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  • Organised Philately

    Yesterday I heard an interesting statement, "Organised Philately is dying". On thinking about this I came up with the following reasons why this could be true:
    1. Demographics - where people are situated
    2. Availability of stamp clubs or groups - where clubs are situated
    3. Expertise - possible lack of knowledge of club members
    4. Time - Meetings are often at night and at inconvenient times
    5. Lack of members - lack of new members

    I am sure that there are many more reasons for this but let me get to the point. The Bid or Buy forum is the ideal place to expand the hobby of Philately. Due to the internet members are not bound by time or do they have to travel. Many of the sellers on Bid or Buy have years of experience and knowledge that they can share. Thousands of transactions take place monthly under the stamp catergories showing the the hobby is far from dead. If only a fraction of the members participate in the forum it would still probably be the largest 'Stamp club' around.

    I took the time to write this because I am passionate about the world of Philately and all the related fields it offers. I do not see the forum as a place to moan and groan but as a place to advance my hobby. Obviously there should be discussions on ethics and opinions etc but the core should be on education. A stamp is not just a pretty picture, a post-mark, cover, document etc tells a story and tells us about history.

    I would like to see articles posted, new discoveries, events, and all other aspects of this nature regularly featured on the forum. I encourage all sellers, dealers and buyers/collectors to participate and make the stamp forum a place well worth visiting.
    Items I have for sale.

  • #2
    Hello Gabriel1

    Thanks for your post!

    I fully agree with you. This forum should be used more often to the benefit of philately. I am sure that almost every stamp collector or dealer can give some valuable input. I am also sure that all of us have a lot to learn.

    To start off, I also believe that organised philately is dying (the powers that exist are going to punish me for what I have just said), but on the other hand, thanks to sites like BidorBuy, stamp collecting itself is more alive than it has been in the last 10 or 15 years. There are literally 100's of collectors in the RSA collecting in total isolation. I note your reasons for the decline in organised philately, but very often it is simply that the collector does not want to become involved in a formal environment! They prefer to collect the way that they want to, attending to their stamps when they want to, buying when they want to, etc, etc. Exactly why buying and selling on BidorBuy is so popular! And exactly why I agree with your ideas on a more active stamp forum. The forum should in fact be a continuous Club / Society Meeting that runs for 24 hours per day.

    I will start posting soon. My expertise lies in Union of South Africa, SWA Proofs (post 1980) and RSA Railway stamps. While there will (thankfully) always be overlaps, I am sure that 10 different collectors / dealers will easily be able to post on 10 different subjects.

    Thanks and regards.

    Philately starts where the catalogue stops.
    Items I have for sale.


    • #3
      Hi All

      I am in full agreement with the comments - The main problem is that we have a system that is governed by the "elite" for the "elite" and no real care or interest is given to the masses.

      For Example, the 2010 exhibition is going to be for about 50 "elite" collectors and huge sums of money are going to be spent on this.

      Personally, i would rather spend my time with my peers of the proleteriat and enjoy my stamps.
      Share the Knowledge and Grow the hobby


      • #4
        For Example, the 2010 exhibition is going to be for about 50 "elite" collectors and huge sums of money are going to be spent on this.

        The cost will be R2 000 000-00 (Yes, Two Million Rand). Make your own sums regarding averages, etc.

        Say no more...


        Philately starts where the catalogue stops.
        Items I have for sale.


        • #5
          Hello all

          I was wrong. Total budget not R2 000 00-00, but in fact R5 000 000-00 (yes Five Million Rand).

          Just imagine: at 8% interest per year this amounts to the lovely sum of R400 000-00 per year or rather every year.

          Just think what could have been done to promote stamp collecting or philately with this amount every year!?

          Information counters, subsidized exhibitions, trade fairs, road shows, lectures, etc. etc. These to be held at the smaller centres, especially the countryside.

          (One thing I learned from trading on BoB is that there is an enormous amount of interest and support from the collectors outside of Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban, etc).

          Or within the current economic climate (using the capital amount involved) a whole Philatelic Centre could have been established. A property bought and then rented out to 5 or even 10 dealers, all situated at a central point. With rotating exhibitions. Permanently manned Philatelic Services. An extensive reference library. A central area where dealers and clients can relax around a drink (I have coffee in mind) to discuss stamps. An ADSL line for free access to auction sites and catalogues. An auction room (can share the space of the exhibitions). Special event evenings / functions. Etc, etc.

          Yes, perhaps all of the above is a bit unrealistic. Perhaps I am a dreamer. But the reality is that R5 000 000-00 will be spent on a week long event (call it R700 000-00 per day). Then POOF! All gone.

          The average South African collector WILL NOT benefit from this event.

          The backbone of stamp collecting in this country is not being ignored, it is being spit on.



          PS: I had a kid in my shop some weeks ago. He bought a small Eastern European collection for R200-00, only being able to put down a R100-00 deposit. I gave him the stockbook after he promised to pay the balance within a month – his monthly pocket money). Who is the more serious collector: this kid or the cheque-book philatelist who can put down R100 000-00 with a smile?
          Last edited by dstorm; 14-06-09, 22:53.
          Philately starts where the catalogue stops.
          Items I have for sale.


          • #6
            I thought I was the only one who was of the opinion that certain aspects of Organised Philately is for the elite only.

            But then in certain places monthly meetings are fun , full of interesting facts and items and then also the people with no cheque books but aa vast knowledge of life's battles.


            • #7
              Hello Jacques
              Sorry for not commenting earlier on your excellent and accurate assessment of organised philately.
              Quite rightly you state that the majority of collectors will benefit in no way whatsoever from such an exhibition.Furthermore it is not the intention of organised philately to in any way bestow benefit on the masses.
              They are only interested in chequebook philately for those who have the chequebooks(yeah I know we all have chequebooks,but most of our bank managers start getting twitchy when we actually use them).
              The case of the young collector is a classic example.All of us started collecting Eastern Europe,Mongolia,Ajman and the likes depending on the era.Very few of us actually continued collecting,unless there was someone to encourage us.
              Furthermore it is a certainty that there will be some superb Southern Africa on display at the 2010 Exhibition.It is essential that South Africa is shown in the best light with the world watching.
              But is the spend justified?
              Of course not,it is an absolute waste of money.If the money was spent, as Jacques you quite rightly state ,in enhancing the environment that stamps are traded in there would be a lot more collectors around for the long haul.
              And the most frightening thing of all is that when these exhibits. are disposed off,it WILL NOT BE TO THE LOCAL MARKET.Unique Southern African items will be sold overseas,never to return.


              • #8
                Hi all

                Can you imagine if they built us an all-in-one exhibition centre/auction hall/media centre/meeting rooms/library/coffee shop, we would never go home, someone would say "they forgot the beds", we would then have to get them from someones garage.

                5 Million is way too much, look what we have achieved with our limited funds for our exhibition, obviously no comparrison but relevant.

                I want to see more basic input by Federation into benefiting the collectors on the ground supporting the hobby. Federation have not updated thier website since October 2008, that is really pathetic, the same goes for SAPO.

                The bottom line is we are the people who are keeping the hobby alive, supporting the fairs, spreading our limited knowledge etc etc.

                By the way, I am on for Bloemfontein, only problem is, I am worried that when I hit Bloem and see the signs to Kimberley and those battlefields, I just might keep going. Trying to explain to the wife what a stamp exhibition is was quite difficult, what was even more difficult was explaining why I have to leave on Friday and will be back on Sunday.

                I think our next goal should be to plan a coup, I am sure we could find something to do with 5 million.

                See you all Saturday

                Items I have for sale.