Royal 2004 Royale Logo

By Gordon Milne, GBCC President

To say that GBCC’s first venture into Canada to attend and participate in Royal*2004*Royale was a success is, I reckon, the understatement of the year. From a personal point of view, let me describe the show, simply but effusively, as one of the best, most efficiently-presented shows I have ever attended.

Yes, it was that good.

Royal*2004*Royale was an event organized and staged in an outstanding manner. For their efforts a very well deserved tip of the Milne cap goes to a bunch of people, notably GBCC’er and RPSC President, Charles Verge, so bilingually professional and impressive in all he did; Show Chairman, Dr. Michael Peach, whose skilled organization of the event went almost blemish-free; and to GBCC’er Dave Cooper Sr., who took it upon himself to “ra, ra, ra” the Club’s participation in the show all day, every day.

Gordon Milne and Dave Cooper

Gordon Milne presenting Dave Cooper with StampArt


To that end, I am convinced Dave mandated, under goodness knows what penalty for failing to comply, every member of the British Collectors Club of Nova Scotia to attend my presentation. They did — and, as importantly, seemed to enjoy it! I thank them for the gift they gave, and wish to assure them, via Dave, that it occupies a place of honor in the Milne stamp den.

It was also a pleasure to reunite with a bunch of GBCC’ers I hadn’t connected with for some time — people like the effervescent John Powell of Edmonton, Alberta, the more subdued Robert Haslewood of Montreal and the looking-fit-despite-it-all Ann Triggle, in whose company it is always a delight to be.

It was also good to recruit newcomers to the GBCC family, like the charming Mary Pugh of Fredericton, Maine. A very warm welcome to you all!

Unfortunately, I missed Chronicle contributor, Robert Ausubel, whose articles on the Channel Islands I have always enjoyed. When Bob stopped by the GBCC table, I think I must have been having one of my many moments of buying ecstasy at the table of one of the many fine dealers who attended the show. Let’s keep hearing from you, Bob!

Of course, one of my biggest thrills and surprises came just a few days ago when an email from Dave Cooper announced that a courtesy copy of the July/August edition of the Canadian Philatelist was being dispatched to me.

In it was a very find double-page photographic spread of the show events, taken by Lorna and Carmichael Wallace, including, to my immense surprise, a large picture of the GBCC Prez enthusiastically presenting his “Fun Ways to Collect GB” talk (that, thanks to Dave’s efforts, was pleasingly well attended).

Gordon's presentation

Gordon Milne giving his “Fun Ways to Collect GB” presentation

I was so engrossed in delivering my talk that I was totally oblivious of any cameraman being in the room — and even less that fame awaited me in the RPSC journal. Thank you to all who took an hour out of their precious show schedule to come and listen to me so attentively and appreciatively.

Even the show’s two security guards made an unforgettable impact, one of them especially, a Scot from Brechin, Angus, having grown up only eight miles away from my home town of Montrose. He had even bought a car from the garage my Dad owned!

On the philatelic front, one of my biggest surprises at the show was to meet a couple of collectors who were actively pursuing a collecting approach that I had thought to be uniquely Milne-esqe! This is the accumulating of a legible date cancel for every day of a stamp’s life.

Being the fanatic — some have thought the term “idiotic” to be more applicable! — enthusiast that I am, I do this for many issues, and, all along, had thought I was alone in this pursuit. But now I know others do it, too, and, having exchanged names and addresses, I look forward in the period ahead to helping others in this pursuit, just as I hope they will help me fill gaps in my collections. It is, truly, a small world!

Gordon's presentation

Gordon’s presentations are “up close and personal”

Winner of the Tom Current GBCC Founder’s Award was Jerry Kasper, of Los Angeles, California, with his exhibit, “Illustrated WWII British Military Air Letters.” It also won a Gold, as did Jerry’s two other offerings — “Southern Rhodesia Military Airletters” and “New Zealand Prisoner of War Aerogrammes.”

Jerry has been invited by me (on the Club’s behalf) to share with the GBCC membership an illustrated write-up of his award-winning entry, and, hopefully, this will be forthcoming at a later date once he recovers from the house move he was involved in when I sent him his award.

GBCC Dinner

GBCC officers and guests having dinner at the Triangle restaurant in Halifax
From left to right: Parker Bailey, Jr. (Secretary-Treasurer) and wife, Hilda, Jan and Gordon Milne (President), Charlie Mayfield (Vice President) and guest

So, Alan Barasch, and our other GBCC friends in St. Louis, you have been set high standards to emulate for our 2005 convention next February.

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