Saint John Coin Club celebrates diamond anniversary

To mark its 60th anniversary this year, New Brunswick’s Saint John Coin Club (SJCC) unveiled its first official club logo and will host a celebratory reception later this month.

The club narrowed the theme choices to two before turning to social media to help choose a winner.

The choices were the Bank of New Brunswick building, which is located on Prince William Street in Saint John, and the sailing ship the Marco Polo, built in Saint John and once able to claim the title of ‘the fastest ship in the world,'” said Kevin Day-Thorburn, an SJCC member and the editor of its newsletter.

Other subjects considered earlier in the process included the “Loyalist Man,” an iconic sign located near the Reversing Falls in Saint John, and the “Three Sisters Light,” a set of three red gas lamps visible from about five kilometres seaward and located at the end of historic Prince William Street.

After voting on the SJCC Facebook page closed, the final tally was brought to the club’s next meeting and combined with members’ choices to determine the new theme.

The winning theme was the Marco Polo, and members were asked to submit design proposals.

FOUNDED IN 1959

The SJCC was formed in 1959 with eight members present at the first meeting, which was held at the New Brunswick Museum on Douglas Avenue in the city’s north end.

The original members were Don Kelly; Arnold Fairbrother; John Withers; Ronald Clifford; Sam Babb; Steve Pestano; Walter Turnbull; C. Joyce; and A. Burtt.

Within a decade, the club’s membership grew to 43, and by 1980 this number nearly doubled. Over the years, club meetings were held in a variety of places, including the old Admiral Beatty Hotel, which is now a senior’s complex, and the now-demolished Royal Hotel on King Street.

Numismatic luminaries who attended the club’s shows or meetings include James Charlton, Major Sheldon Carol, H. D. Allan, Geoffrey Bell and J. D. Ferguson to name a few.

A number of the club’s members, including Day-Thorburn, have been honoured nationally.

“The organization has been a positive influence over these decades, providing access to their numismatic knowledge to anyone interested in the hobby. Each member is proud to serve the community in this respect,” said Day-Thorburn, who was named a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA), which he also serves as an area director, at last year’s RCNA Convention in Mississauga.

“The club has accomplished a lot to date and is looking beyond their diamond anniversary for even more contributions to numismatics,” he said, adding the celebratory reception will be held May 25, on the eve of the club’s annual show, which will take place the following day at the Kent Theatre.

The Saint John Coin Club meets every third Tuesday (excluding the months of July and August) at 7 p.m. at the Château Saint John on 369 Rockland Rd., Saint John, N.B.

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