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(This is an edited version of an article written by Gordon Milne which appeared in the January, 2001 edition of the GBCC Chronicle.)
The GBCCs Fourth National Convention, held in conjunction with CHICAGOPEX, across the third weekend of November, 2000, was a success in many - but not all - ways.
From the points of view of offering members a meeting place where they could enjoy wonderful camaraderie and appreciate, at first hand, exhibits of the highest-quality of G.B. material, the success was unqualified.
Al Kugel hands an award to Paul Phillips, editor of the GBCC Chronicle
The Exhibitions host, the Chicago Philatelic Society - notably, APS Chapter 1 - under President Ben Ramkissoon and CHICAGOPEX 2000 General Chair, Al Kugel, extended the GBCC laudable support in many respects. In this regard and deserving special mention and thanks were the efforts of Literature Chair, Eliot Landau, who squeezed the two entries of the Chronicle in at (or some might say beyond) the last minute...... an action which was particularly appreciated in light of their winning for Paul Phillips a silver (1999 issues) and vermeil (2000 issues) award.
Paul was also one of four GBCC exhibitors who hit Gold in the Philatelic Exhibits. Atop that list was Marty Richardson, with his entry Boyds Local Post, NYC, 1844-1911, which carried off the Paul C. Rohloff Memorial Award and the Reserve Grand Award for U.S.
In the G.B. Exhibits area, all three entries - Pauls British Provincial Postal History: Carlisle, 1660 - 1903, Jerry Millers From Hill to Wilkinson - The Experimental & Early Machine Postmarks of England: 1857-1912 and Tom Myers British Air Mail Rates Beyond Europe: 1931 - 1950 - hit the Gold standard, making the judges task of determining who was to carry off the Tom Current GBCC Founders Award all the more difficult.
In what must have been a photo-finish, Paul Phillips was adjudged the winner.
By way of consolation, Toms entry won both the Chicago Philatelic Society Award for Research and the APS Research Award.
With his exhibit Rate Study of Admiral Stamps of Canada, GBCCer, Clinton A. Many, won a slew of awards. In addition to his Vermeil, he won the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors Gold Award of Honor - Merit Award and the APS Medal of Excellence for Material 1900 - 1940.
Duane Larson won a Silver for his The Postage Stamps of Jamaica : 1860 to 1921 and also my special personal thanks for arm twisting his buddies from the British Caribbean Society into coming to our Friday Pub Night at The Curragh!!!
And George Fabian won Silver-Bronze for his exhibit : Pitcairn Islands - New Zealand postal agency and issues of George VI.
George Fabian patiently awaits his next course at the Friday evening GBCC Social
In the Court of Honor, Honorary Gold Medals went to three GBCCers: Ann Triggle for her PostaL History of Wales, Jeannette Adams (great to see you there, Jeannette!) for her Scotlands Postal History and Don Hines for Great Britain: King George V Photogravure Issue: 1934-36.
Congratulations to all!
The tour of the G.B. exhibits that followed the Clubs Annual Business meeting was also highly successful, although the close proximity of those exhibits did not allow more than one to be talked through at any one time. Still, in my view at least, this is a program idea that bears repeating.
The Business Meeting, once everyone found its distant location, was also well-attended and saw the Presidential baton, at its conclusion, handed over from Milne to Myers.
The two social events of the weekend - the GBCCs Social Evening at the Irish Pub, The Curragh, on the Friday and the CHICAGOPEX Awards Banquet on the Saturday - were highly efficiently organized and seemingly much enjoyed by all.
With the report thus far couched for the most part in superlatives, where was the blemish, you must be asking?
All three prior conventions garnered, by the Clubs prominence at the various shows, a bundle of new members who purposefully came by the Society table to learn what the Club had to offer, and, having done so, signed up to join.
At Chicago, because the Clubs table was located in the furthermost boonies, no one, but no one, made the trip to visit. Helped (or hindered) in no small way by the no show of other meant-to-be-participating groups, the Clubs recruitment drive was not just an abysmal failure, but a non-event. Sure, the Club table served as a hang-out location for members weary from bargain (?) shopping or exhibit-viewing, but that was not the prime expectation or hope.
Lets hope that wherever the Club goes in 2001, the event is an all-round success, not, as with CHICAGOPEX, just a partial one.
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