GHRG Meeting Reports 2005 – 2006
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The GHRG holds meetings every two months except during the summer. The season begins in September and ends in May. Unless otherwise noted, meetings are held at the Brewers Blackbird Kitchen & Brewery in Ancaster.

Members start to gather around 10:00 am to discuss philately over a cup of coffee. We invite BNA dealers in the region to show their stock. Lunch is served around noon, after which the formal part of the meeting begins with announcements and an auction of donated material. The highlight of the meeting is a talk by an invited speaker. A Show and Tell session at the end of the meeting usually turns up surprising and intriguing items.

Meeting reports

2005 – 2006 Season

Meetings and speakers

Sunday, 4 June 2006
Jorge Peral, Vice President – Design and Portrait Engraver, Canadian Bank Note Co.

Sunday, 26 March 2006
John Hillmer – “The Caricature Issue, 1973-1977”

Sunday, 29 January 2006
Greig Hutton – “The Klussendorf Cancellations”

Sunday, 27 November 2005
Mike Street – “Ancaster Postal History”

Sunday, 4 June 2006 meeting

The Golden Horseshoe Regional Group held its scheduled June 4 meeting once again at the lovely Rousseau House Restaurant in the historic downtown area of Ancaster. Prior to the meeting, many gathered to partake of the establishment’s fine cuisine and to enjoy some good philatelic fellowship.

Mike Street got the meeting underway with a few short announcements, particularly from the book department. Highlighted was GHRG member Ken Kershaw’s new spiral bound book entitled Plating the More Distinctive Re-entries in the Half Cent Maple Leaf Stamp II. Plating Criteria and Detailed Descriptions of the Third and Fourth Printings. For more information please go to the BNAPS or Ian Kimmerly websites.

Group Chairman Jim Watt then introduced the guest speaker, Jorge Peral, Vice President – Design and Portrait Engraver for Canadian Bank Note Co. Well known for his work on the $1.00 Loon, the $1.00 Deer, the $8.00 Grizzly and Millennium stamps, he also designed and engraved the $5.00 and $10.00 bank notes. Jorge explained the process of having the Queen approve a new portrait, and told us how pleased he was when Queen Elizabeth II readily accepted the portrait design that appears on those banknotes.

While waiting for the projection equipment to warm up, gift presentations were made. Canadian Bank Note presented the Golden Horseshoe Regional Group with an early Canadian engraving of log rolling and another of the Confederation Train. Canada Post presented us with a coin and stamp set of the horse and the deer stamps engraved by Mr. Peral. In turn, Mr. and Mrs. Peral were presented with a cheese platter, a wrapped basket and a fine bottle of Chilean wine.

We would also like to thank Simon and Victoria Claughton for providing and operating the computerized projection equipment necessary for Jorge’s presentation.

Jorge Peral was born in 1955 in Mexico City, Mexico, and attended school there. He studied design and engraving under master engravers in Italy, and then worked for a short time for de la Rue in Switzerland where he met and married his wife Imelda, also a designer, who was also at the meeting. Jorge spoke of his work designing and engraving banknotes in Mexico prior to coming here to Canada. After he decided to accept a position with Canadian Bank Note Company and move here, the family fell in love with the serene beauty of this country – following adjusting to the snow and cold of winter. The whole family applied for and became citizens of Canada.

We learned a few things that afternoon. For instance, the presses used by the banknote companies are security presses, and are not available to commercial printers. Maybe some of you knew that, but many of us didn’t. Jorge also described how engraving is done. The graver is held steady in the right hand while the plate is moved with the left. Pressure is applied by the right hand to get the proper depth needed as the left guides the plate into the graver. It was interesting to watch an automatic hand motion demonstration from a master engraver. When we see the various stages of design and engraving, it’s hard to imagine the intricacies of the profession. Because of a late afternoon flight, we had just a brief opportunity of spending time with him and view other examples of his work and some of his tools.

