The first meeting of the season on 10th September saw a total of only four members assembled - an indication to the Secretary, surely, to avoid early/mid September in future for the first meeting. Fortunately one member had brought stamps for a mini-auction and nearly £4 was raised for club funds (10% of sales). Attendance increased to six on 24th September when the Secretary gave a talk and display on the recent stamp issues of France, their stamp issuing policy, and publicity materials and books produced by the French Philatelic Bureau.
The Secretary missed the next three meetings due to illness and so must perforce rely on the minutes so ably kept by the Treasurer in his absence. The meeting on 8th October was scheduled to be the annual display of Royal Mail Films to be arranged by the Secretary and Mike James ably stood in at short notice a display of postal stationery and a variety of interesting covers. 22nd October saw members displays related to the letter "H", which included displays on Heraldry, Honduras (British), Herm, and History of World War II.
The November meetings saw attendances rise to eight; at the first meeting the Treasurer, rather appropriately, perhaps, presented a display on the subject of collecting coins, including a display of ancient and modern British coins and of Commonwealth coins on covers; while, at the second meeting Mike James gave an interesting talk on the early days of air mail flights in Canada, illustrated with flown covers and maps of the routes flown.
The Chairman's night on 3rd December was the first meeting of the session to have what we normally regard as a reasonably full attendance (ten). Howard pleaded his complete ignorance of philately and began with a complete display of the stamps of Tannu Tuva - the interesting shapes and colours of which had attracted him to the hobby at the age of eight, and followed it up with a collection of stamps from little known areas of the Russian Empire issued during the turbulent years 1917-24, and placed his albums of Polish and USA stamps on the table. He completed the evening by inviting us all to enter (for a £1 fee) a 20-questions prize quiz on philatelic geography and history. Arthur Fugle (our vice-Chairman) won the first prize with a score of 15 out of a possible 24.
Attendances this year have been disappointing despite the acquisition of two new members, with an unusual number of apologies due to illness, but nevertheless every meeting (even the first!!!) has been regarded as successful and enjoyable by those able to attend. Two recent new activities, both initiated and well-organised by Mike James, have been the institution of a club lending-library of stamp catalogues, and (from last month) the circulation to club members of the stamp box from the Federation.
Paddy Apling, Hon. Sec
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