By Jeff Fournier
I’ve just returned from another fabulous RCNA convention and once again, I’m having a very difficult time deciding just what the highlight of the six-day event was. Running from July 19 until July 24, the convention had so many great moments and events that I certainly won’t be able to cover them all in this column, but if you continue reading the articles that follow in this and future issues of Canadian Coin News, you will soon get a feel for what a wonderful experience it was to attend this truly remarkable, annual event.
I think Jeff Garrett, the president of the esteemed American Numismatic Society (ANA), summed it up best in his address to the attendees at the 2016 convention banquet held on Saturday, July 24.
“This convention,” Garrett began, “and the hobby, is not about coins……it’s about coins and people.”
Indeed! Just think about that for a minute. “It’s about coins and people.”
The convention was certainly about people. It was about the RCNA executive who (as they have done every year) provided leadership and guidance to a capable team from the Ottawa Numismatic Society – led by co-chairmen Steve Woodland and Serge Pelletier. It was about the collectors and their families who travelled, often from great distances, to attend the event. It was about the dealers who prepared (often for weeks – even months in advance) for the onslaught of numismatists wishing to add to their collections. It was about the auctioneers – Geoff, Brian, their families and coworkers – who capably conducted the landmark RCNA auction event.
It was about the hotel staff, the security people and other clubs who sent delegates and offered their support. And it was about the expert speakers who took part in the educational symposium. It was also about the exhibitors who laboured in constructing their displays – whether competitive or not – so that we could all enjoy the fruits of their efforts. And finally, it was about the people at Ottawa’s Royal Canadian Mint and the people of the City of Ottawa itself, who welcomed everyone who came to attend our national convention and to explore and enjoy the area’s many attractions.
As for the coins and other numismatica? Well, what can I say? A 1911 electroplate Canadian dollar; mounds of silver and gold bars and coins; rare and not so rare decimals, tokens, medals, currency, supplies and RCM material were all there. And there were books – numismatic books – and lots of them, thanks to dealers such as Richard Stockley, Ted Bailey and Mike Walsh. Numismatic collectibles, after all, are the common threads that bind us together.
Camaraderie – the people – was definitely the big thing. Getting to see dealers like Sean Isaacs, Mike Findlay, Peter MacDonald and so many others was a pleasure.
But the absolute highlight – seeing and spending time with collectors from all across Canada and the United States, is what I will remember the most. I had the pleasure of spending some time with my good friends Bill and France Waychison from Timmins, Jeff Wilson from Borden, Bill English from Midland, Howard and Estelle Engel from Winnipeg, Alain Roy and Diane Taylor from Hamilton, Lisa Dale and James Williston from Calgary and new friend Dan McCormick from Halifax to name only a few. I’ve really only touched the tip of the iceberg here as there were so many other friends and acquaintances at the show that I simply can’t mention here. Without a doubt, the hobby just wouldn’t be the same to me if not for all of you.
If you want to truly begin enjoying our wonderful hobby to its maximum extent, you should really come out to a convention. Next year’s RCNA 2017 Convention – to be held in Boucherville, Que., – will bring coins and people together, once again, for Canada’s premier, annual numismatic event. Why not come along for the ride?