This writer cannot in any way properly describe in this small amount of space the enjoyment of the afternoon spent in the presence of this master engraver who spoke of his family, his work and his life with a great deal of warmth and affection. I believe Glen Archer summed it up wonderfully in a congratulatory email sent to Jim Watt and Mike Street, when he said: “Mr. Peral was an engaging speaker and I thoroughly enjoyed the talk, also the peripherals he brought were fascinating and I only wish we had had more time with him. When the subject matter is so interesting and in-depth, it seems the hours pass like minutes.” That seems to speak for everyone present. We believe this to be the first time a person from any banknote company has spoken to a BNAPS group. It would be quite fair to say this was a real coup and for those of you who missed it, well, what can we say. It was a loss on your part.

If you’re wondering how all this came about, we have none other to thank than Jim Watt, who put a great deal of effort into the project over quite a period of time. You may now stand at center stage, Jim, and take a well deserved bow for ending our season with an astounding bang. THANKS again!

And now for a little test. Some of the above mentioned stamps bear Mr. Peral’s name engraved within the design. Try finding it and report back.

This being the end of our fiscal season, it is time to thank those who, during this fledgling period of our existence, came forward and offered their services in one form or another, either by the work they have done, the presentations, donations or simply by being in attendance and showing support. It is all much appreciated.

Jim Watt introduces guest Jorge Peral

Jim Watt (on the right) introduces guest Jorge Peral

Jorge Peral

Jorge Peral, the guest speaker

Jim Watt presents gifts to Jorge and Imelda Peral

Jim Watt presents gifts to Jorge and Imelda Peral

FALL MEETING: please take note that we will meet next on Saturday, October 14, at 1:00 PM at STAMPEX, which will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Building of the C.N.E. in Toronto October 13-15. Our speaker will be David McLaughlin, whose subject will be “Canadian Postal Rates and Regulations 1897-1903”. The subject is interesting and we look forward to David’s presentation. Taking into consideration the venue, we are expecting a good attendance. Plan to attend. We are also hoping to have our group logo to show members at this meeting.

The Golden Horseshoe Regional Group is always looking for speakers to volunteer to help out. We would like someone from each era of BNA philately. Ideally a presentation should not go beyond forty-five minutes with a fifteen minute question period. With approximately 225 BNAPS members in the region, there should really be no problem acquiring speakers. You can contact me, Peter McCarthy, by email: Thank you.

Sunday, 26 March 2006 meeting

On March 26, 2006, fourteen members of the Golden Horseshoe Regional Group met at the very lovely Rousseau House Restaurant in historic downtown Ancaster, Ontario. Many took advantage of the excellent luncheon menu before the afternoon got underway.

Bill Coates advised that he can obtain Gene Hessler’s book, The International Engraver’s Line, at cost for members. The Calgary Regional Group’s book, Letters from the Far West, was shown. BNAPS announcements (new books, BNAPEX 2006 in Sudbury, BNAPS conventions being arranged for Calgary in 2007 and Halifax in 2008) and an auction of catalogues of auctions of major BNA collections followed. A logo is being developed for the Golden Horseshoe Regional Group.

Guest speaker John Hillmer of Toronto displayed and told members about his award winning exhibit “The Caricature Issue, 1973-1977”. Using an around-the-table method so everyone could see the exhibit pages close up, John explained the myriad inking, perforation and printing varieties known for the sheet stamps and booklets of this issue, many of which he found in post office stock, and presented many interesting covers. The Caricature issue, showing seven former Prime Ministers and the Queen, was designed by David Annesley, who died at a young age in an accident while the stampset was still in use.

