The Prairie Beaver Regional Group meets twice yearly to exchange information about the stamps and postal history of British North America. The meetings feature presentations by Group members about their philatelic quests and discoveries, swap-buy-sell-trade sessions, and clothesline exhibits.
The Prairie Beaver Regional Group of the British North American Philatelic Society met in College Station, Texas, on 17 December in their usual location at St. Mary’s Catholic Center, starting around 9 am with coffee and doughnuts and catching up since last summer’s meeting. Chairman George Dresser led the literature review activity by looking at the Canadian Aerophilatelic Society’s recent issue and the Calgary Philatelic Society’s pamphlet on its history. Jay Stotts discussed the 1983 Canadian Precancel handbook, leading to a review of recent updates and literature on the topic. Ron Strawser recommended the now out-of-print UPU rate book by Postillion. Vic Willson showed the recent Siegel and Eastern auction catalogs and showed a revision to the BNAPS handbook of his 1994 Grand Award of Canadian Rates and Routes for North American Destinations 1859-1914 with colour instead of the black and white original publication, based on a CD with jpegs he found in his office.
A discussion of recent and helpful websites for philatelic use was conducted, followed by a presentation by Vic Willson on “Pre-Confederation Canadian Mail to the Maritimes”. After a short trade-and-sell session, the day’s clothesline exhibit was conducted. This activity is open to any philatelic material. Denise Stotts brought recently acquired material from her 22¢ poinsettia collection, including a likely unique sheet half-imperforate. George Dresser showed several illustrated King Edward VII covers and cards, and Vic Willson showed a 15¢ Leaf trial essay proof and a 16¢ cover to France franked with a 15¢ Large Queen and 1¢ Small Queen. Jay Stotts showed and discussed a long-illustrated U.S. cover selling men’s neckties. It has been the subject of an article about the seller, supposedly blind, who was not, but promoted that as a selling tool.
Following lunch, George led a brief business meeting. A spring meeting is planned. The next presentation was on U.S. precancels by Jay Stotts, followed by another on King Edward VII covers with 10¢ stamps on them by George Dresser. This led to an extended conversation about how to turn the material into an exhibit and a decision to focus on that topic at the next meeting as an exercise in creating a one-frame exhibit.
A brief session on members’ favorite philatelic items and a discussion of the Greater Houston Stamp Show of last September followed. After the wrap-up, most group members repaired to a local BBQ place for dinner and fellowship.
Photo: Vicky Furlong
Seated left to right: John Furlong, Denise Stotts, David Nickson, Mike Yestrumsky.
Standing: George Dresser, George Watkins, Jay Stotts, Jeff Switt, Ron Strawser, Gary Giroux, Vic Willson, Eigil Trondsen.
The meeting was held in College Station, TX, at the St. Mary’s Student Activity Center, with doughnuts and coffee prior to the 9 am opening. Members present included George Dresser, Jeff Switt, Jay Stotts, Denise Stotts, John Furlong, John Seate, Dave Nixon, Ron Strawser, George Watkins, Gary Giroux, Eigel Trondsen, Mike Yestrumsky, and Vic Willson.
The book and article review included discussion of the U.S. slogan book, a book on patent medicine sellers, UPU mail rate book 1881-1953, and an original Howes 1911 book with plates.
The first presentation was George Dresser’s Mammals 1988-1992 exhibit and collection. Most of the time was spent on a discussion of the transition from a BNAPS exhibit to an APS exhibit, reflecting the differences in assumptions and requirements from a specialty exhibit to a traditional APS exhibit. Some elements were suggestions for the synopsis and title page, general style for pages, and discussion of the amount of material that should be shown for a stamp, such as single imprint block versus all four corner imprints. George never got through more than about 10 pages with the extended discussion, which everyone enjoyed (except perhaps George, given the amount of remounting he probably has to do to show in APS).
