12 Speakers and 18 Exhibits at GB Festival in Chicago

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(This is an edited version of an article written by Tim Burgess which appeared in the January, 2010 edition of the GBCC “Chronicle.”)

The Twelve Speakers

The GBCC speakers made our AGM one that should be remembered for years to come. The computer projectors provided by CHICAGOPEX hummed non-stop for two days as twelve great talks were given, one after another. All of the talks were well attended. To my surprise the computer and projector did not misbehave even once!

I am pleased to include a photograph our recent and very productive new Canadian member, Fred Smallbone, giving his talk on the George V Downey Heads. Since the conclusion of CHICAGOPEX 2009, I have heard from Fred that he has revised his exhibit on the same subject and plans to show it again at an upcoming WSP show. Below Fred are Tony Walker, Michael Lockton and Howard Hughes, all from the U.K.

Fred Smallbone
Fred Smallbone presenting King George V: Downey Head Series
Tony Walker Michael Lockton Howard Hughes
(left to right) Tony Walker talking about ; Michael Lockton presenting ; a very relaxed Howard Hughes explaining

Collectors Club of Chicago Dinner

George Fabian, President of the CC of C, and the rest of the CC of C staff were incredible hosts. George is absolutely charming and a true Chicago ambassador of philately. I cannot thank the CC of C enough for providing us with an exciting experience during our first night in Chicago. The ambiance of the grand old building as well as the food and wine was excellent. The dinner commenced after a toast to Her Majesty the Queen made by James Grimwood-Taylor and the introduction of the evening’s guest of honor, Dr. Andreas Hahn, curator of Philately at the Bonn Postal Museum. Each dinner attendee received a lovely medallion souvenir depicting the CC of C building. The evening included a tour of the 19th century building with a chance to explore their excellent philatelic library. The evening unfolded without a hitch, as even the bus service, which brought the nearly forty guests from the show hotel to the CC of C remained on schedule.

Collectors Club of Chicago dinner Collectors Club of Chicago dinner
GBCC members and guests enjoying dinner at the Collectors Club of Chicago


GBCC Exhibition Results

The exhibit results were extraordinary, with all of our participants obtaining gold or vermeil awards. The highlight of the evening was GBCC member Ray Simpson winning the GBCC Tom Current Award and CHICAGOPEX 2009 Grand Award for best exhibit at the show. Ray and his wife Margaret are shown holding the awards. The Grand Award is an invitation for Ray to return to the USA in August to compete in the Champion of Champions Exhibition. The GBCC congratulates Ray!

The results were as follows:

Exhibitor Topic Award Exhibitor Topic Award
Patrick Campbell (UK) Posted in Advance for Christmas Vermeil Tom Slemons (USA) English Postal History 1839-1844 Gold
Paul Phillips (USA) UK Overseas Letter Rates, 1840-50 Gold Jerry Miller (USA) From Hill to Bickerdike…The Victorian Era Experimental Machine Postmarks of England 1857-1901 Gold
Fred Smallbone (Canada) King George V Downey Heads Vermeil Tony Walker (UK) Pre-Decimal Machin Definitives 1967-71 Gold
Tim Burgess (USA) The Perforated Stars of Great Britain 1848-1864 Gold Don Hines (USA) George V Photogravure Issue Gold
Ray Simpson (UK) Origins & Development of Stamp Perforation in Great Britain 1840 to 1884 Gold Chip Gliedman (USA) My Victoria – Imperforate Line Engraved Stamps of Great Britain from Plate Position ‘CG’ Gold
Steve McGill (USA) Machin Evolution: 1971-2008 Gold Jim Kotanchik (USA) Great Britain Seals Gold
Dwayne Littauer (USA) Pre-UPU Rates Between The United States and The United Kingdom Gold Howard Hughes (UK) The Maltese Cross Gold
Ian Wright (Canada) Great Britain One Penny Red 1854-1856. A Study of Technological Transition. Gold Peter Aveyard (UK) Great Britain One Penny, Die II Alphabet III, 1855-1864 Gold
Larry Gardner (USA) Morocco Agencies (British Post Offices) Gold Louis Fiset (USA) Great Britain Interns Her Refugees from Nazism Gold

The exhibition was topped off by the presence of the incredible Philbrick Prussian Find displayed by permission of Dr. Andreas Hahn, curator of the Bonn Postal Museum. It was a genuine pleasure meeting Dr. Hahn, a brilliant and very thoughtful gentlemen, who in addition his enthusiasm for philately, has a passion for art and music. During his stay in Chicago Dr. Hahn enjoyed a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago.


Dr. Andreas Hahn Ray and Margaret Simpson
Dr. Andreas Hahn, curator of the Bonn Postal Museum; Ray and Margaret Simpson holding Ray’s two awards

In addition to the stamp exhibits we also have a couple of members who exhibited literature: Ray Simpson and Peter Sargent received a Gold for their book, Stamp Perforations: The Somerset House Years; and Don Madden and Karl Louis received a Gold for their book, The Dublin Find – The Most Important Find in GB Philately. It is a pleasure to note that “The GBCC Chronicle,” under the editorship of Tom Myers, received a Vermeil.

In closing my comments about the exhibition, let me briefly mention a couple of additional GB exhibits which turned up at the show: Postal History of Northumberland – The Horse Post years, by Al Hurst (Gold); Great Britain, The Early Cancellations, by Rodney Paige (Gold); Lundy Island Local Issues, by Richard Drews (Vermeil), and The Penny Black Plus Reds from the Penny Black plates, Graham Locke (Gold).

The Award Banquet

The Award Banquet was well attended by GBCC membership. At the conclusion of the dinner we managed to get together nearly all of the attending GBCC membership and friends into a nice group photo.

In conclusion I would like to thank Dr. Andreas Hahn for sharing the Philbrick Prussian Find and coping with all of the logistics of bringing it over from Germany, and Karl Louis of Corinphila Auctions, whose support made it possible to bring the Philbrick Prussian Find to CHICAGOPEX 2009.

The CHICAGOPEX Board also contributed towards making the Philbrick Prussian Find possible and were wonderful hosts for our AGM. Thanks to Howard Hughes and Larry Rosenblum for their help with photographs. I was deeply moved by the comradery, hard work, personal devotion, and preparation provided by all of the exhibitors and speakers who were eager to share their philatelic knowledge with others. After all, the way I see it, friendship, and sharing information is what our philatelic gatherings are all about.

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