During “Show and Tell”, we continued to find out how varied the British North America philately pursuits of GHRG members are. Items included:

  • An 1887 Niagara Falls Philatelist article announcing an effort to organize the Canadian Philatelic Society
  • A document with a Canadian Consul’s visa stamp
  • The earliest WWI Navy censor known, which also happened to be on a cover mailed the first day that War Tax was required
  • St. Catharines, Ontario, cancellations
  • A WWII cover mailed at an Australian FPO used exclusively for two years by a Canadian Signals Unit stationed in Australia
  • A seemingly ordinary postcard mailed in Halifax in 1917 that turned out to be from a soldier about to board a ship for Europe, accompanied by a copy of the soldier’s enlistment form located through Collections Canada’s ArchiviaNet website

In closing the meeting, Chairman Jim Watt was pleased to announce that Jorge Peral, Vice-President, Design and Portrait Engraver for the Canadian Banknote Company, will be the guest speaker at the June 4 meeting in Ancaster.

Sunday, 29 January 2006 meeting

On Sunday, January 29th, 2006, the Golden Horseshoe Regional Group gathered together at the Rousseau Restaurant in downtown Ancaster. Nineteen people were present, some of whom chose to partake of the restaurant’s scrumptious brunch menu with some very lively philatelic discussions taking place. I think it’s the aura of the old stone building with an abundance of rich aged pine that creates the relaxing atmosphere.

We finally became orderly after lunch with Mike Street running the meeting in place of Dr. Jim Watt who was off on a well deserved vacation with his family. Mike talked about the book department and GHRG member Ken Kershaw’s new book on the plating of the Half Cent Maple Leaf Issue published by BNAPS and available through Ian Kimmerly. The second volume will be out shortly. A mini auction of three philatelic books and six philatelic periodicals added a few dollars to the bulb fund. You’ll understand this fund as you read on. For this, we thank Bob Lee, Mike Street and Bob Lane from whence the material came.

Our speaker for the afternoon was Greig Hutton and the subject was the Klussendorf cancellations. At the very beginning of the presentation, wouldn’t you know it, the bulb in the overhead blew. Hence, the bulb fund. (see November report) We learn our lessons well. Thankfully, we had a back-up, and within minutes Greig was able to continue with his most interesting presentation. He is among the most knowledgeable Klussendorf collectors in Canada. Greig has a book out on the Klussendorfs that I believe is available to the public. Thanks Greig.

We also want to thank David McLaughlin for his generous donation to the Group of an overhead projector. That will make life that much easier. Thanks David.

Philatelic chats

Philatelic chats

Ken Kershaw (left foreground), George Bond,
                Bill Longley, Bob Anderson, David McLaughin, Greig Hutton

Clockwise around the table:
Ken Kershaw (left foreground), George Bond, Bill Longley, Bob Anderson, David McLaughin, Greig Hutton

Mike Street (left), Eric Cogswell, Bill Robertson, Colin Pomfret

Clockwise around the table: Mike Street (left), Eric Cogswell, Bill Robertson, Colin Pomfret

Greig Hutton discussing Klussendorf cancellations

Greig Hutton discussing Klussendorf cancellations

The audience

The audience

Sunday, 27 November 2005 meeting

On November 27th, 2005, twenty-six members of the Golden Horseshoe Regional Group met at the very lovely Rousseau House Restaurant in the middle of historic downtown Ancaster, Ontario. Most took advantage of the wonderful luncheon menu, and after appetites were sated the remainder of the afternoon got underway in a very relaxed and laid back atmosphere with announcements and a time of show and tell. A little reorganization took place with Dr. Jim Watt remaining as Chairman. Mike Street is the Meeting Notice Coordinator and yours truly, Peter McCarthy, comes in as Secretary. We weren’t able to fill the position of Program Coordinator so the Secretary will look after that for now.

Show and tell was interesting, and we found out there is a wide variety of British North America philately in the area. The afternoon was capped off with a great presentation of Ancaster postal history by Mike Street. This was to have taken place last spring, but after a few slides, the bulb in Mike’s projector blew and we were left high and dry. So when it was announced Mike would try again this past meeting, several came armed with projectors just in case. Thankfully they were not needed.

GHRG Meeting Reports 2005 – 2006

Meeting reports

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