by John Ineson
It is with sadness that I must report that Ron Pickett, our newly elected Vice-President passed away during June aged 81. It was only in the last "Chairman's Notes" that I reported that Ron became a committee member in 1992, and has for the last few years held the position of Vice- Chairman. There is an obituary to Ron on another page of the Bulletin by our Editor, Peter Duck.
Pauline Lee who has been our Minutes Secretary and later General Secretary has felt it necessary to resign from the committee after some 27 years. We are grateful for the work that she has done on our behalf and we are now looking for a new secretary to take her place. If you feel able to take on this position in the Club, please contact me as soon as possible.
Congratulation to SOSSI, the American Scout Stamp Society on reaching its 50th Anniversary. During May, I attended the celebrations in Chicago where the club took part in "Compex 2001". The main part of the large exhibition was the nearly 90 frames dedicated to Scouting. Most of the exhibits were from the U.S.A., but also on show were displays from Australia, Canada, Germany and Italy. Congratulations also to ArGe-Pfadfinder, the German club on its 25th Anniversary. To celebrate their Jubilee, they held an auction during June consisting of a mammoth 6856 lots, which included some desirable items, many of which were illustrated in the catalogue.
The 1957 perfin cover, which was illustrated in the Chairman's notes in the March/April bulletin, has caused much interest. This was in fact purchased by one of our American members who brought the cover to Compex where it was viewed with great interest. The owner showed it to the judges at the National Exhibition OKPEX held during May who felt it was genuine. However those present in Chicago were not so sure. Jay Rogers, a long time SOSSI members writes "When cancels are examined under a stereo microscope at 20, 30 and 60x magnification, you can actually see ink particles sitting on top of, and in between the individual paper fibres of the stamp. You can see, for example, the ink from an overprint under the ink of a cancel, or over the cancel if it's a fake, or added after the hole had already been formed". I think this cover needs to go before an expert committee for further investigation. In a recent issue of "Rushstamps 2001" price list they have the set for sale at £15.00 and state "We believe only 1200 sets were produced (10 sheets of 120). These 40-year old 'discoveries' have a strong thematic interest".
The committee for some time have been concerned by the lack of attendance at our London meetings. Some fifteen years ago we used to have over 25 members attending, but since then the number has dwindled to less than ten, with most of those being committee members. We cannot substantiate paying the cost of the room at B.P. House and therefore from next year we will be moving to either Richmond or Upminster, both of which are close to an underground station. At the same time we will be reducing the number of meetings to four. On 2nd March we are hoping to hold our Exhibition at Gilwell Park (on the same weekend that the Badgers Club hold their A.G.M). On 27th April the Club A.G.M., followed by meetings on 5th October and 7th December. Confirmation of these meeting dates and venues will be given later in the year.
It was interesting to read in the U.K. magazine Stamp Collecting in the June 2001 issue, that included in the list of 'The 100 Greatest Stamps Ever' was the 1d Cyclist Mafeking Stamp showing Warner Goodyear. The author James Mackay mentions that since the 1d Penny Black was first issued 161 years ago over 360,000 different stamps have been issued throughout the world.
Illustrated here is one of only two known registered Belgium covers with the Liége Camp cancel. This transit camp, which took place during August 1930, was for Scouts visiting the International Exhibition. The cover was recently purchased by one of our European members.