Originally published in the Philatelic Journal of Great Britain, April 1933.
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We have already referred, on many occasions, to the forthcoming great international Stamp Exhibition which is be held in Vienna during the coming summer. Following the usual Continental custom, the organizers adopted a tabloid name and christened their effort the “WIPA, 1933.”
The organisation has been conducted upon efficient and elaborate lines and no less than four large illustrated. prospectuses have already appeared. We can have nothing but praise for the care and forethought that has gone to making all these elaborate preparations, but it is obviously becoming increasingly difficult for future international exhibitions to be kept within reasonable bounds if the public is always to expect such costly undertakings: However, it would be churlish not to appreciate all that Vienna is doing to make their exhibition a success, and a great success it will undoubtedly be. Vienna is, at any time, a delightful spot, but at the time of year chosen for the WIPA it will be at its best and the renowned Austrian hospitality will complete what should be for every visitor a delightful holiday.
According to the latest information, 38 philatelists have consented to act on the Jury. The number may appear large, but in view of the great number of exhibits it will be obviously necessary to divide the Jury into groups, so that the number is doubtless fully justified.
Great efforts have been made to make a visit to the Exhibition as easy as possible for those residing outside the borders of Austria, and the Committee have succeeded in obtaining special terms from many hotels in Vienna and from Railway, Steamship and Air-travel Companies. Unfortunately the prospectus does not state exactly which Railway Companies have agreed to these reductions, so we are unable to say at the moment what the exact saving will be to British visitors, but the organisers have arranged to supply visitors’ tickets in advance at the price of R.M. 3 plus R.M. 0.50 for postage, and on these tickets, which will bear their owner’s name, will be found an entitlement to enter Austria without a Consular Visa and to avail himself of all the various fare reductions, full particulars of which will be found printed upon the ticket. At the present rate of exchange this is roughly 5/-. Our Publishers will be pleased to obtain tickets for any intending visitors.
The writer and also our Mr. P. L. Pemberton, will be visiting the Exhibition, and, as usual, will arrange their route and obtain all their tickets through the Orchard Street branch of Messrs. Thomas Cook & Son. Ltd. This branch has been in the habit of making all our Publishers’ travel arrangements for a number of years, and any of our readers who contemplate making the trip will find ready help at Orchard Street. Messrs. Cook & Sons have already drafted out some suggested routes and hotels at inclusive prices, particulars of which are, we understand, now available.
Following the usual Continental custom the Austrian Postal Administration has made arrangements for special postage stamps to be produced for sale at the Exhibition, and has chosen for that purpose the Charity issue of 1933. This will consist of one value, face value 50 groschen plus a Charity tax of another 50 groschen. This stamp will only be sold against the coupon attached to a daily ticket of entry to the WIPA and will only be obtained at one of the three special Post Offices inside the Exhibition. There will also be an issue of 10,000 sheets of four of the same stamp, recess printed, and in larger size, and with special marginal inscriptions. These special sheets will be printed on granite paper instead of the ordinary, and will also be sold exclusively at the Exhibition Post Offices. Altogether the issue will consist of 40,000 stamps on ordinary, and 60,000 on granite paper; of the latter 40,000 consisting of the small sheets above mentioned. Should any of our readers wish specimens of these stamps, we should be happy to obtain them for them, but it must be remembered that to the cost of each stamp must be added Austrian shill. 1.60, which is the cost of the ticket, against which only can a stamp be obtained.
Again following the usual Continental custom, there are a very large number of special awards apart from the medals. These consist of objects of art and utility, and are mostly given for the best exhibit in some special group or class. The highest medal award will apparently be a gold plaque, of which only ten will be given.
A novel feature will be a competition in which every visitor can compete free of charge. Two frames of stamps will be exhibited, one containing 24 genuine and one forged, and the other 24 forged and one genuine, and visitors will be asked to name the one genuine stamp and the one forged stamp respectively. A record will be kept of all those who succeed in doing this, and three prizes will be drawn by ballot.
The Exhibition catalogue will provide an innovation in that it will be printed in German, English and French. As it will be a somewhat bulky book, a separate programme of the many social events will be supplied, and this will be further supplemented by the “WIPA NEWS” which will appear daily in order to keep visitors in constant touch with the organisation. The Exhibition Post Offices will use a special postmark, and will be completely equipped for postal, telegraph and telephone service, and will accept Poste Restante mail.
We have received the full day-to-day programme, but this is too long to print in full. The following will give a short idea of the arrangements that have been made:-
June 24th (Saturday) Formal opening of the Exhibition by the President of the Republic of Austria in the Hall of the Philharmonic Society, followed by an inspection of the Exhibition; open to invited guests only. In the afternoon opening of the Exhibition to the public.
June 25th (Sunday) Motor car trip to Voeslau, near Vienna, where there will be a special evening festival arranged for the visitors.
June 26th (Monday) International Convention of Air Mail collectors. Evening, a visit to the theatre.
June 27th (Tuesday) Special sight-seeing trips and in the evening Convention of the International Stamp Dealers’ Union.
June 28th (Wednesday) Sight-seeing under special guidance during the day, followed by an informal dinner in the evening.
June 29th (Thursday) Convention of the Union of Austrian Philatelic Societies, various sight-seeing tours, followed in the evening by a visit to the Monastery of Klosterneuburg, where dinner will be taken.
June 30th (Friday) 8 a.m., a visit to Melk, followed in the afternoon by a meeting with the Congress of German Philatelists, the route being through the famous valley of the Danube.
July 1st (Saturday) Meeting of the German Philatelic Societies, and in the evening a Fete at the Concert Hall.
July 2nd (Sunday) 39th Convention of German Philatelists, various sight-seeing tours including a visit to Liechtenstein, and in the evening an informal dinner in Gumpoldskirchen.
July 3rd (Monday) 4th International Congress of the Philatelic Press.
July 4th (Tuesday) Convention of Collectors of entires, various sight-seeing tours, and in the evening a Festival performance at the Opera house.
July 5th (Wednesday) 8 a.m. Special motor trip to the Rax Mountain.
July 6th (Thursday) Meeting of the Federation Internationals de Philatelie, and at noon a visit to the Town Hall to receive the welcome of the Mayor and Captain-General of Vienna.
July 7th (Friday) Various tours of sight-seeing.
July 8th (Saturday). Various tours, and in the evening the Exhibition Banquet, when the awards will be announced.
July 9th (Sunday) Motor excursion followed, at 8 p.m., by the closing of the Exhibition.
These brief details will enable readers to judge what excellent arrangements are being made for their reception, in Vienna.