By Heather Ibbotson, Brantford Expositor
Monday, January 6, 2014 8:15:28 EST PM
The Brantford Stamp Club, now celebrating 75 years, will hold its annual show and bourse on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Woodman Community Centre.
On hand will be more than a dozen dealers, as well as representatives from Canada Post franchisee Dell Rexall Pharmacy, who will bring a commemorative postmark available for the day.
Admission is free.
Specially printed memorial postcards depicting a pencil sketch of Brantford’s first post office will be available. Postcards have space for a stamp, which can be purchased on site and can receive the special postmark cancellation.
In addition, the day will feature silent auctions and club members’ displays highlighting personal favourites and to-be-judged stamp presentations.
After 75 years, the club is thriving, with an average of 45 to 50 members and about 20 to 30 attending regular meetings, said club past-president Bob Anderson.
Meetings offer opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with fellow collectors, purchase stamps from the sales circuit books, trade items with other collectors, enjoy presenters who speak about philatelic and non-philatelic subjects and enjoy pot luck dinners and snacks.
According to a history written in 2008 by George Speers, the club was founded in 1938 by two men who met on a city streetcar. The story goes that collector Elmore Taylor struck up a conversation with Harold Cusden after noticing Cusden holding a copy of Gibbons stamp magazine. The men decided there must be enough local collectors to form a club. The first meeting of the Brantford Stamp Club was held in September 1938 with 14 members.
The club’s history includes some philatelic high points, such as past suggestions to the postmaster general to issue stamps commemorating Alexander Graham Bell and E. Pauline Johnson. The four-cent Bell stamp was issued in 1947; and the five-cent Johnson stamp, in 1961.
In April 1948, the club hosted the Canadian Philatelic Society convention at the Kerby Hotel. It was the largest convention of its kind in Canada at that date.
Stamp collecting remains a popular hobby and the vast array of stamps produced worldwide, past and present, has prompted many collectors to specialize, said Anderson, who has been collecting for more than 30 years.
When it comes to stamps, people can choose to collect nearly any subject, from people to planes and cats to crickets. Others become fascinated by aspects of postal history including postmarks, mail routes and postcards, he said.
For Anderson, the artistry of the engraved Canada’s Bluenose stamp still marks it as “one of the most beautiful stamps in the world.”