Hundreds gathered in Mississauga today for the Troyak club’s 12th annual show and sale, which saw thousands of coins, stamps and other collectables on offer from over 30 dealers.
Tom Malicki, president of the Polish-Canadian Coin & Stamp Club (Troyak), said the annual show and sale has been improving each year, and he expects more of the same this time around.
“It’s been good – very busy, but good – and everyone I’ve spoken to is excited,” he said. “Over the last three years, we’ve increased the number of people attending. Last year, we had over 700 visitors.”
The two-day show runs today and tomorrow between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the John Paul II Polish-Canadian Cultural Centre.
“I hope, for the dealers and for us, that we can bring more people out this year,” said Malicki, adding the venue provides a great setting for the show.
“They like the venue, they like the parking and they like the room being very airy and open. They especially like the room’s lighting. They need the light, which is a thorn in many shows’ sides. It’s also very spacious here, with a minimum of eight feet between tables.”
He said this year’s show is the first with armed security.
“Not only do dealers have two days now, but they’re fully secure. As far as security goes, I’ve heard nothing but ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ from all the dealers.”
One dealer, Ernie Blair, said the day went well, with an especially good morning.
“We had a few people drop three-to-four hundred dollars this morning, so that’s ok,” said Blair. “It should be even better tomorrow.”
Malicki said the Mint of Poland (www.mennica.com.pl) provided the club with a coin press, which was operated by Troyak member Ignacy Szymanski.
“We have a really good relationship with the premier Polish mint. The press they provided is pretty close to how the coins used to be made,” said Malicki. “Every year for about 10 years, we’ve done a different commemorative token. For the last several years, we’ve done a Canada Post picture postage stamp to match the theme of our show.”
He said this year’s theme is the 35th anniversary of Solidarity – the vast social movement responsible for toppling Communism across Europe – with large displays provided by the Polish consulate set up around the room.
“The movement was crucial for overthrowing the Communist government in Poland, and then that movement spread across Europe.”
Following the Second World War, Solidarity became the first independent labour union in a Soviet-bloc country. It created a wide-scale, non-violent, anti-Communist movement with nearly 10 million members at its peak.
The Troyak club is a non-profit organization, and the annual show is its only fundraiser.