Kitchener’s continuity keeps ONA convention rolling

The Ontario Numismatic Association’s (ONA) annual convention, held once again in Kitchener, Ont., was a success with both dealers and collectors, with the right mix of fun, fellowship, and business. It was the 51st convention for the ONA, which returned to the Holiday Inn Kitchener-Waterloo. The city and host club Waterloo Coin Society had hosted a number of conventions in the past. This year was once again under show chairman Robb McPherson, who also managed last year’s event.

That continuity, and being able to draw on an experienced group of volunteers, resulted in a smooth-running event, from registration to final breakdown. It was a banner year for McPherson, who was also the incoming ONA president, and who chose to ask his girlfriend, Lisa Spinks, for her hand in marriage during the awards banquet. Paul Petch will assume the role of past president while other key members will be Peter Becker as first vice-president, and Randal Haigh as second vice-president. Spinks will serve as secretary and Brent Mackie as treasurer.

The ONA convention is one of the shows which also draws collectors on a national level. Meetings were held by the Canadian Tire Coupon Collectors Club, Canadian Paper Money Society, Canadian Association of Wooden Money Collectors, Canadian Association of Token Money Collectors, and the executive of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association. Other events included a number of receptions, an educational forum, numismatic and military auctions, and an awards banquet.

Emily Damstra, a local illustrator and designer of several Canadian coins, including the 2013 lucky loonie, was on hand for most of the convention. Not only was she guest speaker at the banquet, but she also participated in events on Friday and conducted a coin signing on Saturday, with the proceeds going to charity. The youth program was active and extensive. In addition to a Coin Kids Auction held in conjunction with the RCNA, there was a kids’ table beside the bourse operated by the Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers. While young collectors were given the opportunity to purchase coins and supplies at youth-friends rates, a line on the floor banned adults from participating, either as adults or as consultants.

A highlight of the Saturday evening was the awards banquet, when the ONA recognized the work of its members. The highest award, the Award of Merit, is presented to the person living in Ontario who has made the greatest contribution toward the advancement of numismatics at all levels: local, provincial, and national. The 2013 recipient is Edward Anstett of Brantford. The second highest award is the Bruce H. Raszmann Award. Named for the first treasurer of the ONA, who held the job for nearly 50 years, the award is presented to an individual who has held posts on the executive committees and has demonstrated dedication.

It was first presented last year, the year of Raszmann’s death. This year’s award went to Fred Freeman. Finally, the ONA honoured three individuals with fellowships, presented for outstanding service to numismatics in their local area. The 2013 recipients were Mackie, John Regitko, and Scott Douglas. The ONA will hold its 2014 convention April 4-6 at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts in Windsor, Ont.

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