A former past president of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) has received singular recognition by the American Numismatic Association (ANA).
A “shocked” William Waychison stood in disbelief on the podium when ANA president Walter Ostromecki made the announcement during the opening ceremonies of the recent World’s Fair of Money in Chicago.
Waychison, the immediate past president of the RCNA, was participating in the ceremony as part of this ANA’s convention theme, Hands Across the Border, a joint-partnership of the ANA and RCNA to promote each other’s conventions and the hobby.
“The ANA Presidential Award is given, at the discretion of the president, to recognize an individual who works tirelessly behind the scenes for the hobby to make it better overall,” Ostomecki later told Canadian Coin News (CCN).
“Bill is one of those guys that gives very tirelessly. He works behind the scenes…someone you normally don’t see seeking recognition,” Ostomecki added. “He doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. He’s always out there in the trenches.”
“This was a total surprise,” Waychison later told CCN. “I never anticipated it. I’m shocked, but very pleased and honoured to receive it.”
Ostromecki said it is important to recognize “people who have the ability or have enhanced the excitement of our numismatic community. And, I have built that in the Presidential Award.
“And, Bill has done that,” the ANA president added.
“Bill has been there. He has no borders. He comes to the U.S. and the Canadian shows to help and enhance them. To me, he is an avid collector, avid enthusiast [of the hobby]and he speaks for the hobby,” said Ostromecki who has known Waychison for a number of years when the Canadian served as the RCNA’s club services representative.
“He, along with others, make it possible for the next generation of collectors,” Ostromecki added.
Waychison says he’s received “a lot of fun and pleasure” from the hobby and his volunteer service as the RCNA’s club services chair, along with several years on the association’s executive.
“The one thing I have learned is it’s not just about what you collect,” says the avid collector of medals and stock certificates. “It’s also about the people you meet at the shows and club meetings.
“The RCNA and ANA conventions become an opportunity to meet people right across the countries,” Waychison added. “It’s a great get-together. Giving back becomes part of it. You help out – whether it’s RCNA business, club services or whatever.
“The clubs are the roots to the tree, and without those roots the RCNA and ANA cannot function at all,” he said. “So, with that aspect, it is very critical to step forward and try your best to help others out.”
During the surprise presentation, the ANA president acknowledge Waychison’s wife, France, for being his “biggest supporter.” And, Waychison was quick to thank his wife for her ongoing support.
“Having my wife, by my side, has been crucial,” he said. “Without her there is no way I would have gone and joined the executive.”
Mrs. Waychison has received several awards in recent years for her commitment to the hobby, as well.
ANA president Ostromecki pointed out the “the Presidential Award has special meaning.” He explained: “The individual has no idea. People know when I give a Presidential Award, they are done special not because they are a friend, and not because they want an award. I want to recognize those individuals who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes. And Bill is one of them – here (in the U.S.) and in Canada.”
RCNA president Bret Evans extended his congratulations to Waychison on receiving the Presidential Award.
“William has worked hard for many years to forward numismatics in Canada at all levels,” he added.