Iconic Canadian numismatist focus of 2018 ONA Convention

By Jesse Robitaille

The keynote speaker for this year’s Ontario Numismatic Association (ONA) Convention banquet is James Charlton Jr., who will speak about his father and iconic Canadian numismatist James E. Charlton.

“Jim Charlton probably did more to popularize the coin hobby than any other individual in the last 50 years,” Geoffrey Bell, who was RCNA president from 1983-85 and again from 2001-03, told CCN in 2013. “He was a man of integrity, honesty and always asked fair prices when dealing. He encouraged new ventures that I personally experienced when we opened our auction house. He was generous to a fault that mirrored his Salvation Army faith.”

The elder Charlton began collecting coins at the age of 15, when his brother gave him an 1863 U.S. Indian Head cent. This numismatic interest stayed with him, and he eventually became a beloved dealer, auctioneer, author and publisher. A string of catalogues considered to be “the Bible” of Canadian numismatics continues to be published under his name; in fact, the 71st edition of the Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins was released in July 2017.

Charlton died in September 2013 at the age of 103.

His son, James Jr., will be speaking about his father’s contributions to numismatics at the ONA’s banquet.


The 56th annual ONA Convention will be returning to Kitchener-Waterloo on April 20-22, 2018. The show will be held at the Holiday Inn Conference Centre on 30 Fairway Rd. S., in Kitchener, Ont.

One of the biggest changes at this year’s convention is the bourse hours. For the first time, the bourse and exhibit floor will be open to the public on April 20 from noon-6 p.m. In the past, the bourse on Fridays was only open to convention registrants, dealers and exhibitors.

The bourse will open on Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and on Sunday, April 22 a shorter version will be offered from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Collectors and non-collectors alike are invited to buy, sell and trade an assortment of numismatic and related material from more than 35 dealers, who are also offering free appraisals. Daily admission is only $3 on Friday and Saturday while a two-day pass will be offered for $5. Admission is free on Sunday, and children aged 17 and under are free.

“The landscape of the numismatic world today is changing dramatically as we see a shift from the analog world of coin club meetings and local coin auctions to a digital world of online convenience,” said ONA President Scott Douglas, who added the convention will “focus on the importance of the coin club by promoting them and recognizing the immense contribution coin clubs make to our hobby.”

“The ONA Convention for 2018 will showcase why the collector still needs to get out to coin club meetings and the educational aspect of numismatics presented by individuals who are both knowledgeable and willing to share their discoveries freely with the numismatic community.”


On April 20 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m., the ONA will host a three-part educational symposium featuring a trio of esteemed speakers.

“It is my hope that everyone will attend what is sure to be an informative look at our world of numismatics. From education we gain knowledge. With knowledge we gain wisdom,” said Douglas, who’s also the association’s educational chair as well as the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA).

The first speaker will be France Waychison, who will lead a presentation about wooden money in Timmins at 1 p.m. A native of Coaticook, Qué., Waychison has been actively collecting wooden money for more than a decade and is currently president of the Canadian Association of Wooden Money Collectors.

At 2 p.m., Bill Waychison will lead a presentation entitled “The Story of Three War-Related Medals from France.” Currently residing in Timmins, Ont., Waychison is past president of both the Canadian Numismatic Research Society (CNRS) and RCNA and has served as the RCNA club services chair and ONA awards chair. He’s a Fellow of the ONA, RCNA, and CNRS and is recipient of the ONA Award of Merit, the Bruce H. Raszmann Award as well as the ONA, RCNA, and American Numismatic Association Presidential Awards.

Lastly, at 3 p.m., Douglas will lead a presentation entitled “W. R. McColl – Traces of A Numismatic Past.” In addition to serving as president of the ONA, Douglas is also the immediate past president of the CNRS. He is a Fellow of the ONA, CNRS and the RCNA and received the ONA Award of Merit in 2010.


Each year, the ONA bestows two awards – the Award of Merit and the Fellow of the ONA Award – to recognize numismatists who have made contributions to the advancement of numismatics in Ontario as well as at the local level.

The announcement of recipients will take place at the annual ONA banquet, which is held annually in conjunction with the association’s convention. This year’s banquet will be held on April 21 from 7 p.m.-11 p.m.

The awards consist of a silver medal, an inscribed certificate, an engraved metallic name badge and a complimentary seat at the banquet. For the Award of Merit, ONA members are invited to submit the name of an Ontario resident who is a member of the ONA and is worthy of being recognized for significant contributions to the success of the ONA and numismatics in Ontario.

For the Fellow of the ONA Award, ONA members can nominate up to three other ONA members. Nominations received from individuals for themselves will not be considered.

Written submissions can be mailed to Chris Boyer, chair of the ONA Awards Committee, at 457 Lorindale St., Waterloo, ON N2K 2X2 or emailed to coinman@sympatico.ca. Nominations must be received by the committee by Feb. 28.

For more information about the awards, visit the-ona.ca/merit.php and the-ona.ca/fellow.php.


The ONA executive recently announced the creation of two awards, the first of which is the Club of the Year Award, which will be presented for the first time at the upcoming convention.

The Club of the Year Award will recognize significant contributions by ONA member clubs to the hobby of numismatics. This year’s winner will be announced and presented with the award during the new Club Delegates’ Breakfast on April 21.


“The Club Delegates’ Breakfast was last held at the 1994 ONA Convention,” explains convention chair and treasurer Robb McPherson. “In 1995, it was changed to just a club delegates’ meeting, which was eventually merged into the annual general meeting a few years later. The Club Delegate Breakfast had seen many notable speakers back in the early 1990s. Paul Fiocca was one of them, RCM executives and other notable people such as John Regitko were keynote speakers. The ONA’s new Club Service Chairman Steve Woodland will be the keynote speaker for this year’s event.”

“The ONA hopes to see a full house of delegates represented from all the local clubs at the first Club Delegates’ Breakfast since 1994,” added McPherson. “The cost is a mere $20, which we hope a lot of the local clubs will reimburse some of their members to attend this function. The ONA is subsidizing the cost of this event as the actual cost is higher than the $20.”

To be considered for the Club of the Year award, individual clubs must provide a report of their activities during the previous calendar year. Submissions must be received by Steve Woodland, ONA club services chair, by March 31.

Entries will be judged on the basis of the club’s health and welfare; the club’s promotion of the hobby; the club’s advancement of numismatics within the local area, in Ontario and across Canada; the club’s programs, activities and other benefits offered to members; and the club’s support of youth and novice collectors.

The ONA also recently announced the creation of the President’s Literary Award, which will be presented by Douglas at the convention’s banquet. Judged by a four-person committee, this award will recognize the best article published in the Ontario Numismatist during the previous year.


For room reservations, call 1-519-893-1211 and mention the ONA. Reservations will be made on a first-come-first-served basis. The “tower rate” is $129 plus taxes for each night while the standard rate is $116 plus taxes for each night. Rates do not include breakfast.

For more information about the 2018 ONA Convention, visit the-ona.ca/con2018.php.

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