by John Ineson
The third Euro-Scout meeting held at the end of September in Comacchio, Italy was a great success. The
Italian club AISF are to be congratulated on the organisation such a most memorable weekend. Everything went
according to plan and special thanks must go to their President Maurizio Cavalli, and to their member and Mayor
of Comacchio, Alessandro Pierotti. The facilities and reception held by the Mayor in the Town Hall were first
class, as were the frames for the exhibits. These were some of the best I had ever seen with movable sections
inside, so that the pages whatever their size, were always held firmly. The social events were first class and this
included a barge trip in the Poa Valley with a stop for refreshments of freshly cooked fish and wine. A culture
afternoon with a visit to the town of Ravenna and its famous mosaics was one of the highlights of the weekend.
The inaugural meeting of the International Federation of Scout & Guide Stamp Collecting Organisations (IFSCO) was held at the Comacchio Town Hall. Representatives attending were from Germany, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, U.K, Denmark, U.S.A., and the Benelux Club. With agreement of all delegates present, Maurizio Cavalli was elected as the first Chairman for a two-year period. The aims of the Federation are "To support Scout & Guide philately at every level and to foster co-operation between the different member organisations". It is hoped that maybe the next Euro-Scout meeting will be held in Gent, Belgium in 2002, followed by Prague in the Czech Republic in 2004 and Spain in 2006.
The International Philatelic exhibition "ESPAÑA 2000" was a great success, although not that well attended from a dealer's point of view. New frames, each with their own small fluorescent light showed off well the exhibits, which included five Spanish Scout displays, mostly whom are members of SGSC. The following obtained Vermeil awards Benito González Bugallo, Julián Rodriguez Fernández, Luis Martinez de Salinas Trillo, and Estanislao Pan de Alfaro. A Large Silver was awarded to Ivan Fernández Goya, and the Spanish Scout philatelic magazine El Explorador Philatelic" was awarded a Silver/Bronze medal.
Details of the 50th Anniversary weekend of SOSSI have just arrived and celebrations will be held as part of the Compex 2001 show in Chicago from May 25th - 27th 2001. Accommodation is being arranged at the Arlington Heights Road "Amerisuites" Hotel, within two blocks of the exhibition at a price of $68 per night. The exhibition is open to all SOSSI members and the rules and regulations for exhibitors is available from Dick Thill, 305 Hillside Place, North Aurora, IL 60542-1522 U.S.A. Entry forms can also be obtained by email from Bill Yankus at firstname.lastname@example.org Amongst the rules I note that foreign exhibitors can show their collections with good coloured photocopies on A4 size paper. A Dinner will be held on the Saturday evening.
As more and more of us browse the World Wide Web, it is interesting to see many Scout Stamp web sites. No doubt the main one being www.sossi.org which has already won many prizes. The site of Hallvard Slettebø from Norway on www.slettebo.no is one of the best sites from an individual and already he has had over 9000 visits since 5th February 1997. There are so many pages for collectors to view and by going to www.yahoo.com you can look under Mafeking and find 1770 pages of information. Baden Powell (without the hyphen) has today 9970 pages. Our club has its own page under the SOSSI web site and we can be found by going direct to www.sossi.org/sgsc If we only all had more time for browsing!
Our Webmaster Randall Frank from the U.S.A. was over for the Euro-Scout meeting and visited my wife and I after the exhibition. During this time we travelled to Chelmsford to view the site of the 2007 World Jamboree, which will be held at Hylands Park. This site looks very suitable for what will be one of the largest Scout celebrations with an estimated 40,000 participants as well as staff and day visitors. Photographs of the site and more information about the Jamboree are available on www.scoutbase.org.uk/2007/index.htm.
On a personal side, I have now cone to the end of my active Scouting career. In the U.K. Scout Leaders have to retire at 65 and although I have had an extension of nearly two years, from 1st October I am no longer the International Commissioner for my County of Suffolk. Having been a warranted leader since 1954 it will seem strange being no longer involved. One recent purchase was the signature of B.P., but as you can see it is signed with his second name. R. Stephenson Baden-Powell. His family knew him as "Stephe" and most likely this was cut from a letter written by one of them. One of our members in the U.S.A. has a letter written and signed on 27th September 1902 by Stephenson Baden-Powell to his Aunt Rosie.