The Chairman's Letter
by Austin Meares

As published in the January 2010 magazine

It is twelve years since I last became Chairman of the U.K. Group. Much has happened in the intervening years and we have much to be thankful for. As a specialist society we have bonded well, and our half-yearly meetings are always a joy to attend.

I would like to express my appreciation of my predecessor, David Sleep, who has successfully steered the Group for the past three years. Despite having an exacting job and being heavily involved at Eltham Palace, he has found the time to immerse himself in all matters connected with P.I.S.G. David is once more our Honorary Secretary and many attending the Annual General Meeting last September must have felt that this was a game of musical chairs. Although this was true to some extent, we welcomed two new members to the Committee, namely Paul Burnett and Alan Fillmore, both of whom have taken a keen interest in the Group and who have regularly attended our half-yearly gatherings. In any organisation, it is healthy to have new blood on the Committee from time to time, and I am sure their input will be greatly valued.

It was a pleasure to see Jennifer Toombs, international stamp designer, re-elected as our President. Graham Ford, a past Chairman and committee member of many years standing, was elected as the Group’s Vice President. Alan Game, who has managed our finances continuously for the past 21 years continues as Treasurer. David Ransom, our hard working producer of the much valued U.K. Log was again re-elected as Editor. The Committee also includes Maurice Allward, a great stalwart of the Group, John Smith who manages our popular live auctions, along with Paul Burnett and Alan Fillmore already mentioned.

Joyce Ford who has audited the Group’s accounts for many years was reappointed as Auditor.

Following the official business of the A.G.M., the highlight of the day was David Murray-Brown’s memorable presentation and display on the history and philately of Norfolk Island. He demonstrated the importance of Norfolk to the story of Pitcairn, and it was a pleasure to see some of the gems he has accumulated down the years.

As we look to the future, the London 2010 International Stamp Exhibition and Festival of Stamps beckons. Our next meeting, on 8th May 2010 at the Union Jack Club, coincides with the start of the International. P.I.S.G. members from Europe and North America will be coming to the U.K. at that time, and we plan to hold a special gathering which will embrace the interests of all members. We hope to make it a memorable occasion for both members and their partners. Further details will be advised in the Spring following a committee meeting scheduled for early in January.

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2010.

Austin Meares

Number 39 • January 2010