Lots to learn at RCNA Convention

By Jesse Robitaille

Six notable numismatists are set to teach the masses with a day full of learning at the upcoming Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) Convention, to be held July 22-26 in Halifax, N.S.

The daylong symposium is set to take place July 22 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Lunenburg Room of the Westin Nova Scotian hotel. The theme of this year’s symposium, which features both Canadian and American speakers, is “Numismatics in the Maritimes”.

RCNA President Bret Evans, who is also a director with CAFNE, the Canadian Association for Numismatic Education, said the opportunity to learn about the hobby from some of the hobby’s best and brightest is not something one should miss.

“Education is important because it enhances your collecting experience,” said Evans. “Collectors can also make better collecting decisions when they are armed with knowledge.”

This year’s symposium speakers are Brett Irick, Jeffrey Wilson, Michael Turrini, Ron Greene, Mark Dalrymple, and Lloyd Chan; each of the six speakers is given a one-hour time slot, allowing for a 45-minute talk followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer period.

Henry Nienhuis, RCNA education chair and symposium organizer, said everyone is welcome to attend.

“It’s open to non-RCNA members as well,” said Nienhuis. “Topics are as varied as the cardboard tokens used by the Hudson’s Bay Company in British Columbia, money on the Titanic and Victoria cent variety collecting.”


Nienhuis said it will be “an educational event not to be missed; plan to attend this full day of diverse numismatic presentations.”

Nienhuis will open the symposium at 9 a.m. sharp, followed by a presentation by Brett Irick on Japanese invasion money.

An advanced collector of Canadian and U.S. coins, Irick is currently president of the Windsor Coin Club, a director and club services chair for the RCNA, a governor of the Central States Numismatic Society, and a director for the Michigan State Numismatic Society.

In addition to club leadership, Irick is an active numismatic exhibitor and speaker. Significant numismatic honours include two RCNA Jean Bullen Awards for best Canadian decimal display, an American Numismatic Association (ANA) Howland Wood Memorial Award, an ANA Presidential Award, and an ANA Glenn Smedley Memorial Award.

The next hour will see Jeffrey Wilson speak about the municipal and commemorative medals of Nova Scotia.

Wilson was introduced to collecting at the age of six by his mother, who introduced him to the blue Whitman coin folders. By the time he was 17-years-old, he started to collect large cents and other decimal and paper series.

At the turn of the century, Wilson began collecting Canadian medals and has a nearly complete set of RCNA and Atlantic Provinces Numismatic Association (APNA) medals. A 27-year member of the RCNA, Wilson is also a life member of the APNA and the Halifax Regional Coin Club (HRCC).

At 11 a.m., Michael Turrini will lead a presentation about money on the Titanic.

Turrini, a Fellow of the RCNA and active numismatist for more than 40 years, is well known throughout the U.S. as a promoter of youth numismatics. He’s an active member of more than 75 coin clubs, taking up roles like western U.S. regional director for the RCNA; director and regional co-ordinator of the ANA; and life member of the Ontario Numismatic Association.

Turrini is also the current President of the California State Numismatic Association.

The symposium will break for lunch between noon and 2 p.m.

Ron Greene hosts the next hour’s talk, in which he’ll speak about the cardboard tokens of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Greene, a Fellow of the CNRS, has been an active researcher and writer of Canadian numismatic history for nearly 40 years. He’s a past-president of both the CNRS and Canadian Paper Money Society (CPMS). He received the Royal Canadian Mint Medal for Numismatic Education in 1991 and the J. Douglas Ferguson Award in 1986.

Aside from numismatics, Greene has served as chairman of Victoria’s Heritage Advisory Committee, president of the Victoria Civic Heritage Trust and chairman of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia Foundation.

At 3 p.m., Mark Dalrymple will speak about the revelations surrounding McColl 733 and Breton 902.

Dalrymple began collecting coins at a young age, when his curiosity followed the various designs, portraits and dates found on coinage. As he matured, his interest in history directed him towards collecting medals and tokens. He’s a member of the new Central Nova Coin Club and has served on the executive of the HRCC in a variety of positions. He’s the current president of the APNA and a life member of the RCNA, ANA and CPMS.

Dalrymple’s passion for numismatic knowledge has led to him to advocate for numismatic research and education. He enjoys sharing this knowledge by speaking at clubs and contributing written material to the various groups of which he’s a member.

At 4 p.m., Lloyd Chan begins the final hour with a brief history of the trade dollar.

Chan has been collecting since age of 10, focusing mainly on U.S. type coins and some world coins. He has been involved in organized numismatics since 2008 as a member of the RCNA, ONA and ANA, to name but a few. His current interests are ancient coins – specifically Greek and Roman Imperial coinage from the second century – U.S. type coins and Canadian silver dollars, including the 1967 diving goose varieties.

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