BNAPS OTB Lifetime Achievement Award

The Order of the Beaver (OTB) is the Honorary Fellowship of the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS). In 1997, members of the Order noted that there are philatelists who deserve recognition for their contributions to BNA philately but who may not meet the criteria for induction into the Order of the Beaver, often because they are very busy contributing to other organizations. As a result, the members initiated the BNAPS Order of the Beaver Lifetime Achievement Award.

This page lists the recipients of the Award, and provides a summary of their achievements. The recipients are listed by year, most recent first.

2009 - Ross D. Gray

Ross D. Gray A member of BNAPS since 1971, Ross D. Gray has been a major contributor to the studies of the Railway Post Office (RPO) Study Group. Since he became Editor of the RPO newsletter in 2001, it has twice received the prestigious John S. Siverts Award as the best study group newsletter. In addition to articles on RPOs in BNA Topics, in 2000 he wrote Railway Postmarks in the Maritimes, a Study of the Cancellation Devices 1866-1971. Ross's most important contribution to the hobby has been the Catalogue of Canadian Railway Cancellations and Related Railway Postmarks Including Selected Waterway Postmarks, released in 2009, which completely revised the 1982 Ludlow RPO catalogue.

One of only a few collectors to exhibit Canadian RPOs at the international level, Ross has shown an unfailing generosity in sharing his prodigious knowledge of Canadian RPOs and Canadian railway operations.

2008 - D. Robin Harris

Robin Harris D. Robin Harris has been a member and officer of the Winnipeg Philatelic Society since 1975. He was President from 1991-1993 and Editor of The Buffalo, the Society's newsletter from 1985-1994 and 2004-2006.

During the period 1997-2000, Robin wrote, edited, and published seven specialist handbooks on the Canadian definitive stamps of the Elizabethan II era, including his very well received 400-page volume on the Centennials. In 2001, he became Editor of Corgi Times, the newsletter of the BNAPS Elizabethan II Study Group, and has published more than 40 issues.

Robin owns and operates his own 100% Canadian software development company, Adminware Corporation. On the company website, he maintains the Canada Tagging Database, specialized checklists for all Elizabethan definitives of Canada, and over 200 pages on the Great Britain Machin definitive stamps. He is also developing a topical index of the subjects of all Canadian stamp issues, and a feature-packed Windows-based software program for the Canadian collector.

In 2005, the Unitrade Press retained Robin as Editor of its Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps. The first catalog under his editorship was the 2006 edition. Significant enhancements to the catalog have been and are being implemented with each edition.

In April 2007, Robin was appointed a member of the Stamp Advisory Committee of Canada for a three-year term.

Robin is a Life Member of BNAPS since 1980, a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (2005), and a Life Member of the American Philatelic Society.

2007 - K. Gray Scrimgeour

Gray Scrimgeour (L) and Bill Topping K. Gray Scrimgeour was born in Vancouver, BC. A member of the first ever graduating class in Biochemistry at the University of British Colombia, he then obtained an M. Sc. from UBC and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. After four years at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, California, Gray took a teaching position in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto where he taught until retirement in 1993. He is the author of Chemistry and Control of Enzyme Reactions and a co-author of Principles of Biochemistry. From 1984-1992, he was editor of the journal Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and over a period of 40 years his work on enzymatic systems was published in more than 50 professional journal articles.

Gray has been equally active in Canadian philately. He served as President of the Postal History Society of Canada from 1980 until 1984 and as a member of the Board of Directors of the PHSC continuously from 1980 to the present. In addition to many articles written for the PHSC Journal, he has contributed articles to The Canadian Philatelist. In 1996 he was named a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada. Locally he is member of the Sidney Stamp Club, British Columbia Philatelic Society, and the Northwest Federation of Stamp Clubs.

From 1988-1994 Gray was Editor of the Klussendorfer, producing 20 issues of the newsletter of the Canadian Klussendorf Study Group of BNAPS. He is also active in the BNAPS Pacific Northwest Regional Group. In addition to many articles written for BNA Topics, he is the author of three books published by BNAPS - John Boyd and Cottonwood, BC, and two in the BNAPS Exhibit series, Dr. Robert Bell of the Geological Survey of Canada and The Broken Circle Postmarks of Canada. Currently Gray is preparing Canada's Pacific Maritime Mails, a two-volume book which will bring together all the work on the subject he and the late Alec Unwin have done over the years.

The photo shows Gray on the left with his Order of the Beaver Lifetime Achievement Award plaque presented at BNAPEX 2007 in Calgary.

