by John Ineson
Our Annual General Meeting held at the North Richmond Scout Headquarters went well with fifteen members attending. This venue proved most suitable, and we look forward to making this our permanent home. However we are planning to have our Annual Exhibition next year at Baden-Powell House on February 22nd 2003. We were pleased to welcome Graham Osborne as our new secretary, and Melvyn Gallagher as the new Vice-Chairman. Thanks were given to Pauline Lee, our former secretary who was appointed an Honorary Member for her 27 years service to the Club. Also retiring at the AGM was Audrey Duck who has served on the committee for a number of years and supported the club in many ways.
Following the AGM Peter Duck gave a most interesting talk and display on the 1920 World Jamboree held at Old Deer Park, Richmond, close to where we were holding our meeting, followed by a display of his 1929 material. A remarkable collection of World Jamboree items, many of which had never been seen before. Included were seven postcards of the 1920 Jamboree taken by Lovell Smith of Richmond. I am sure in the past that many of us have passed these by while attending postcard fairs, as they do not state that they were from the World Jamboree and are not dated.
In the auction world, the three biggest companies in the UK have increased their buyer's premium once again. In the last few months Phillips have been taken over by Bonham's and subsequently increased their premium from 15% to 17.5% plus VAT on the first £30,000 making this over 20%. Sotheby's of Bond Street charge 22.9% including VAT and Christies at King Street now charge 19.5% including VAT. Both Christie's and Sotheby's have been in the news recently for rigging vendor's commission and the head of Sotheby's in New York is currently serving a prison sentence for this price fixing. The Antiques Trade Gazette of 4th May states, "The former chairmen of Sotheby's and Christie's faced different but equally humiliating fates last week following the auction house scandal". Alfred Taubman of Sotheby's was sentenced to a year and a fine of $7.5m for rigging vendor's commission with his counterpart at Christie's, Sir Anthony Tennant. However, Sir Anthony from the UK could not be extradited to stand trial because price fixing was not a crime under UK law at the time. It makes our commission rates in the SGSC very reasonable!
I was sorry to read in the Scout Stamp magazine of the Austrian Club that the artist Pierre Joubert had died on 14th January 2002 aged 92. He was one of the three great artists to have supported Scouting, together with the late Lajos Márton of Hungary and Norman Rockwell of the USA. The only Scout stamps to have been issued (as far as I am aware) by these artists is the set of fifty produced by Liberia in 1979 showing the paintings of Norman Rockwell.
Articles concerning the 1957 World Jamboree held at Sutton Coldfield are still appearing, and in the May 2002 issue of the British Philatelic Bulletin, the article by Richard West traces some on the first day covers of the present reign of Queen Elizabeth II. At the time, there had been no commemorative stamps issued since the Coronation in 1953, a period of four years. If only we could have some good commemoratives instead of the rubbish called stamps these days. No doubt with the 20th World Jamboree coming up in Thailand in a few months time, we shall again be overwhelmed with dubious issues. I have not heard of any of our members going to the Jamboree, but if anybody is attending, the Editor would appreciate an article for the Bulletin.