History of the VIPS and GVPS

The Victoria Stamp Club was formed September 15, 2023 after the merger of the Vancouver Island Philatelic Society and the Greater Victoria Philatelic Society. The following two short articles written in 1958 give a brief history of the early days of the two societies.

Vancouver Island Philatelic Society

Originally published in the Canadian Philatelist, May-June 1958. Reproduced here with the kind permission of the The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada.

The Vancouver Island Philatelic Society, now in its twenty-seventh year, was formed in 1931 by seven prominent Victoria philatelists, namely, Messrs. R.M. Angus, W. Engelhardt, J. K. Hodges, Reg Nairne, J.A. Pearce, H. Whittaker and 0. Weiler. All these charter members, except the last mentioned are still active in the Society and during the past twenty-seven years have filled most of the official positions from Auctioneer to President.

The famous Empress Hotel in British Columbia’s capital city, Victoria, has been the locale of the Vancouver Island Philatelic Society’s monthly meetings, where many internationally known philatelists have been guest speakers. V.I.P.S. members have always been very active in exhibitions, not only locally but far afield. The official records show that over the years, members have won nearly one hundred trophies, including a great number of Grand Awards, from five different countries.

In 1936, the Vancouver Island Philatelic Society joined the Northwestern Federation of Stamp Clubs, open to clubs in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. This Federation holds annual exhibitions and a different club is host every year. The Vancouver Island Philatelic Society has twice been given this honour.

Almost from its inception, the Society has held stamp auctions at its meetings; these auctions have realized several thousand dollars for the owners of the lots offered.

For twenty-five years, the V.I.P.S. has sponsored a stamp circuit among its members who have had the opportunity to look at, and purchase from a selection of good stamps having a value of over $40,000.00. For the past eighteen years, the members have each month received an informative bulletin known as “THE GUIDE LINE”.

Before the Vancouver Island Philatelic Society was one year old, it had a membership of thirty, steadily increasing until the limit of seventy resident members and ten non-resident members were enrolled. In 1948, these figures had to be raised to one hundred resident and twenty non-resident members. In 1956, the V.I.P.S. joined the Canadian Philatelic Society as Chapter No. 52, and in this, the British Columbia Centennial Year, are privileged to act as co-hosts, with the Greater Victoria Philatelic Society, to the C.P.S.

Greater Victoria Philatelic Society

Originally published in the Canadian Philatelist, May-June 1958. Reproduced here with the kind permission of the The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada.

The old axiom “Great oaks from little acorns grow” is very appropriate in the case of the Greater Victoria Philatelic Society. Over the years, the Club has grown from a small group with mutual interests into an active and competent philatelic organization.

The Greater Victoria Philatelic Society was founded on May 2nd, 1939, by the late Mr. Frank Dyment. Assisted by Mrs. Dyment, he held regular monthly meetings in his home, believing that there was ample room in the philatelic life of Victoria for another club – one which would include and encourage young people. The Vancouver Island Philatelic Society already existed at this time, but as the Club was comprised, for the most part, of accomplished collectors and exhibitors, a definite necessity was felt for the formation of a club where the youngsters of the neighbourhood could come and trade their stamps.

From these small beginnings, has grown the Greater Victoria P. S., with a membership of over 70. Over the past years of growth, the meeting place has been changed from the Dyment home to a local restaurant, and from there to a public hall where plenty of space is available. The meetings are always lively and interesting, with lots of fun and “kibitzing” among the members and executive. An auction of philatelic material is always a part of every meeting and bidding is spirited. This feature was at one time in the form of a mail sale with photographs and printed matter circulated across the country.

Each year, the Club holds its annual exhibition and banquet in the lower ballroom of the Crystal Gardens. Always well attended, the show boasts of over 100 frames of material each year, and includes a display from the Post Office Department in Ottawa. Members are actively engaged at present in putting VICPEX over the top and have invited philatelists everywhere to come and join in the fun.

Mrs. Frank Dyment, although not a collector herself, is still very active in Club affairs. Mr. Lester Small has developed the Junior aspect of the Greater Victoria P.S. to such an extent that special meetings are held one hour prior to the regular meetings. Over 75 youngsters belong to the Junior Division and as many as 30 frequently appear for each monthly get together. The children have their own section of the annual exhibition and attractive trophies and prizes are always presented, thanks to Mr. Small and his generous giving of his time and patience.

The present hard-working executive consists of the President, A.R.C. (Chick) Wilding, Vice-president Lester Small, Secretary C.J. Richards, Treasurer W.A. Teare, and Robin Clarke, who combines the functions of Recording Secretary and Auctioneer.

The Greater Victoria Philatelic Society is Chapter No. 32 of the Canadian Philatelic Society and is a member club of the Northwest Federation of Stamp Clubs, at whose annual convention in Bellingham, Wash., last year, members took a creditable number of awards in several classes.

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