63-year collector Bill Kamb wins RCNA’s top award

Nearly 20 honours handed out at July 16-25 virtual convention, held via Zoom

By Jesse Robitaille

A long-time collector, leader of the Newfoundland Numismatic Enthusiasts (NNE) and active member of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA), Bill Kamb has received the latter group’s highest distinction.

Kamb, of Powell, Ohio, took home the Paul Fiocca Award, which RCNA awards committee chair Bill Waychison called “our most important and significant” honour, during the association’s 10-day virtual convention. Kamb was among 16 award winners and three Fellow inductees announced at the online-only show, held via Zoom from July 16-25.

Launched in 2008 in honour of late CCN publisher Paul Fiocca, his namesake award is presented annually for “long-term meritorious service or major contributions to the RCNA,” said Waychison, an RCNA area director, Fellow and past president from Timmins, Ont. In addition to being the RCNA’s top prize, the Fiocca Award is the second highest honour in Canadian numismatics behind only the J. Douglas Ferguson Award, which – unlike the former distinction – has no RCNA membership stipulation.

A coin collector since the late 1950s and a specialist in Newfoundland numismatics since the mid-1980s, Kamb was raised in Massachusetts, where he graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a degree in civil engineering.
In 1972, he moved from the east coast to Ohio, where he has been “very involved with several U.S. coin clubs,” Waychison said. As a former governor with the Central States Numismatic Society, Kamb “clearly honed his managerial skills,” something he has since used to bolster the hobby north of the border.

Kamb began attending his first Canadian coin show in 1990 – typically coming up for three events each year – and joined the RCNA in 1999. Three years later, he was elected as an area director, a role in which he continues today.

“In recent years, he served on both the awards committee and as the chair of the member-retention committee, where he co-ordinated with other U.S. directors in contacting American members during the membership renewal period,” said Waychison, who added the tactic “has been very highly successful and co-opted as a model for all directors to follow in Canada.”

In 2006, Kamb founded the NNE at that year’s RCNA Convention in Niagara Falls. A year later, he began an article series entitled “Rock On,” exploring Newfoundland numismatics in the Canadian Numismatic Journal, the RCNA’s bimonthly journal, across several years.

A Fellow of both the RCNA and Ontario Numismatic Association, Kamb also received a Presidential Award from the former group in 2016.

Because the recent convention was held virtually due to COVID-19, Kamb and other RCNA award winners will receive their plaques and medals at a later date.

THREE FELLOWS INDUCTED

This July, three RCNA members were inducted as Fellows of the association.

Established in 1990, the RCNA fellowship inducts up to five members a year for performing “a worthy service judged to be of a direct benefit to the association,” according to officials.

This year’s inductees include:

  • Brett Irick, of Dearborn, Mich., who began collecting Canadian coins in 1969 and has since been involved in numismatics at the local, regional and national levels in both Canada and the United States;
  • CCN Trends numismatic literature editor Alan Roy, of Hamilton, Ont., who began collecting about 40 years ago and joined the RCNA in 1990; and
  • Cassidy Stroud, of Egbert, Ont., who attended her first coin show in 2012 before joining the RCNA in 2017, after which time she spearheaded the association’s youth program as its national youth co-ordinator.

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