The moment of discovery holds the joy
STAMP collecting doesn't have to be about investing large amounts of money, a fascination with postmarks, collections dating back decades and elusive treasures.
It can be all of those things, but at Toowoomba Stamp Club there are just as many people who just enjoy stamp collecting for "the fun of the chase”, as club president Brian Shackleton puts it.
Jan and Leo Connors are one such couple, joining the club's 80 or so regular members about five years ago, having been introduced to the hobby by a friend.
Looking through the club books of stamps for sale, they found ones that appealed to their existing loves, in Leo's case birds, particularly roosters, and in Jan's cats - and they were hooked.
"I didn't even realise cat stamps existed, but now I have two albums full, including from places you would never think of, like Afghanistan,” Jan said.
She collects stamps new and old, and has recently also started collecting Disney stamps, with unexpected origins including the Maldives, Guyana and Caribbean islands.
While some people build on collections they have inherited, or from their own childhood, themed collections were not unusual, Jan said, and with stamps selling for as little as 5-10 cents, it was a very affordable hobby.
An added bonus is that they aren't a nightmare to dust.
The club meets on the second Saturday of each month, from 1-4pm in the St Stephen's Uniting Church hall, Annand St.
Meetings always include a visiting club from Brisbane bringing exchange books, a Brisbane dealer as well as local John Laker, a sale by tender where members can sell their unwanted stamps, a bargain shop, and access to catalogues.
"Membership is a great reason to get out of the house and meet new people with similar interests and only costs $5 per year,” Brian said.
While it is one of the biggest clubs in Queensland and they have a "wonderful group of people”, the members' only wish is for some younger blood - by which they mean anyone under 70 - although any new member is welcome.
They can also help in valuations, or disposal of collections or deceased estate lots.
If you are interested in finding out more, the club's Annual Stamp Day is on Saturday, October 12, at the Indoor Bowls Hall, Annand St, from 9am-4pm.
Entry is free and there will be 15 south-east Queensland stamp clubs with their exchange books, several reputable Brisbane stamp and coin dealers buying and selling stamps, coins and collecting accessories, as well as a sale by tender.
For details, go to toowoombastampclub.org
or phone Brian on 0746359381.