The clothesline included new imperforate stamps by Jeff Furlong as well as some essays for 19th century British and Canadian stamps proposed by de la Rue. Mike Yestrumsky showed a hand drawing accepted for the biplane of the Patricia Airways stamps. Denise Stotts showed some Centennial issue forms for AR, Keys, receipts, short-paid addresses, etc. Jay Stotts showed a long 3rd class envelope that had enclosed neckties on approval from a (supposedly) blind salesman (he wasn’t, as it turned out), with elaborate illustration. Jeff Switt showed material he had accumulated for the Greater Houston Stamp Show color challenge (orange this year) that didn’t make it into his exhibit, with stamps and covers associated with oranges worldwide. Dave Nixon showed some Canada precancels he is collecting. Eigel Trondsen returned from Norway for the winter in Houston. He won a Grand for his Cunard exhibit at NORDIA. He showed a cover from one of the partners of the Cunard Company (McIver) to another (Burns) in 1846. He is doing a sideline on early steamship mail and showed an 1826 cover that included a leg from London to Rotterdam via steam. Vic Willson showed a parcel front paid $54 to France, 2011, with four $8 Grizzlies, two $2 Polar Bears, and 16 $1 Loon stamps. Probably not exhibitable given it is covered with clear tape. He also showed a block of four of the 12½¢ Large Queen plate proof, one of three known and the largest plate proof multiple of the issue. He also showed a used multiple 3x6 of the 12½¢ Large Queen, ex-Brigham, and the largest known multiple of the issue.
After lunch and a short business meeting, Jeff Switt gave a talk on the postal history of the FDR set of stamps issued in 1946. Particularly in international mail, this issue spanned the old pre-war individual country rates and the condensed rates post October 1946, allowing for very scarce items such as a 33¢ half oz. rate to Morocco as well as 10¢, 15¢, and 25¢ continent-specific rates. An interesting discussion ensured about how to focus and describe for exhibit such material when there are rates, handling procedures, ancillary services, etc.
While a silent auction was conducted (bit of confusion about whether totally donation or sale and 10% to the treasury – editor’s fault), Jay Stotts gave a talk on 150 years of college football, put together entirely from covers, post cards, and artifacts he has accumulated over the years from his general interest in college football (Cincinnati alum). This was completely new and was very entertaining, including early advertising, cancels related to games, registered covers that have contained tickets, player-related material, schedule covers, stadium post cards, etc.
The day closed with a dinner at C&J Barbecue, one of the good Texas BBQ places in the area. Of course, we all know Texas BBQ is so superior to that of other states and that there is no comparison.
Photo: George Dresser
Left to right, seated: John Seate, Frank Senz, Dave Nickson, John Furlong, Denise Stotts
Standing: Charles Deur, Nick Escott, Larry Ballantyne, Vic Willson, Jay Stotts, Ron Strawser, Jeff Switt, Gary Giroux, George Watkins
The Prairie Beavers met in College Station, TX, on March 2, with special guest Dr. Nick Escott, MD, attending. Fifteen members were able to attend, with another four sending regrets. Dr. Charles Duer was able to attend following recent retirement. He was often on call with his oncology clinic on our Saturday meetings. After doughnuts and coffee, the meeting began with a review of literature members found of interest.
After a period of trading and selling, Nick began the first presentation on the Manitoba-Ontario boundary dispute of 1878-1889 through different cancels of the towns in the disputed region, with NWT, Manitoba, Keewatin, and Ontario cancels shown from his collection. These sometimes varied for a town depending on a liberal or conservative government in Ottawa. Many rare town cancels were shown by Nick in his collecting specialty of northern Ontario. The towns he showed included Fort Francis (sic - changed to Fort Frances), Keewatin Mills, Rat Portage, Big Fork, Ignace, Vermillion Bay, Lake Deception, English River, and Rainy River. Most went to Ontario following a House of Lords decision in London in 1890. This was an exceptional presentation of a little-known facet of Canadian history.
The clothesline exhibit produced many interesting items. Gary Giroux showed customs items to the U.S. with Canadian and U.S. revenues. Jeff Switt showed a U.S. IRC coupon with 4¢ Prominent American paying the revised fee among a number of other collecting interests. Ron Strawser showed two covers from Belgian Congo to Canada dated 1922 and 1951, both extremely rare destinations. Jay Stotts showed US 4th Bureau stamps with centers cut out and replaced, then mailed – some accepted and some marked postage due as illegal. Denise Stotts showed several interesting Centennial postal items. John Furlong presented several imperf items recently acquired. Dave Nixon had some new RPOs, and Vic Willson showed several new 15 cent Large Queen acquisitions, including a 32 cent printed matter wrapper to England with notation “sheet music” paid with two 5 cent LQs and a 2 cent SQ, an imperf 15 cent pair with top imprint, and a top left mint corner pair showing a few remaining elements of the major reentry in position 1. Larry Ballantyne had some new WWII covers, including one to Lundy with a local stamp, as well as a cover to Egypt during the 1948 war, while George Dresser showed some new Edward VII postal history covers.
