By Cecilia Nasmith
Three special guests showed up at the 50th anniversary Cobourg Stamp Club show and sale Sept. 28 – known as Copex 2019 – to help the members celebrate that important milestone.
Cobourg Mayor John Henderson brought greetings from the town, town crier Mandy Robinson delivered a ringing cry written just for the occasion and one of the town planners, Rob Franklin, showed up in a special costume to impersonate one of the nation's Fathers of Confederation.
Official town greetings are received - from left, Franklin, Henderson, club president Malcolm Pacey and Robinson. The James Cockburn table is seen with all proclamations and presentations made
Franklin's visit had to do with the release of a limited-edition envelope for this 50th anniversary honouring Cobourg's own Father of Confederation James Cockburn that club president Malcolm Pacey collaborated on with Cobourg Mayor John Henderson.
And if James Cockburn is involved, Henderson said, the Rob & Rob Show will be there.
That's the mayor's affectionate nickname for two of the town's most valuable historical resources, Their day jobs are Loyalist College professor (Rob Washburn) and the town's manager of planning and development (Franklin). On their own time, they are the go-to people for anything Cockburn.
Between the two of them, they have researched Cockburn, written one-man biographical plays about him and organize educational extravaganzas for local schools each year in honour of his birthday in February – it will be a bicentennial of his birth on Feb. 13, 2020, Henderson noted.
But they have done even more.
Cobourg manager of planning and development honours the Father of Confederation he is impersonating, James Cockburn.
Washburn made the presentation to Cobourg council that resulted in the renaming of the August holiday in Cockburn's honour, and it is observed each year with the performance of one of those one-man plays in front of Victoria Hall, where Cockburn had his law office long ago.
And Franklin IS James Cockburn, complete to top hat, impersonating the Father of Confederation at the February programming, performing the one-man plays and providing a unique heritage touch at civic functions.
Another heritage touch came from the town crier, not only in her costuming but in the cry she composed that set out much of the history of the club as well as offering warm congratulations on behalf of the town.
As her own gift, Robinson had her official cry written up in old English script and presented it in a folder for the club to keep.
Henderson echoed the sentiment and noted the club's contributions to the town from its beginning in 1966 when Canadian Army personnel stationed at the former supply depot in Cobourg shared their mutual interest in philately with local collectors,
“From its early beginnings, they gave the community a place to meet and share their hobby and, more important, passion for stamps,” the mayor said.
Speaking after the show, Pacey estimated some 130 visitors had shown up to enjoy the proceedings, which proved to be a successful show and sale that is a good basis to build on going forward to 2020 and beyond.
The three special visitors were all the talk, he said, and the special James Cockburn limited-edition envelope was completely sold out.
Pacey understands the visiting dealers did well. Jim Allen of Perforations Plus in Lindsay – who has been attending Copex shows for about 10 years – would agree.
“It's a wonderful small-club show,” he said.
“They know exactly what they are doing. They have have good club management, they have good displays that come in, the back room is well organized and dealers always do well here.”
Allen was one of eight dealers present for this landmark show, and visitors were invited to vote for their favourite from among 15 exhibitions – a wide-ranging variety, from Dogs With Jobs and Marvel Comics to The Explorers and Japan: World Heritage Sites.
At the edge of the food court, 50th-anniversary cakes waited to be cut by the distinguished guests. In an adjoining room, the silent auction and consignment tables were set up, with the club books on tables for those who needed more information.
There is also more information to be found at the regular meetings of the Cobourg Stamp Club, and Pacey invites anyone interested to drop in.
The meetings are held the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month (except July and August, when meetings are held the second Wednesday in July and the fourth Wednesday in August).
They take place at the Salvation Army Citadel at 59 Ballantine St. in Cobourg. Doors open at 5:30 p.m, and the meetings generally run from 6 to 8 p.m.