Gerald E. Wellburn Philatelic Foundation
To Promote Stamp Collecting on Southern Vancouver Island In 1992, the Gerald E. Wellburn Philatelic Foundation was established from capital funds donated by Gerry, a well known local collector. The Wellburn Foundation promotes stamp collecting activities on Southern Vancouver Island. This has included shows, bourses, stamp clubs, youth and school activities and related endeavours. Future goals include promotional activities, seniors' programs, and other ways to encourage the hobby. We are always looking for additional contributions and volunteers to attain these goals.
Some Foundation activities were curtailed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. But programs for beginning stamp collectors were supported by Wellburn Philatelic Foundation in several schools.
Hundreds of stamp Gift Packs continue to be distributed. In 2021-22 most of these were placed in Little Free Libraries in Victoria area - there are now over 600 of them! A Blog published in June 2021 on the Victoria Placemaking website, "Starting Stamp Collecting at Little Free Libraries", introduced this new Foundation initiative.
In 2022, we anticipate Greater Victoria Public Libraries may be able to offer Gift Packs at some Branches."
Youth Stamp Gift Packs
To encourage youth stamp collecting activities, collectible stamps have been given to children in the school program, from special displays at local Malls, at all of the stamp shows, bourses and related venues. To further broaden the scope of this collecting incentive, Youth Stamp Gift Packs have been developed to give out in non-stamp related venues as well. Our goal is have these free packs of mixed stamps for collectors available in all local postal outlets, the Victoria Regional Library system, stamp retail stores, book stores and related areas. These are being distributed in small stand-alone holders called Stamp Ambassadors. Displays are designed to make replenishment easy. Wellburn branding on each pack encourages access to local activities using the Web link, and contact information for people wanting to make collectible stamp donations to this project.
Stamp Brochure Support Website Link
Since 1992, Bill Bartlett has published the Stamps, Postcards, Coins & Paper Events & Directory Victoria - Vancouver - Seattle. A proven venue for keeping collectors informed of local resources and events, this publication is up-dated several times a year. An event date listing is free, and paid advertisers cover production and distribution costs. Instead of creating a Wellburn Foundation brochure, it seemed more cost effective to support this widely distributed resource with a Foundation page As well, the brochure is now listed on the this web site. see Stamps, Postcards, Coins & Paper Events & Directory Victoria - Vancouver - Seattle. The brochure is now financially supported in part by the Wellburn Foundation.
Stamp Collecting Ambassador Unit
Our goal is to distribute 50 stand-alone display units, in either a small or large size. Each small unit comes with 10 Brochures and 10 Youth Stamp Gift Packs, a clear plastic table-top display brochure holder, a "dangler" badge/sign that can either clip on to the display unit or onto a personís lapel. The badge says "Ask Me About Stamp Collecting". The unit has contact information, a unit number, and all the location contact needs to do is call Bill Bartlett when the brochures or packs need replenishment, and they will be mailed to the site. Each site fills out a Registration form so the system can be maintained.
Since 2008/2009 the Wellburn Foundation has been conducting workshops for children through a Greater Victoria Public Library program. Ten to fifteen youth have been signing up for our one hour workshop on stamp collecting. Workshops are open to youth 6 and older. We cover references, soaking, a stamp treasure hunt, have a stamp shopping session, and discuss the basics of the hobby. Wellburn volunteers and interested parents guide this very successful activity.
Children's Program at Greater Victoria Public Library - Stamp Scavenger Hunt
Local stamp enthusiasts introduced stamp collecting to young people, ages 6-10, telling them about stamps, stamp clubs, library resources and participating in a stamp treasure hunt.
The workshops are sponsored by the Greater Victoria Public Library and presented by the Wellburn Foundation. Read a letter from the Childrenís and Family Literacy Librarian, Saanich Centennial Branch.
Stamp Collector Mentor
A challenge was made to members of the local stamp clubs. By the end of the year, each member is challenged to bring a child to any of the local organized stamp functions. This could be a local stamp bourse, the Fall stamp show VICPEX, one of the adult club meetings or to the Junior program. Each member was given a Youth Gift Stamp Pack, brochure and project outline.
Interest in promoting our hobby through the media was shown. Recommendations have included print media articles, perhaps monthly, letting new collectors know about organized philately in our community. As well, other resource people will be asked to make story contributions. We see the need to find better ways to reach people about the activities we already support. This can also include radio, TV and Internet access.
Volunteers And Donations
Besides the financial resources already available to the Wellburn Foundation and those of the other local philatelic organizations, we recognize the need to continue to support, acknowledge, recharge and at times replace the many volunteers we rely upon.