It was with great pleasure that I took over the post of Chair of the Association of British Philatelic Societies at the annual general meeting held on 24 September. I must say thank you to Graham Winters for all the hard work he put in over the four years he was Chair. Graham will remain part of the Management Committee, specifically focussing on the work with federations and how the ABPS can provide support.
So what am I going to do as Chair? I think the hobby is at an interesting point in time. Many societies, because of the pandemic, stopped face-to-face meetings, but with the start of the new philatelic season and the relaxations in Covid restrictions many societies have now started meeting again face-to-face. I would like the ABPS to help reinvigorate the hobby by supporting all local societies, clubs and federations in their resumption of activities. Over the next few months, the ABPS will be launching several new initiatives to help the hobby to flourish in its “re-start”.
One other objective I have is to raise the profile of the ABPS, making it clear to everyone both inside the hobby and outside what the ABPS does, why it exists and achieving a situation where no one needs to ask “what does the ABPS ever do for me?” because we have made it crystal clear why we are here and what we do!
The ABPS AGM was held as part of the 2021 Congress in Harrogate, 23rd to 26th September. I think the event was much appreciated by all those who attended as Congress could not be held in 2020 due to Covid. Only two world wars have stopped it before! It was good to see so many friends after such a long gap!
The event had several elements to it as well as the ABPS AGM. There were a series of philatelic displays and talks, standing displays, the signing of the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists and the presentation of the Congress medal.
At the Congress banquet, held on the Saturday evening, it was excellent to see Keith Burton, our editor of the ABPS News beings recognised for all his excellent work by receiving a FEPA Certificate of Merit from Bill Hedley, President of FEPA.
Congress 2022 is going to be held in Birmingham – more news on this soon. If you have never been to Congress do think about coming to Birmingham – four unadulterated days full of your hobby!
One thing I would like to stress is the importance of communication. Without good communication who knows what’s going on or what the current issues are in the hobby that need addressing? This is why I really want to hear from you; from federations, societies or individuals. What are your thoughts about where the hobby is and its future? What should we be doing? Please do let me know what you think. My email address is email@example.com and my postal address is Steven Harrison, ABPS, c/o RPSL, 15 Abchurch Lane, London EC4N 7BW. I really want to hear from you!
Steve Harrison FRPSL