Hong Kong Study Circle Specialising in the Philately of Hong Kong and the Treaty Ports Founded 1951 

Hong Kong Study Circle at the The World Stamp Show, New York, 2016

(Select photo to view enlargement)

Day 1 Wilson Nessel and Houde
John Wilson, Ingo Nessel and Michel Houde

Houde and Chin
Ingo Nessel and Leo Chin

Pigeon
A feathered guest, one of the resident pigeons

Wilson Presentation
John Wilson presenting HK Postman Beat Chops

Gibson-Smith Presentation
Ian Gibson-Smith presenting 'CHINA' Overprints

Presentation Audience
The lucky ones who were able to attend

Michel and Leo
Michel Houde and Leo Chin

Dinner Guests
Lindsay Green, Kathy Hartley, John Wilson and Rob Schneider


(Report and Photos by Ingo Nessel)

HKSC Meeting, Sunday 29th May 2016

Members present :
Leo Chin, Ian Gibson-Smith, Michel Houde, Tom Massa, Ingo Nessel, Robert Schneider, John Wilson.

Guests :
Agnes Eng, Derek Eng, Steffan Harry, Kathy Hartley, Rhoda Laya, Bill Longley, Regina Ngan, Francis Stott.

The New York Show was the latest in a series of once-every-ten-years international philatelic exhibitions and bourses dating back to the 1920’s in the United States. The show was conveniently located and well planed with wide aisles, with a massive display of 4000+ frames of competitive exhibits. Upwards of 100 dealers and auction houses had material available for all price points. The breathtaking display of great rarities in the Court of Honour was one of my favourite highlights. It included the very first penny black, written up in a recent issue of the London Philatelist, the British Guiana 1c magenta, the 'world's rarest stamp', the original Roll of Distinguished Philatelists, and many more superb historical items. There were numerous attractions for beginning collectors, young and old. Dozens of meetings, lectures, events and dinners were held by dozens of societies including our own.

Hong Kong-related competitive exhibits produced some excellent medal results including Gold for member Ian Gibson-Smith’s 'CHINA' overprints. A fully detailed and searchable Palmares is available on the New York 2016 website, which was an excellent resource for this show.

Ingo Nessel called the meeting to order and welcomed members and guests from far and wide. Everybody introduced themselves and we even had a visit by a pigeon in our meeting room. (The Javits Convention Centre is so large that it harbours a small flock of pigeons, which is cheerfully tolerated by staff and guests). Greetings from our president Chris Norton and former Vice President Lee Scamp were passed along. Tom Massa brought some material for sale and owing to time constraints a quick sales/auction session was held before we had to vacate the room. Dinner arrangements were announced and later that evening a group of ten met at the Peking Duck House restaurant in midtown New York. This was a fine finish to a great day for Hong Kong philately in North America.

First Presentation:

A Study of Hong Kong Postman Beat Chops by John Wilson

John has been collecting postman beat chop covers for quite some time, and has constructed their history based on artifacts (incoming and locally posted covers), as the practice is largely unrecorded in official documents. From the beginnings when Chinese characters were used on any special mail by delivering postmen, John has determined the postmans’ walks, discovered unlisted numbers, deciphered regular from evening deliveries, and the many permutations of post office workings concurrent with the Hong Kong’s rapid growth from the mid 1950s onwards. It is an example of original research helping to weave the story of one’s collection. The presentation was interactive with attendees asking questions during its course. Surely all attendees who possess some beat chop covers will now scurry to their collections to cross check with the new knowledge shared by John.

Second Presentation:

'CHINA' overprints by Ian Gibson-Smith

Based on his gold medal exhibit of a comprehensive treatment of the ‘CHINA’ overprinted King George V definitives, Ian presented an intriguing combination of original research resulting in new discoveries and some absolutely delectable material such as full sheets (containing four panes of 60) of numerous denominations including the $10, and an array of booklets with ‘CHINA’ overprint adhesives. In addition to describing the material and providing census figures from personal research, Ian highlighted the need to centralize and consolidate information. There is a lot of knowledge among our membership, and we have the means to share that knowledge as well as our passion. A suggestion was made that the Hong Kong Securities Marking online group was a knowledge sharing organization that could be used as a model for ongoing studies of subjects including the ‘CHINA’ overprints. Ian’s passion for this issue can be studied on his website chinaoverprints.com


Big thanks are due to the two speakers for their learned presentations. Member Michel Houde’s support and assistance was invaluable especially with technology and hardware. And finally thank you to those who attended. You made all the effort worth it. I trust that it was worthwhile for you too!