After a brief business meeting, John Furlong made a presentation on the Halifax Explosion of 1917 and the aftermath. He detailed the events leading to the ship collision and the responses by the Boston, Massachusetts, community that is remembered to this day with a gift of a Christmas tree from Halifax to the city on December 6. He also discussed the series of trials reviewing responsibility
Following another trading session, George Dresser showed Ontario Fair covers of the 19th and early 20th centuries from less-advertised towns. Many are probably unique examples and the representation was outstanding. The session ended with a presentation by Vic Willson on Jubilee postal history, focusing on the intended and make-up use of each Jubilee stamp. An auction of framed Victoria advertising fruit labels donated by Jeff Switt added to the treasury and ended the meeting.
Most members were able to go to dinner at a local barbecue restaurant (Texas barbecue is by far the best in the nation - VW editorial).
Photo: George Dresser
Left to right, seated: Jeff Switt, John Furlong, Denise Stotts, David Nickson, and Ron Strawser
Standing: Jay Stotts, John Seate, Larry Ballantyne, Gary Giroux, Eigil Trondsen, and Vic Willson
The fall meeting of the Prairie Beaver Regional Group of BNAPS was held in College Station Oct. 20. In attendance were Larry Ballantyne, Chairman George Dresser, Treasurer John Furlong, Gary Giroux, Dave Nixon, John Seate, Denise and Jay Stotts, Ron Strawser, Jeff Switt, Eigel Trondsen, and Secretary Vic Willson. After doughnuts and coffee, various recent auction catalogs and new BNAPS publications were discussed in the literature review session.
Following a trading session, Vic Willson presented a talk on Uses of the Leaf Issue Stamps. This generated discussion about whether out of period covers should be included in an exhibit, in particular the months following a new issue value that replaces the previous, such as the 1 cent Leaf and Numerals. Vic's restriction to showing only within the period of use prior to the next issue was argued not to represent the natural using up of the old issue for some period. Vic countered that this becomes unwieldy to show for each issue.
The clothesline exhibit of recently acquired material generated a lot of interest. Ron Strawser showed cover material from astronauts Ed White and Jim McDivitt that came out of a Houston Stamp Cub auction lot of various covers, unknown to the seller. Eigel Trondsen discussed two stampless covers from a lot of 9 Cunard material to and from England. One was sent from Boston in 1844 on the Britannia after being locked in ice, which the local citizens chopped away by hand to allow urgent messages to be on their way. The other was a soldiers letter sent from Quebec to Glasgow in 1849. Neither was mentioned in the lot description. Dave Nixon showed some new Squared Circles and some 8 cent first flights in a collection he had acquired. Jeff Switt discussed a number of shortpaid and unusual rate mail for his FDR and Lincoln 4 cent US collections. George Dresser showed Edward postcards to Ivory Coast, Tahiti, and Southern Nigeria along with a 74 cent Mammal cover to Truk in the Caroline Islands. Denise Stotts showed a 3 cent Centennial precanceled newspaper and a registered small cloth bag paid 60 cents. She also presented a 12 cent Christmas imperf pair and 42 cent with the hologram omitted. Jay Stotts showed a 2 cent violet Leaf dated 1 June 1899, with a superb paper crease. John Seate asked for help in determining value for a complete sheet of the U.S. State Birds with a perforation variety, as it is not priced in Scott.
After lunch at the venue, cookies provided by Carol Willson, a business meeting included a report on the Quebec City BNAPS convention. The treasury received about $125 in donation sales during the meeting by members. The next presentation was made by Larry Ballantyne, illustrating how a modern stamp might be developed, using the U.S. 4 cent Winter Games stamp of 1960. It included a pre-FDC use on cover, various FDCs, add-ons, post cards, advertising, etc. as well as usages and related materials such as programs, cancellations etc. This was followed by Vic Willson's presentation on the Canada $8 Grizzly Bear. He showed announcements by Canada Post, presentation packs, official FDC and presentation item to customers, the $8 silver coin-stamp wooden box set with 2012 cancel, the framed display given to CP retirees, and usages across the fourteen rate changes from 1997 to present for which the stamp is still in use, with mostly overseas high value registered covers. The two talks illustrated how modern material can be developed for collecting and exhibiting.
Ron Strawser led a stamp quiz of Canadian philately with three teams competing. Each in turn received a question on some aspect and was awarded a point for a correct answer. The winners got 17 of 20 correct: John Furlong, Dave Nixon, and Jeff Switt. Following cleanup, the group repaired to a favorite Texas barbeque joint for dinner before heading home. Participants came from the Houston and Austin areas mostly except those living locally.
