The Cloverdale Seniors’ Stamp Club is looking for new members.
Coordinator John Jackman said the club is always reaching out in an effort to expand its membership.
“We’re a small group,” said Jackman. “Usually, eight or ten show up to our meetings.”
He said every stamp collector usually starts out by collecting stamps from around the world, but they eventually focus on a set area or theme, such as aircraft, a specific country, railways, or some other interest.
“We’re a laid back group and we help everyone who comes in,” said Jackman. “Sometimes we get people that come in [after] they’ve inherited a collection and we help them figure out what they have.”
Jackman said the club buys, sells, and trades stamps with members and other clubs. He said they also help members learn the tricks of the trade: how to handle stamps, preserve them, and mount them.
A beginner needs to get their hands on a pair of stamp tongs to handle their stamps, he said.
“Small bits of dirt and such can transfer from one’s fingers to the stamps and that can ruin the stamps,” explained Jackman.
He said a beginner will also need a magnifying glass, an album, and stamp hinges or mounts—which are all very inexpensive.
“And never use scotch tape to mount stamps,” Jackman warned. “The gum from the tape can ruin the stamps.”
Jackman started collecting stamps when he was a kid in elementary school.
“Everybody was collecting—either cards you got in cigarette packs, or stamps, or something—and I just chose stamps. It’s very relaxing and I really enjoy it.”
Jackman invites anyone with even a passing interest to come out to one of their meetings to have a look and say hello.
“We are a very (easy-going) club and we help people with their collections.”
Stamp collecting began almost immediately after the first postage stamp—the Penny Black—was issued on May 1, 1840. Stamp collecting gained prominence in the late 19th century and has been one of the world’s most popular hobbies ever since. There are estimated to be between 60 and 200 million stamp collectors worldwide.
The Royal Philatelic Society of London was the first stamp collecting club in the world, as it was formed April 10, 1869. Today the society operates two museums.
Many famous people have been stamp collectors. King George V, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ayn Rand, Freddie Mercury, and John Lennon all collected stamps.
The Cloverdale Seniors’ Stamp Club meets at the Cloverdale Rec. Centre (6188 – 176 Street, Surrey, BC, V3S 4E7) on the second and fourth Monday of every month, with meetings starting at 1 p.m. The club’s next meeting is on Feb. 10.
For more information, call Jackman at 604-574-3182.