Dear friends of philately and visitors of the Prestige Philately Club Prague website (hereinafter “PPCP”), on the 17th of June 2021 the 5th member’s meeting took place in the Crystal Ballroom of the Grand Hotel Alchymist with most members in attendance along with several invited guests. Although mostly focused on work, the program of this meeting was truly diverse.

The meeting was initiated by a short welcome and an opening speech given by JUDr. Tomáš Mádl, the president of PPCP, followed by the inauguration of two new members which was carried out as per customs: the member badges and certificates were handed over, the members signed the Founding charter and their photographs were taken. The first new member is SLOVENSKÁ POŠTA a.s. Poštové múzeum (Slovak Post a.s., Postal Museum), represented by Mgr. Martin Vančo, PhD., the director of Poštové múzeum and the head of the Postal Philatelic Service (POFIS) unit of the Slovak Post a.s. Mr Vančo is well known in philatelic circles throughout both Slovakia and the Czech Republic and is long-term contributor to the good name of stamp making and philately even among the non-specialized wide public. This membership can add to the strengthening of contacts and cooperation of PPCP and public authorities, similar to the membership of the Postal Museum in Prague. The second addition to the club is Ing. Antonín Blažek PhD., the owner of the interesting Cape of Good Hope and collection of other colonies and of the exceptional provisional issue with a CHINA overprint – 50 Pfg. Reichspost (the most expensive stamp of the whole of Germany as per catalogue) which he introduced at the first 2020 Biennale. He sees philately as a synthesis of several social sciences: history, geography, natural sciences, and technical branches. He is convinced, that philately as a whole contributes to the rise in education among people and to the mutual recognition of individual and often very distant and distinct nations, social spheres and diverse communities. This opinion on philately is one with that of PPCP, which sees philately as a mutual language and a perfectly inclusive part of world culture.

The main theme of the fifth meeting was nonetheless the 2020 Biennale which took place last year and was a small miracle, because it was after the talks of Dr. Tomáš Mádl with the then minister of health, MUDr. Jan Blatný, Ph.D., that the exhibition received a special permit during the Covid-19 pandemic thanks to unique rarities of world renown loaned by members of PPCP, Club de Monte-Carlo de l’Élite de la Philatélie and Austrian Vindobona. The exhibition, which was the only international philatelic exhibition of this size and reach in 2020, took place for 10 days and generated respect in the philatelic community worldwide. A series of positive responses in the form of congratulations, acknowledgements, and thankful e-mails from all over the world to both the exhibition and the catalogue serve to testifiy. From the range of the most famous personalities we can name Bill Hadley, Patrick Maselis, Karl Louis, Wolfgang Maassen, Daniel Piazza, Adrian Bergamini, etc. The exhibition was also visited by Gina Renotière from the family of count von Ferrary, who expressed her delight when seeing the Lady McLeod contextual exhibit and the reconstruction of POST PAID Mauritius stamps, both ex. Ferrary.

A number of these personalities also offered us their cooperation with organizing future exhibitions. It is to be considered, if it would be better to see Biennale 2020 as an “inaugural year”. Another result of the 2020 Biennale is a wonderful catalogue, which already received praise from a number of states. It was, among other things, sent to compete at the international PHILANIPPON 2021 exhibition in Tokyo. We are also planning to send it to the Hungarian HUNFIL 2021. An hour-long video on Youtube made with the cooperation of Jirka Král, one of the most famous youtubers in the Czech Republic, will also serve as a lasting reminder.

The Board of PPCP decided that the next Biennale will be postponed to 2023 because CMC is postponing their two-year period from 2021 to the autumn of 2022. PPCP will therefore avoid a colision between the two exhibitions held at the same time of the year. A new agreement is being made with the National Museum, a planned cooperation with Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington is in progress, which promised to lend us prestigious rarities such as Inverted Jenny, we will also be pursuing loans from the British Royal Collection, and we were assured of loans of exclusive rarities of global significance, which came through the hands of the Swiss auction house Corinphila. Due to the aforementioned and the fact, that a number of members of Club de Monte Carlo have expressed their interest in cooperating with us, the 2023 Biennale will be tremendously binding in terms of expertise and organisation and will recquire much higher standards for the value and tier of our own exhibits.

The next item was the participation of PPCP on exhibitions in the near future. The first of these will be a specialized single-frame exhibition in Nitra, organized in September 2021 by the Union of Slovakian Philatelists, which will be focused on Slovakia and Czechoslovakia. PPCP will be providing 5 to 6 exhibits. Another exhibition will be the Helvetia 2022 World Stamp Exhibition, which will take place in Lugano in May 2022. Its general partner will be the Swiss auction house Corinphila. PPCP will probably have the possibility to participate with 10 contextual frames. The last will be “Liberec 2022”, a European exhibition taking place in Liberec (13.-16.10.2022) under the patronage of FEPA (Bill Hedley), with the approval of FIP (Bernard Beston) and AEP, and last but not least, under the auspice of the Governor of the Liberec region M. Půta and the mayor of Liberec Ing. J. Zámečník, CSc. Invitations were sent out to 40 European countries. Welness hotel Babylon was chosen as the venue. A part of this exhibition will be the 6th internation “world exhibition” Polar Salon Liberec 2022. Visitors will be able to see philatelic material of polar philately, e.g. with Arctic or Antarctic context. Loans of foreign artefacts are starting to be negotiated. PPCP promised to take part also through propagation, sponsoring, and through contextual exhibits and the “History of Philately” exhibition. The last item was the evaluation of media outputs of the Club as part of Biennale, of which there were 73 in total: 6 were covered by the TV (Czech Television, Nova, and CNN Prima), 1 coverage was by Czech Radio, 12 were articles printed in magazines and 54 outputs were online.

The fifth meeting was successful above all in unifying visions, or at least opening the discussion about many aspects of the work of PPCP, regarding both the aforementioned subjects, but also changes to the process of admission, media and PR activities, charitable activities, exhibitor consultancy, or the possibilities of closer communication and cooperation inside the club. The planning and realization of our goals has advanced in many ways, but a large deal of work rests ahead as well as efforts for the benefit of philately. Everything will be coordinated by the Board of the club and the next two meetings (6th and 7th) will be devoted to this agenda. They will take place in September and December 2021.

for web PPCP Mgr. Petr Jezdinský