Presentation by Dave Bartlet
The Prairie Beavers met in College Station, TX, on April 7. Those present included Larry Ballantyne, Denise and Jay Stotts, John Furlong, Dave Nickson, John Seate, Frank Senz, Gary Giroux, Eigil Trondsen, Vic Willson, Dave Bartlet, George Watkins, Mike Yestrumsky, and George Dresser. Mary Elizabeth Dresser and Carol Willson joined the group for lunch.
Following coffee and doughnuts provided by George Watkins, the day's meeting began with sharing books and other literature members brought. The recent Booklets and Coils of Canada the Canadian Postal System Enters the Machine Age, subtitled "A Study of the Printing Dies and Plates (1900-1935)" by Gordon W. Turnbull, released February 2018, was circulated. After a period of informal sharing and trading/selling, Dave Bartlet presented his material on vended automation of Canadian postage. Members were quite intrigued by the section on kiosk stamps of the last few years.
Following a club-hosted lunch at the meeting room, with a yellow cake and chocolate frosting made by Carol, a business meeting was conducted by chairman, George Dresser. Dave Bartlet gave a summary of regional group activities. This was followed by the clothesline show and tell. Vic Willson showed a 15 lb die proof of the 1897 large tobacco stamp along with plate proofs of the 1888 large tobaccos, a strip of 4 of the 1923 vertical coil used in 1924 to the U.S., and a reconstructed mint imprint block of the 12 1/2 Large Queen, separated some time before the Firth sale. Eigil Trondsen showed a book of Cunard mail items, including a Unicorn cover that was recovered from the ice in the Saint Lawrence before being sent on to Halifax, a cover to Montreal from Jamaica via the UK, a Norwegian cover from Little Norway in WWII, and a 1930 AR with receipt from Norway to Montreal. Dave Bartlet showed several different labels on cover, war savings stamp material, an incinerator stamp booklet from Calgary, and an 1826 wine list among other material. Mike Yestrumsky showed a copy of the engraved $1 United Empire Loyalists stamp that CLP1 was based on and a grounded CLP43 Patricia Airways stamp. John Furlong showed the 17c Lute with no magenta in a block of 4, the 45c Greetings sheet imperforate, along with other new imperfs for his collection. George Dresser showed experimental dry printings of the 2c Edward, a short paid 2c Victoria to France that had postage dues, forwarded with more postage dues, and returned to Canada with additional 2c postage due- why that charge? Larry Ballantyne showed a Quebec baseball club cover, a 1946 50c cover to NZ, a householder 1945 receipt rated $4.55, and a cover to Egypt 1942 forwarded to UK. Denise Stotts showed her new focus on the recent Fruit stamps of the U.S., including FDCs and programs. Jay Stotts showed a U.S. advertising cover for Stotts flour, a 1928 Canada airmail with 5x2c 4th Bureau to California, a business reply receipt with a pair of $5 Hamiltons (21st recorded example of use of the $5 of 1956).
Dave Bartlet gave a short presentation on Cello-Paks of Canada, very interesting to members, who were not familiar with that area of 1960s collecting. A donation silent auction raised over $100 for the group's treasury. Vic Willson gave a talk on Canadian mail from March 1930 to December 7, 1941, to Asia, Australasia, and the Far East, showing the numerous rate and route options during that period.
The day's meeting ended with a dinner at one of the best barbecue places in the area and evening conversation at Vic and Carol Willson's.
Left to right, Back Row: Larry Ballantyne, Jay Stotts, John Seate, Gary Giroux, Ron Strawser, James Williams, Mike Yestrumsky, George Dresser
Seated Left to right: David Nickson, John Furlong, Denise Stotts, Allen Price, Mary Jo Price
Presentation by Vic Wilson
The meeting was held at its usual location in College Station, Texas, preceded by coffee and doughnuts provided by stamp dealer George Watkins, who unfortunately had to leave thereafter. Twelve members were able to attend, with regrets from a number of others. Those present included John Furlong, Gary Giroux, Denise and Jay Stotts, Ron Strawser, Larry Ballantyne, Dave Nickson, Jim Williams, Allan Price, George Dresser, Vic Willson, and a newcomer, Mike Yestrumsky.
One meeting a year is devoted to stamps in general, with members bringing or discussing non-Canadian material if they wish. This meeting included that focus.
The first activity was a review of literature by various attendees. Mike discussed the Longworth-Dames book on pioneer and semi-official air mails (1995). Various current and recent auction catalogs were reviewed by different members.