2007 - William E. Topping

Gray Scrimgeour (L) and Bill Topping William E. (Bill) Topping paralleled a long career as a teacher in Vancouver and area high schools with equally dedicated study of and writing on the postal history of Western Canada. For many years, he and his late wife Marion led summer tours to China for students and other interested travelers.

He has been a member of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) and the Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain (CPSGB) for many years. He is a Fellow of the RPSC (1999) and served as President of the CPSGB in 2004-2005. Locally, Bill is active in the British Columbia Philatelic Society and the Pacific Northwest Regional Group of BNAPS.

Bill joined BNAPS in 1952 and is an Emeritus member. He served as Chairman of BNAPEX 1969 in Vancouver and as a member of the Jury at BNAPEX 2001 in Ottawa. He has attended and exhibited at many BNAPS conventions and has been Chairman/Editor for the British Colombia Postal History Study Group of BNAPS since its inception.

Among other interests, Bill formed and exhibited an award winning collection of Canadian semi-official airmails and wrote Yukon Airways and Exploration Company Limited: A Pioneer Air Mail Company. He also wrote the 14 page Introduction of the three editions of Canada Inkjet (Jet Spray) Cancels 1992-2002/5. Perhaps his best known works are the separate checklists, prepared and published with William G. Robinson, of the post offices of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the early Territories of the west. Recently Bill published a comprehensive listing of all Western Canada post offices in operation from 1990 to 2006 in four booklets, one each for Alberta, British Colombia, Manitoba including Northern Canada, and Saskatchewan.

The photo shows Bill on the right with his Order of the Beaver Lifetime Achievement Award plaque presented at BNAPEX 2007 in Calgary.

2006 - N.J.A. (John) Hillson

Charles Livermore, Mike Street, John Hillson, and Jack Wallace John Hillson was born in Scotland but educated at St. Paul's School in London, his parents having moved to Kew Gardens just before the Second World War. While living in Kew, he received as a Christmas present a packet of stamps, an album, and a packet of hinges. Considering where the gift led him in later life, he describes this as "the most expensive present he was ever given".

After experimenting with Great Britain's watermarked booklet stamps, he decided to collect something "less complex - Canada's Small Queens. Over time, this error in judgement has happily resulted in more than 20 articles on Small Queens in Maple Leaves, the journal of the Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain (CPSGB), BNA Topics and Gibbons Stamp Monthly. In addition, John wrote two books on Small Queens published by Christie's-Robson Lowe of London, the first a 24-page effort in 1981, followed by a 106-page major revision in 1989. He is co-author of an extensive new work on the issue which is currently in press.

John joined the CPSGB in 1955. Involvement with the Small Queens led to participation in the Society's affairs. He has served as Treasurer, a post he holds now for the second time, two terms as President, and has also been Chairman of three CPS of GB conventions. In 1989 he was made a Fellow of the Society in recognition of his contributions to the group and his work researching and writing about the Small Queens.

The photo shows (l to r) Charles Livermore, OTB, H.M. (Mike) Street, OTB Vice-Chairman, John Hillson and Jack Wallace, OTB, on 9 September 2006 at the CPSGB convention in Llandrindod Wells, Wales, when John's Lifetime Achievement Award was presented.

2006 - Richard K. (Dick) Malott

Richard K. Malott Major Richard K. Malott, CD, Retired, was born in Windsor, ON, and grew up in nearby Kingsville. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Science from the United States Air Force Institute of Technology. Dick joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1950 and served as a navigator and logistics officer. He retired from the military after 24 years service and assumed the position of Chief Curator of Collections at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. 1992 marked his retirement from the Canadian War Museum after 42 years of government service.

Dick has specialized in Canadian aerophilately, and was the moving force in the formation of the Canadian Aerophilatelic Society. He has exhibited extensively at the national and international level, winning numerous gold medals for his air mail exhibits. He has served as Canadian Commissioner for many F.I.P exhibitions around the globe. Dick has authored a large number of articles on aerophilately that have appeared in philatelic journals in Canada and the United States. He was the Coordinating Editor of The Air Mails of Canada and Newfoundland volume of the American Air Mail Society's 1997 catalogue.

In addition to being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Order of the Beaver, Dick has been awarded the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada's President's Medal and the Gus Lancaster Award of the Metropolitan Airmail Philatelic Society.

2006 - Cimon Morin

Cimon Morin and Bill Walton From a position in the library of the University of Sherbrooke, Cimon Morin was selected as Librarian at the National Postal Museum, and moved to Ottawa. He soon became known throughout the world of Canadian philately for his outstanding work, Canadian Philately: Bibliography and Index, 1864-1973 (National Library of Canada, 1979) and the Supplement (NLC, 1983).

