GHRG Meeting Reports 2012 – 2014
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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

2013 – 2014 Season

Meetings and speakers

Saturday, 24 May 2014
David Hobden – “Transporting the Mails in 1812”

Saturday, 22 March 2014
Bob Anderson – “Brant County Postal History”

Sunday, 26 January 2014
David Oberholtzer – “Canadian Barrel Cancels”

Sunday, 24 November 2013
Michael Powell – “Postal History of Prisoners of War and Internees Held in Canada”

Sunday, 22 September 2013
Garfield Portch – “VSC 6000 H/S Foster & Freeman Video Spectral Comparator”

Saturday, 24 May 2014 meeting

The first and last meetings of the year for this group are pretty well guaranteed to be in the good weather zone - no snow and ice to deal with. Because of ROYAL 2014 being held the last weekend of May, we advanced our gathering to May 24th, a beautiful spring-like day. As previously reported, we have had to change our meeting day from Sunday to Saturday because the Rousseau House Restaurant has decided not to open on Sundays. We may have to make meeting date changes in order not to conflict with regional and national shows, but you will be notified in plenty of time. A schedule of dates and speakers for the forthcoming season will be posted at a later date.

As usual things got under way around 10 o’clock with coffee and greetings. By noon, some thirty-one members and guests had assembled and were busy going through the stock of the several dealers on hand. In fact this was the largest gathering of the 2013-2104 season. There was an out of town BNAPS member from Calgary, as well as the parents of our guest speaker, and we even signed up a new member. It turned out to be a great day. Lunch as usual was delicious; that is one time when the chatter dies right down.

An update was given on BNAPEX 2014 which is being held in Hunt Valley, Maryland, near Baltimore, in conjunction with BALPEX on Labour Day weekend. We also received an update on recent and upcoming publications. A couple of interesting items were presented for show and tell. Our speaker for the afternoon was David Hobden, whose subject was “Transporting the Mails in 1812”. David made a grand entrance, attired completely in a soldier’s uniform of the era. Quite impressive. It was agreed by all that the aroma emitted from the uniform had been embedded since 1812. David’s presentation was excellent. A lot of work and research had gone into it making the final meeting before summer break quite interesting.

We take this opportunity to wish you all a very good summer and look forward to seeing you on September 27th.

Saturday, 22 March 2014 meeting

We’re hoping by the time you read this the weather will have improved enough to thaw us out after what has been a consistently cold winter. For the first time in more than eight years the Golden Horseshoe Regional group met on a cold miserable Saturday. However, the atmosphere within the friendly confines of our favourite haunt, the Rousseau House Restaurant, helped us forget the not so friendly exterior.

The group seemed to have a good time going through dealers’ stock while having philatelic conversation over coffee. It appeared from smiles on several faces that that quite a few treasures were found. Lunch time comes with mixed feelings. It’s good, but the browsing has to be put aside though not the conversation.

Well sated, the afternoon got underway with announcements, and for the first time in recent memory there were no new BNAPS books to announce. BNAPEX 2014, being held in Baltimore in conjunction with BALPEX on Labour Day weekend, August 29-31, appears to be coming along nicely. Convention registration forms will be included with the next BNA Topics, scheduled for early May. The GHRG is looking for speakers for the 2014 – 2015 season. Remember, your collecting speciality can be a learning opportunity for all of us.

Our regular auction is a fun event. In addition to providing expense funds, it also provides a few laughs. Thanks to those who donate to the event and to those who give the material a new home.

The guest speaker for the afternoon was Bob Anderson, who entertained us with the second part of his Brant County Postal History, featuring primarily the many different machine cancels used in Brantford, Paris and Burford, as well as General Delivery postmarks. It was as interesting as Part One. Thanks Bob, and thanks to Simon Claughton for providing the electronics.

Some interesting show and tell items brought another meeting to an end. Our next gathering will be Saturday, May 24, with David Hobden speaking on “Transporting the Mails in 1812”. So mark your calendar, David is a good speaker. If you haven’t been to a GHRG get together, try it. You’ll be among friendly people and believe me, you won’t be a stranger.