Ron Strawser, chairman of the Greater Houston Stamp Show 2017, reviewed the activities of the September 15-17 show in Humble, the northern suburb of Houston, reporting both good dealer attendance and remarkably good collector attendance; given that hurricane Harvey had blown through not many days before. Ron won the grand for Uruguay postal stationery.
The first presentation was by Jay Stotts, who discussed the elements of topical exhibiting through his developing collection of African antelopes. Jay is an APS accredited chief judge and superb exhibitor. While BNAPEX shows do not see very many topical exhibits, it was very helpful to understand the elements required for successful presentations.
Following in-room lunch the clothesline exhibit activity was conducted. Members show new acquisitions or items they have not previously discussed with the group. John showed postcards from all belligerents related to WWI and others of the period as well as new examples of both early and modern imperforates for that collecting specialty. Mike showed two examples of the Roessler fantasy semi-official airmail stamps on cover along with several semi-official stamp varieties. Denise showed some of her 6 cent orange and black Centennial stamps varieties (think Halloween), and husband Jay some new items for the antelope collection. Larry discussed some newly obtained Canada money packet covers and a ballot envelope from the WWII era. George presented his newly acquired SPECIMEN overprint on an E1, which was from one of the Rhodesias and hand stamped by the British South African Company. Vic showed a Numeral cover to Shanghai that went via the U.S. and was short paid 7 cents for UPU triple rate and paid 14 cents U.S. postage from the U.S. Agency there. He also showed a single use of the 20 cent Numeral paying quadruple rate to Germany, very rare, a 1982 cover to the Faroe Islands, and a 1999 small packet rate of $2.35 to Germany.
Gary Giroux made a presentation on American Exceptionalism using U.S. stamps as the illustrations. The thesis generated a lot of discussion by the group about its validity. After that a donation auction was held to improve the group's finances. Mostly literature and catalogs, a total of $116 was raised. The day ended with a dinner at one of the best BBQ places in the city (Texans pride themselves on good BBQ, and places that don't measure up soon fold).
Photo: Vicky Furlong
Left to right, seated: John Seate, Denise Stotts, David Nickson, Ron Strawser
Standing: John Furlong, Larry Ballantyne, Jay Stotts, Allan Price, Frank Senz, Gary Giroux, Vic Willson, George Dresser
The Prairie Beavers met in College Station, TX, 27 May 2017. In attendance were Larry Ballantyne, Dave Dixon, George Dresser, John Furlong, Gary Giroux, Allan Price, John Seate, Frank Senz, Denise Stotts, Jay Stotts, Ron Strawser, George Watkins, and Vic Willson. Regards, regrets, and information about absent members were read and reported.
Various members discussed literature, both new and old. Several boxes of philatelic books donated by George Arfken to BNAPS were available for purchase, and over US$800 was raised.
Jeff (John) Furlong presented "Ribbons and Paper Go to War", focusing on various media used in WWI by both Allies and Central Europe powers to support war goals, raise morale, and raise funds. This included an outstanding representation of various medals and ribbons, especially by French entities, associated with military units, battles, and individual bravery. He then presented voluminous material, especially post cards, associated with all aspects of the war by various belligerents, including propaganda material. He finished with examples of post-war material, including a death plaque for a UK soldier (a large bronze with the soldier's name, of which 1.3 million were issued to families of deceased combatants.
The usual clothesline exhibit followed a period of trade/selling. Larry Ballantyne showed several new airmail items to Africa, pre-, during, and post-WWII. Denise Stotts showed several scarce Centennial items. Gary Giroux showed a Prexie post card to Hawaii and a drop Xmas card letter. Vic Willson showed a new yellow 1 cent Large Queen strip of six used (largest recorded multiple) and several new slogan cancels on cover with related cachets. George Dresser showed a 5 cent postcard UPU rate prior to acceptance of divided back cards along with other new Edward acquisitions. Jeff Furlong showed several imperf stamp varieties to add to his collection and Belgian postcards with Canada-related themes (especially Oblate de Marie Immaculata order).
A business meeting included mention of the need to raise PB funds at the next meeting through a donation auction. A discussion of BNAPS future included various perspectives from members active at the national level in the U.S.
Denise Stotts made a presentation on the private order Centennial postal stationery 8 cent items available, showing several rarities and varieties in this area.
After some further trading/selling, Vic Willson made a presentation on the 10 cent Decimal stamp, focusing on the various printing orders and separation of the orders by color and perforations using Whitworth's seminal 1966 book. He illustrated it with stamps and covers ranging across the 8 year period.
About a dozen members and spouses repaired to a local BBQ restaurant for a meal and fellowship following the meeting.
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