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Nov 28

What is B?

What is B?

There cannot be too many places in the world where a stamp collector can attend four club meetings within six days.  In Victoria two clubs meet weekly and two meet monthly and six days apart.  We didn’t plan it especially, but we are centrally located with the furthest club meeting less than three kilometers from home.

Thursday night at the Vancouver Island Philatelic Society, in addition to an auction, there was an interesting slide show on the RAF Ferry Command. Starting in 1940 Canadian bush pilots and other civilians were recruited to fly (or ‘ferry’) warplanes from North America to Britain, and later to many other parts of the globe.  The postal history generated from Ferry Command is challenging and fascinating.

Of more general interest was the vignette account of crossing the border with warplanes between neutral USA and Canada at war.  The crossing between Maine and New Brunswick was effected by temporarily blocking the highway, having the warplane land on the highway, towing it across the border, then taking off on the highway.  The only other crossing was at Pembina south of Winnipeg. Here, after the plane landed, the soft soil foiled the trucks, then the farm tractors.  Finally it was up to the horses to pull the warplanes across the border.

Norway 3skThe Muffin Break is a pleasant social event every Tuesday morning.  Attendance usually exceeds the turnout at the monthly Club meetings.  Part of the success might be explained by never having had a Chairman, President, membership, program, Agenda, dues, bank account or any of the other detrita of our modern, organized lives.

Before the November Friday night at the Greater Victoria Philatelic Society, the website announced Remembrance Day and The Letter A.  I went with visions of Sesame Street but was very pleasantly impressed with the concept of The Letter A. Approximately ten of the members brought in Exhibits ranging from one to eight pages dealing with either the theme or the letter A. Some, like the Australia pages, dealt with both in a topical showing.  More interesting in some ways is that each Exhibitor came forward to explain and add details to his or her Exhibit.  Some were inventive, such as a postal history page well written up which showed an Airmail envelope, carried by the US Army postal service, mailed from Anchorage, Alaska — so A to the power of four.  A few days later at the Muffin Break someone commented on how boring Bulgarian stamps were.  The light flashed and I have just the items to disprove the comment next month.

At home, the mountain (well, small hill) of cartons of stamps is slowly becoming organized.  One conversation led to a want list of early Norway.  In the next few days I need to organize my early issues, paying particular attention to trying to identify the four types of the 1863 Arms type.  Eventually the results will be on the internet.