Sunday, 26 January 2014 meeting

It has been a hard old winter. On January 26, a cold and cloudy Sunday, Mother Nature once again threatened to shut us down, but twenty-three people managed to dodge the snow and make it to the first meeting of 2014. Once inside the Rousseau House Restaurant among friends and fellow philatelists, the atmosphere changed to one of calm and warmth.

Things got underway with coffee and browsing through dealer stock, and there is always the odd trade being made. Members are encouraged to bring material to either trade or sell, so let your philatelic needs be known.

After a delicious lunch the more organized part of the day got underway with announcements. In January, three new books were published, which you should now know about through email, the BNAPS web site or BNA Topics. BNAPEX 2014 BALPEX exhibit entry forms will be delivered with BNA Topics in a week or so. (Be sure to note that BNAPEX 2015 will be held in Niagara Falls the week after Labour Day next year.) The GHRG Secretary gave a year-end report on the state of the Group. In 2013, we did quite well, with an attendance of one hundred and twenty-four members and guests over the five meetings.

Please take note of the following very important announcement: Since the Rousseau House Restaurant has decided to close on both Sundays and Mondays, we have made arrangements to meet there on Saturdays instead. Whenever possible, we will make adjustments in order not to conflict with regional or national shows. For the balance of 2014, we will meet on the following dates; March 22, May 24, September 27 and November 29.

We had a very active auction. Some outstanding items had been donated, confirmed by the intensity of the bidding. Thanks are extended to both the donors and the successful bidders.

Our guest speaker, David Oberholtzer, gave an outstanding PowerPoint presentation on Canadian Barrel Cancels. Your reporter thought that only Mike Street quietly collected these things and filed them away but no, it goes a little deeper than that. For many of us, it was quite an eye opener despite the fact there exists a book by Bob Smith on Barrel Cancels. Early and late dates, broken hammers, scarce uses and even mystery uses. Thanks David, it was great. Thanks also to Simon Claughton who supplied the electronic equipment.

And so ended our day. Our speaker for the March 22nd gathering is Bob Anderson, who will be presenting the second part of Brant County Postal History. We try very hard to have interesting diversified programs and welcome anyone willing to talk on their favourite philatelic subject. We look forward to seeing you.

Bill Longley and Bill Coates

The two Bills, Longley and Coates

Mike Street and David OberHoltzer

Mike Street and David OberHoltzer

Ken Kershaw and Ken Lemke

Ken Kershaw and Ken Lemke in the comfort zone

Irving and Derek Smith

John Irving and Derek Smith finding treasures?

Activity at the dealer tables

A flurry of activity

Waiting for coffee

Hurry up

Sunday, 24 November 2013 meeting

On the morning of November 24, 2013, the citizens of London, Ontario, awoke to find seventy centimetres of snow on the ground. It was the first time in eight years Mother Nature had any adverse effect on a GHRG meeting. Nevertheless, a total of twenty-nine persons (living east of London) made it to Ancaster, which, by the way, was spared a major dumping of the white stuff.

The two hours or so before lunch is always an enjoyable time spent discussing philately with one another over coffee and going through dealer stock. We really enjoy each other’s company. The Rousseau House Restaurant creates a special menu for us, and the food that comes from the kitchen is enjoyed by all.

The afternoon session gets underway with announcements followed by an auction. The auction material is all donated, with profits going to the GHRG, which in turn uses the money to promote the hobby in one way or another.

The speaker for the day was Michael Powell, who gave a very interesting presentation on the postal history of Prisoners of War and Internees held in Canada. Thanks Mike. Your program and travelling to our meeting were very much appreciated.

The afternoon came to an end with show and tell, always an interesting segment of the day.

Our next meeting will be on Sunday, January 26, 2014, when our speaker will be David Oberholtzer, whose subject is “Canada’s Barrel Postmarks”. Should be interesting. We look forward to a good turnout.

PLEASE NOTE! January 26 will be the last time we meet on a Sunday. The Rousseau House has decided to close Sundays and Mondays, so we will be meeting on the last Saturday of the month beginning with the March meeting. The new dates will be published following the January meeting.

