Collectors gather to stamp their mark

Palmerston North will be the stamping ground of the Royal Philatelic Society this weekend.

People will be forgiven for wondering what philately is, and organisers encourage the curious to find out by attending the free event on Saturday.

Although if that isn't enough of a teaser, philately is the study of stamps. Enthusiasts are quick to point out, however, it is not necessarily just stamp collecting.

Manawatu Philatelic Society president and lawyer Tony Thackery says you may not necessarily own a stamp but can still be a philatelist.

"It is the study of stamps rather than just owning them. There may be a pile of stamps that are seemingly the same, but on closer inspection they may be on different paper, or have different perforations or variations in colour."

Award-winning exhibitions showcasing early airmail flights out of New Zealand, as well as talks on anything from the "history of medicine" to "the postal history of the US Navy in Iceland in World War II" will be on display.

Mr Thackery said the meeting was an opportunity to sample what will be on show in November when Palmerston North hosts the annual New Zealand Philatelic Exhibition.

"The judges of the national exhibition will be in Palmerston North attending a judges' workshop on Sunday and it is seldom we have such a number of philatelists of this standing here at one time.

"We couldn't miss the opportunity to call on them to talk to interested members of the public," Mr Thackery said.

The event will feature key speaker Robert Livingstone, from Cambridge, with his exhibit which won the grand award in the Canberra Exhibition this year.

Mr Thackery said while there will be no buying and selling of stamps, they hope to have some serious discussion as well as some serious fun.

Manawatu Philatelic Society meeting, Community Leisure Centre, 569 Fergusson St, Saturday 9.30am to 3.30pm, free entry.

The Manawatu Standard