vice-Patron respectively of the South Essex Philatelic Society, will be seen in company at the inaugural ceremony to-day