Sunday, 22 September 2013 meeting

After the summer break, it was great to get back together again in our familiar haunt, the Rousseau House Restaurant. Our meeting was moved forward a week to September 22nd due to the CSDA show and the postcard show the weekend of September 27-29.

The day commenced with the usual conversations over coffee. There were only two dealers on hand and they were kept busy by the more than 25 members present.

After a great lunch the afternoon program got under way with announcements. Mike reported on Charlottetown and the fact that there are four books out. You can see the full report on these under the book department and reviews both on line and in BNA Topics.

It is safe to say the philatelic highlight of the summer was BNAPEX held this year in Charlottetown, P.E.I. GHRG members did quite well. Colin Pomfret was awarded a Silver Bronze, Tony Shaman and Peter McCarthy each a Silver medal, Hendrik Burgers, Vermeil, David Mclaughlin, Derek Smith and Peter McCarthy received Gold for their efforts and David walked away with the Grand award and Tony Shaman was awarded the Ed and Mickey Richardson award. Ken Lemke won the John Siverts award for best study group newsletter. The complete Palmares can be found elsewhere in BNA Topics or under exhibits online.

The GHRG once again manned a BNAPS booth at the CSDA show in Toronto the weekend of September 27-29. The area is a good congregating spot for BNAPSers, and draws many people to the booth.

An announcement and request that was not made concerns under-the-weather members. It is our policy to send get well cards to members we know of that are ill or are undergoing medical procedures. This past summer several members have been struck down. John Anders, Rob Taylor and Derek Smith underwent surgery and Ozzie Osborne was ill. So, if you hear of a member that is ill, please let me know, Peter McCarthy. Email me at

Our guest speaker, Garfield Portch, was introduced and spoke about the new Foster & Freeman Video Spectral Comparator recently acquired by the Vincent Greene Foundation. This machine is used to detect forgeries and oddities. At least, that’s what the philatelic world is using it for. Customs and police use it for detecting forged passports and documents. Three of these one hundred thousand dollar machines are being used for philatelic use. One is in Great Britain, the second is owned by the Smithsonian Institute in the U.S. and the third by the Vincent Greene Foundation. If you have not been to a Garfield Portch presentation, the suggestion is to invite him to speak at your club or send suspect philatelic material to be analysed. There is a cost for a certificate, but some things are done free. It was a great presentation. Thanks Garfield.

The auction and show and tell followed, with some nice items being passed around. We were all done and on our way home by three o’clock.

Our next gathering will be on November 24. The guest speaker will be Mike Powell and his topic will be “World War II Prisoners of War”. Thank you all for being here and we look forward to seeing you in November.

2012 – 2013 Season

Meetings and speakers

Sunday, 26 May 2013
Bob Anderson – “Brant County Postal History” (Part 1)

Sunday, 24 March 2013
Derek Smith – “Transatlantic Stampless Mails”

Sunday, 27 January 2013 (meeting report not available)
David McLaughlin – “Business / Post Office Relationships”

Sunday, 25 November 2012
Ken Lemke – “Illustrated Covers of the King George VI Era”

Sunday, 23 September 2012 (meeting report not available)
Hans Steinbock – “Zeppelin Mail to and from Canada 1924 to 1933” (Part 2)

Sunday, 26 May 2013 meeting

Even though Sunday, May 26, was an exceptionally fine day weather-wise, we were pleased to see thirty-nine members out for the final gathering of the season. Five of our dealers were on hand to satisfy some of the members’ needs.

Things were well underway by 10:00 AM with people going through dealers’ stocks and chatting over coffee. It’s great to sometimes just look and see some of the lovely material that is available. A good part of the morning is spent catching up with one another and discussing each other’s interests. It’s always a time when we learn from one another. Camaraderie at its best.

Lunch is always a treat at the Rousseau House Restaurant, and if you haven’t tasted its cuisine, you should. At this time the chatter generally reduces by several decibels.

