World Stamps

Five to sign Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in Southampton, England

Apr 1, 2024, 2 PM
Walter Britz, Yu-An Chen, John Davies, Bernard Jimenez and Ivar Sundsbo have been chosen to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists. The signing ceremony will take place July 12 during the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain in Southampton, England.

By Linn’s Staff

On March 7, the board of election of the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists selected five individuals to sign the roll, considered one of the hobby’s most significant honors. The honorees are Walter Britz of Uruguay, Yu-An Chen of Taiwan, John Davies of the United Kingdom, Bernard Jimenez of France, and Ivar Sundsbo of Norway.

The signing ceremony will take place July 12 at 5 p.m. local time in Southampton, England, during the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain.

Walter Britz actively participates in the philatelic world of Uruguay and other South American and Hispanic countries. He is one of the most widely known names among the philatelists from South America.

He serves as president of the Uruguay Philatelic Federation and chairman of the International Federation of American Philately.

Britz has been the driving force behind several shows, including a 2023 international exhibition held in Uruguay — the first for the country in 50 years — and a number of the International Federation of American Philately’s shows, including a 2016 show in Cordoba, Argentina, and a 2019 show in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Britz specializes in the issues of his home country and collects the classic period of Uruguay. His exhibits have received high awards, including the International Federation of Philately (FIP) grand prix international at Brasilia 2013 and Brasilia 2017. Most recently, his “Uruguay: Early issues of the XIX Century (1856-1862)” was the winner of the FIP grand prix d’honneur at Ibra 2023.

Yu-An Chen serves on the International Federation of Asian Philately executive committee, and he has been its vice president since 2017.

His exhibits have gained high awards at international exhibitions, with his exhibit “World War II Surcharges of the Chinese Republic” awarded the grand prix in 2016 at both Philataipei and Bangkok.

His exhibit “Chinese Imperial Postal Cards and Letter Sheets” received the grand prix international in Malaysia in 2014. He has also achieved high awards for his exhibit of the 1948-49 Gold Yuan issues.

In addition to exhibiting at international exhibitions, Chen works in organizational matters related to exhibitions and jury work. He has been a key organizer of several Federation of Inter-Asian Philately (FIAP) exhibitions, including Taipei 2015 and Taipei 2023. He was the FIAP coordinator for a number of exhibitions, including Singapore 2019, and will also serve in that role for the upcoming Melbourne 2025.

Chen was involved in the organization of the 74th FIP Congres, held in Taipei in March 2017, at which time he was president of the Chinese Taipei Philatelic Federation.

He is an FIP-accredited juror for all classes and has served on numerous FIAP and FIP juries since 2008.

As a student and researcher, Chen has written articles on both specialist and general subjects. These include advice to judges on how to judge an exhibit and how to handle the essential role of feedback to the exhibitor.

His specialist articles cover subjects related to the overprints on Chinese stamps in the World War II period, especially the Gold Yuan surcharges. These were the subject of articles in the Chinese Taipei Philatelic Society’s magazine, which covered the stamps, their overprints and the postal history of the period.

John Davies has promoted youth philately within the United Kingdom since 1988, and he was involved in creating the youth organization now called the Stamp Active Network. This, together with Kidstamps, a free postal club for children, is the mainstay of junior philately within the United Kingdom.

Davies serves as events manager for Stamp Active and webmaster for its website, which received a large gold and was voted the best in class at the specialist Federation of European Philatelic Associations’ exhibition Italia 2018 in Verona, Italy.

He has also been involved in the production of a range of award-winning colorful and interesting promotional guides and books aimed at the young collector.

As a member of the Association of British Philatelic Societies executive committee, Davies led the promotion of youth philately for over 30 years and has been the driving force of much of what has been seen as a model for reaching out to youth philately in Europe and beyond.

His contributions have been reflected with awards from the Association of British Philatelic Societies and the Federation of European Philatelic Association.

In his own collecting interests, Davies focuses on building an exhibit of the 1890 Penny Postage Jubilee celebrations, which has become one of the leading international open-class exhibits and has gained awards up to large gold at numerous exhibitions around the world, including being voted best in class at the 2016 FIP international exhibition in New York City, World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

Bernard Jimenez has served as a member of the board of the French National Federation since the early 1990s, with particular responsibilities for international affairs. He has been directly involved with all recent major exhibitions held in France.

Jimenez was elected to the FIP board in 2006, and served as vice president from 2016 until his retirement in 2022. His involvement with the FIP led to his involvement on numerous international juries in a wide array of classes. He is recognized as one of the best-informed thematic judges.

His award-winning exhibits include “The Bee,” “The Night” and “From Stone to Jewel.” A postal history collection of “French Post Offices in China” achieved the grand prix in the French national exhibition.

His contributions to philately in France have been recognized by the highest award in French philately (the Merite Philatelique Francais) and the high award from the European Academy of Philately (Merite Philatelique Europeen).

An interest in the voyages of explorer Jean-Francois de Galaup, Count of Laperouse, led Jimenez to write a book called L’Expedition Laperouse – Une Aventure Humaine et Scientifique Autour du Monde based on the archives and letters written by Laperouse.

Ivar Sundsbo has written a large number of articles covering diverse subjects, from postal history to aerophilately to forgeries.

His book Norske brev for 1855 (Norwegian Covers up to 1855) lists and analyzes older Norwegian covers. Sundsbo co-authored Norge komplett (Norway Complete), an introductory stamp collecting book that has sold more than 6,000 copies.

Sundsbo’s exhibits have won gold medals at various international exhibitions, including London 2000 and Korea 2001.

He is a qualified juror and is in demand as a member of the jury at FIP exhibitions. Recent assignments have included Notos 2021 in Athens and London 2022, where he was team jury leader in both postal history and aerophilately.

In 2008, 2014 and 2019, Sundsbo served as jury president of Nordia exhibitions, and he has been involved in the management of numerous other exhibitions.

In international philately, Sundsbo has been the Norwegian representative on the FIP postal history, aerophilately and fight against forgeries commissions.

The invitation to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists is the highest and most prestigious of honors in philately and is the world’s oldest philatelic honor.

The roll was instituted in Harrogate, England, in May 1921, and the signature of King George V appears at its head as the first signatory.

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