Lionel has the stamp of approval

Stamp collecting has seen Lionel Savins posted to many locations around the world.

Lionel, 84, has been collecting stamps on and off for around 60 years.

His knowledge and experience in Philately, or stamp collecting, has seen him appointed as a judge/commissioner with the Australian Philatelic Federation, travelling to stamp exhibitions in Taiwan, London, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand.

Lionel is also president of the Philatelic Association of NSW Inc.

This month he will be exhibiting closer to home when he takes part in the Sydney Stamp and Coin Expo 2019, to be held at the Johnny Warren Indoor Sports Centre at Hurstville Aquatic Centre from June 13 to 16.

The expo is the largest national event of its kind and is only held once every four years in NSW.

This year's event is attracting exhibitors and dealers from 11 countries including New Zealand, India, United States, England and South Africa.

There will be about 40 stamp and coin dealers and this year's expo has been expanded to include coins and banknotes.

On display will be more than 750 16-sheet presentation frames of top quality philatelic material.

The event will have two competitions; one for philatelic material and one for postcards.

There will be teams from all Australian states and also New Zealand.

Australia Post will also be present with a stand.

Lionel started collecting stamps as a child and gave it up temporarily when he went to University to study engineering.

"I took it up again later in life and for the past 20 years it has been pretty intense," he said.

Lionel specialises in collecting New Zealand stamps, particularly 1935 Pictorial Definitives.

"I just like the designs of the New Zealand stamps," he said. "They are much brighter in colour and more attractive than the Australian stamps."

Lionel said it takes two particular qualities to be a dedicated stamp collector.

"You need patience to wait and determination to pursue your goal," he said.

"You have got to have patience, particularly when looking for the most difficult-to-find stamps which you may have to wait for years to find.

"It is a peaceful hobby but it can get very tense at times because you can go to auctions and find you are in some intense bidding if you are after a particular stamp.

"It takes a long time to get a collection of quality."

His advice someone who wants to take up stamp collecting: "Join a club and find someone who will mentor you.

"Unfortunately in the age of electronic gadgets, it is hard to attract young people to the hobby of Philately," he said.

But Lionel hopes the expo will go some way to attracting a new generation.

Admission is free and all children will receive a free show bag filled with stamps and other philatelic treats.

The Stand-holders will be offering obligation-free valuations and appraisals.


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