When the collections of the National Postal Museum were split up between the National Archives of Canada (NAC) and what would become the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Cimon moved to the NAC and began the development of the National Postal Archives. Since then, he has promoted both the work of the NPA and the availability of its holdings to researchers. He also completed Volume 3 of Canadian Philately: Bibliography and Index (Saskatoon Stamp Centre, 1998).

Cimon has been very active in promoting the field of Quebec postal history, contributing many articles to Philatélie Québec, the journal of the Fédération Québécois de Philatélie. He was also a founding member of La Société d'Histoire Postale du Québec, currently serves on its Publications Committee, and has written articles for its journal, the Bulletin d'histoire postale et de marcophilie. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada in 1998.

In the last few years, Cimon has been instrumental in developing the Canadian Postal Archives website, which currently has pictures and information on history and production of each stamp issued by Canada, descriptions of thousands of documents from philatelic collections, and a new online database providing access to 26,000 pages of administrative directives concerning the Canadian Post Office published between 1759 and 1900. Currently Cimon is working on special assignments for the NPA prior to his impending retirement.

2006 - Robert C. (Bob) Smith

Robet C. Smith and Bill Walton Born in St. Thomas, ON, Robert C. (Bob) Smith studied at the University of Western Ontario and McGill University. After earning his Ph.D degree, Bob taught as a Professor of Physics at the University of Ottawa from 1958 until retirement in 1992. In the late 1970s, Bob became involved in the Postal History Society of Canada, serving as Editor of the PHSC Journal from 1981 to 1985 and again from 1995 to 2002. He was President of the PHSC from 1984-88 and has been a Vice-President since 1988.

In addition to editing the Journal and writing articles, Bob found time to prepare his monumental two-volume Ontario Post Offices, a listing of opening and closing dates for all post offices in Ontario that was published by BNAPS in 1988. He was also Chairman of the Barrel Cancel Study Group and Editor of The Barrel Rollers Bulletin while the group was active between 1981 and 1988.

Bob's research led him to the discovery of a major Canadian Expeditionary Force (Siberia) correspondence, resulting in an award wining exhibit which was published as Volume 12 in the BNAPS Exhibit Series. He has also researched and written on the postal history of the two Ottawa Universal Post Union (UPU) conferences, as well as an important collection of postcards showing Ontario post office buildings.

Bob continues to write, help others, and do research. One of his current projects is an ongoing update of new discoveries about Ontario's broken circle cancellations.

2003 - David F. Sessions

David F. Sessions David F. Sessions of West Sussex, England spent much of his long career with the Sun Life Assurance Society as Industrial Editor in charge of creative writing.

After 'co-inheriting' his late father-in-law's stamp collection, David gradually concentrated on the stamps and postal history of Canada. A prolific author, his articles on the Edward VII definitives, machine cancellations, and fakes and forgeries have appeared mostly in Maple Leaves, the journal of the Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain (CPSGB), but also in the London Philatelist, Gibbon's Stamp Monthly and Stamp News. Since June 1986, he has also been Editor of Maple Leaves.

David's first book, The Early Rapid Cancelling Machines of Canada (1982), was followed in 1999 by Philatelic Fantasia of BNA, a full exposition of fakes and forgeries of Canadian stamps and the characters who created them.

An accredited regional judge and exhibitor, David has received many high awards including the Grand Award at BNAPEX 1998 in Orlando, Florida. He was made a Fellow of the Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain in 1982, the Royal Philatelic Society of London in 1985, and the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada in 2001.

The BNAPS Order of the Beaver Lifetime Achievement Award plaque was presented to David (on the right in the photo) by Order of the Beaver Vice-Chairman H.M. (Mike) Street on 13 September 2003 at the CPSGB convention in Porthcawl, Wales.

2003 - Harry Sutherland

Harry Sutherland A career corporate lawyer, Harry Sutherland of Toronto, ON, started collecting stamps when he was five years old. He served as a Director of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) for 44 years, was its President from 1967-1978, and is currently the Secretary. He also served a term as a Director of the British North America Philatelic Society. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society (London) in 1958 and of the RPSC in 1968, signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1991, and in May 2002 was honoured with the Lichtenstein Award by the Collectors Club of New York.

Harry has represented Canada at numerous Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) Congresses and exhibitions throughout the world, and was awarded the FIP Medal of Service in 2002. He played a significant role in obtaining and organizing the last three International Exhibitions held in Canada - CAPEX '78, '87 and '96. Perhaps his major achievement in this area has been to encourage collectors to exhibit internationally, with the result that many displays of the philately of Canada and BNA have received major awards at exhibitions all over the world.

As Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, Harry has played an active role in two other areas of Canadian philately, the publication of important reference books and expertisation of material.

The Order of the Beaver Lifetime Achievement Award plaque was presented to Harry (on the left in the photo) by Order of the Beaver Chairman William C. (Bill) Walton on 27 September 2003 at BNAPEX 2003 in London, ON.

Members of BNAPS were saddened to learn of the passing of Harry Sutherland on 14 February 2006 at the age of 76.

2002 - Lionel F. Gillam

Lionel F. Gillam Lionel F. Gillam of Yorkshire, England is a schoolmaster by profession and a railroad enthusiast by avocation. He has devoted a large portion of his life to understanding and documenting the nineteenth century development of the railway system in Canada. In conjunction with this work, he made a significant contribution to the study of the Railway Post Offices (RPOs) that played such a large part in the history of communications in Canada.

From 1962 until 1984 Lionel served as Editor of Maple Leaves, the journal of the Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain (CPSGB). His first book, A History of Canadian RPO's, was published in 1967 and reprinted in 1981 and 1983. His second, Canadian Mail by Rail, 1836-1867 was published in 1985, followed in 1993 by The Story of Canada's First Railway, the Champlain & St. Lawrence Railroad. The three volumes remain the backbone of information about railways in any RPO collection.

Many of his articles have been published in Maple Leaves and various other philatelic journals.

Lionel's Order of the Beaver Lifetime Achievement Award plaque was presented on 13 September 2003 at the CPSGB convention in Porthcawl, Wales, by H.M. (Mike) Street, Vice-Chairman of the Order of the Beaver.

Members of BNAPS were saddened to learn of the passing of Lionel Gillam on 16 October 2004 at the age of 89.

1999 - C.R. McGuire

C. R. McGuire In 1999, the members of the Order of the Beaver of the British North America Philatelic Society [BNAPS] chose C.R. (Ron) McGuire to receive the Order's Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1972 Ron was selected as Administrative Research Officer in the new Postal Museum being created by the Canada Post Office Department. The following year, he was named Head, Research and Administration, playing a large part in preparing the museum for its official opening in 1974 and its ongoing development. He was appointed acting Curator in 1980, and then became Senior Postal Historian in 1982. Sadly, almost 15 years of work by Ron and the other members of the Postal Museum team was wiped out when the new Canada Post Corporation dismantled the museum in 1985.

In this period and later, Ron was active as an accredited Royal Philatelic Society of Canada [RPSC] judge, and as a frequent contributor to philatelic journals and the annual STAMPEX show in Toronto. For his writing he has received awards for "best article" from the RPSC (Geldert Award, 1981), the Postal History Society of Canada [PHSC] (F. W. Campbell Award, 1982; Stan Shantz Award, 2001), BNAPS (V.G. Greene Award 1983, 2002), BNAPS Military Mail Study Group (E.R. Toop Award, 2002) and the Collector's Club of Chicago (Robert Pratt Award, 2002).

Ron was elected a Fellow of the RPSC in 1985. In 2002 he was awarded the PHSC's E.R. Toop Award for his display on the Postal History of 'C' Force, Canada' contingent to Hong Kong during World War II.

Ron continues to write and act as a postal history resource both for his many friends and for strangers who come to him for help in their research.

1998 - Gerald E. Wellburn

Gerald E. Welburn Born in England in 1900, Gerald E. (Gerry) Wellburn started to collect stamps by the age of 5. After the family moved to Vancouver Island when he was 11, he began to look for stamps of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Members of some of the early families of Victoria who had saved old correspondence showed their letters to the youngster, and a new interest was born.

After World War I Gerry went to work in British Columbia's forest industry. He founded Wellburn Timbers in 1928 and remained in the industry until his retirement in 1967. He was a pioneer in the use of trucks for logging, and helped form the British Colombia Forest Museum in Duncan, BC.

Aside from family and business, philately was Gerry's greatest interest. He formed award winning collections of the stamps of Canada, the provinces before Confederation, and the early postal history of Great Britain, but researching and preserving the postal history of British Colombia and Vancouver Island remained his abiding pursuit. His exhibit won the Grand Award at CAPEX 1951 and 1987 in Toronto and the Prix d'Honneur at Basel, Switzerland in 1974.

Gerry's work was recognized when he became one of the first Canadians to be elected to the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists, and later a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of London, the Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain, and the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada. In 1969, Gerry was elected a member of the Order of The Beaver, the Fellowship of BNAPS. He and his wife Ethel Mae attended many BNAPS conventions between 1950 and 1985.

Gerry passed away on 25 May 1992 in Victoria, BC.


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