The more formal part of the gathering, if you want to call it that, gets underway about 1:00 PM with announcements. Several new BNAPS books are out; you can read about them on the Book Department page of the BNAPS website. Everyone was encouraged to try and make it to BNAPEX 2013 in Charlottetown. It promises to be an exciting convention. All the frames are taken, and there are several exhibiting from this Group. Seafood and maritime hospitality. Can’t wait!

The auction is always a fun time, and helps defer expenses. Thanks to those who provide the material, and a thank you also to those who buy.

The featured speaker of the day was Bob Anderson who gave an interesting presentation on Brant County Postal History, Part One. Bob also included some general history that added greatly to the presentation. It was very well put together, and well received by the members. Thanks again to Simon Claughton for providing the electronics for the PowerPoint presentation.

The afternoon finished with show and tell and again some interesting items were shown and passed around.

We wish you all a very pleasant summer and look forward to seeing you again on September 22 – NOTE that this is a week earlier than our usual “last Sunday” meeting date – when our speaker, Garfield Portch, will tell us about the new analyzing machine the Vincent Greene Foundation has that is making philatelic history. Join us, won you?

Sunday, 24 March 2013 meeting

The last Sunday of March was Easter Sunday so we pushed our gathering forward one week to March 24th. It was a frosty early morn promising bad weather – which was nothing new for the month – as we struck out for Ancaster. The atmosphere at the Rousseau House Restaurant was nothing like the weather.

The twenty seven members present enjoyed a day of philatelic camaraderie over coffee and dealers’ stocks. Four of the dealers managed to fill quite a few holes in various collections and exhibits.

Lunch is always something we look forward to and enjoy. It’s a relaxing and learning time as we enter conversation with our table mates.

The afternoon began with announcements. There are still a few frames left for those who wish to exhibit at BNAPEX 2013 in Charlottetown. The 2014 BNAPEX will be held in Baltimore in conjunction with BALPEX on Labour Day weekend, and BNAPEX 2015 will be in Niagara Falls, also on Labour Day weekend. Hopefully all of our members will make an effort to become involved even if it is simply by attending.

The auction, always a fun time, saw a few brisk moments that help defray expenses. We always like to thank those who provided the material for the auction and those who purchased it.

Our speaker for the day was Derek Smith who gave a very interesting presentation on transatlantic mails covering rules, rates and routes, who could carry mail, the cost and to whom remittances were made, along with responsibility. This is a Gold award exhibit that I believe will be shown in Charlottetown.

Show and tell, again with several interesting subjects, rounded out the afternoon, leaving everyone in a very happy frame of mind.

Our season ending gathering will be on May 26, when speaker Bob Anderson will present material from his Gold award exhibit on Brant County. We hope to see a good turnout.

Sunday, 25 November 2012 meeting

Grey Cup Sunday may not be the best time to hold gatherings of our type, but there were still twenty-five members and guests in attendance for the November meeting. It is very encouraging to see newer members showing up for the second and third time. I think we are doing something right.

The GHRG once again manned a booth at the semi-annual CSDA show in the Queen Elizabeth building on the Exhibition grounds in Toronto. It seems to be a favourite gathering place for BNAPSers. Thanks to those who took the time to stand behind the table and promote the organization. It does produce results.

Now for the November meeting. We were nicely greeted with steaming coffee and water filled glasses by a new hostess, and it was soon apparent that philately had taken over. There were only two dealers on hand, and they seemed to be quite busy. The chairs around their tables were constantly filled to lunch time.

The afternoon began in its usual way with a few announcements. With Mike away, there were no books to review, so it was on to the auction. We had very few items on the block so that also went quickly.

Our speaker for the day was Ken Lemke, whose topic was “Illustrated Covers of the King George VI Era”. The presentation was extremely interesting, with some very unique material shown. Thanks Ken, and thanks also for supplying your own electronics. Show and tell rounded out what must be considered as a very enjoyable day.

At our next get together on January 27, 2013, speaker David McLaughlin will tell us about “Business/Post Office Relationships”. We look forward to as many members as possible being present.

May you all have a very Merry Christmas or other holiday, and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

GHRG Meeting Reports 2012 – 2014

Meeting reports

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