Chairman's Message - June 2021 - Trevor Cornford FRGS

Despite the continuing ‘Lockdown’ in UK and elsewhere in various forms and stages I found plenty to do with our hobby but oh what changes we are putting up with and adapting to in this brave New World!

The foreseeable future will see us all leading a very altered way of life and my first real taste was a Zoom meeting on 11th March over the ether with my aged laptop!

A special invite via the FIPSG/RPSL to listen in and contribute - for which many thanks again - to first a virtual chat room and then enjoy Kim Stuckey’s slide show of ‘Britain in Ice’ covering very interesting mail of early FIDS and TAE/IGY in particular. Some amazing high value postal rates including 10/= FIDS ship stamp correctly used as part of a large cover to the FIDASE HQ in UK. Contrasting with ½d from same set Christmas card rate which took a whole year to arrive from Argentine Island in 1961/62 to New Zealand!

I also continued to benefit from online auctions with a dozen extra Polar related items. Some of these may be on show at the much delayed FIPSG 50th Anniversary event in September- at last - cross fingers!

I managed to nearly balance sales and purchases in their auction just ended in April. I hope the results for Steve restarting our own and ending shortly as I write, will help to stimulate you our members to return to adding to your own collection. I treated myself to 2 special items as it was my birthday on 12th April! At Easter I sent about 100 electronic greetings to family friends and fellow collectors world wide and received a huge positive response which was both reassuring that in the main you are well and also working through this epidemic. This gives me another opportunity to thank our tireless Committee and ex officio members for keeping our Society on track and organised!

Finally RIP the Duke of Edinburgh who in 1957 visited some FID Bases and many of us have covers stamped around 2nd January or just after including Deception island following the old Royal Yacht Britannia sailing out to visit them escorted by HMS Protector. And he wrote a book called ‘Birds from Britannia’ - not seen a signed one on the market however.

I hope you all got the chocolate eggs you enjoy at Easter and please send more snippets or articles to John Youle - personally I especially enjoyed the ‘Visit to Amundsen house’ last issue.