Meeting Report for September 15 2018
The undoubted attractions of Autumn Stampex and the imminent sale of the majority of the excellent collection of Alan Jeyes (ESC 293) brought a very much increased number of attendees, including no fewer than eight visitors from overseas, and one member attending a meeting for the first time. Overall, 21 members and one guest attended; there were apologies for absence from a further 16 members.

The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming the expanded attendance, and in particular those who had made the effort to come from overseas, and the one newcomer, Dr David Jones (ESC 716). He mentioned the forthcoming Egypt Study Circle Auction No 57 (now online here) of 600 lots, a large part of them from the collection of our late Chairman, Peter Andrews, and that the collection of Joe Chalhoub (ESC 385) as well as that of Alan Jeyes would be coming up for sale shortly.

In the absence – for the first time in living memory – of any admin to report, Dr Sherif Samra (ESC 311), President of the Philatelic Society of Egypt, gave some details of forthcoming exhibitions in Cairo – a national exhibition to be held between March 26 and April 2 2019, followed by an important continental exhibition, marking the 90th anniversary of our sister society in Cairo, which will be held in the Opera House Exhibition Gardens between September 9 and 15 next year. The exhibition, under FEPA sponsorship and with international as well as Egyptian judges, is intended to give all an opportunity to display. Exhibits are invited from all members; more details in the next QC.

10 IX 94: one of the very few recorded registered covers from the Mena House,
unfortunately not on a printed envelope. The meeting was reminded that
the Mena House is the only one of the major Hotels for which we have
yet to record a Registration cachet.

The meeting then turned to the topic of “Pyramids” – all members were asked to bring appropriate material - and it proved a fascinating and successful afternoon, probably largely because of its informality. Several members brought material to show, and it proved a topic for much discussion and delight.

We started with two similar exhibits, both John Davis (ESC 213) and Richard Wheatley (ESC 168) showing well known and less strongly reported material from the Mena House Hotel, an area of which everyone has some knowledge. The meeting was shown some outstanding covers and cards, but failed to answer a question from Dr Sunyu Ng (ESC 689), who was not present but asked whether there had been any advances in narrowing the gap between the Pyramids cancel and the Mena House Hotel cancel – now down to six days between March 2 and March 10 1892. The answer was in the negative.

Cyril Defriez (ESC 172) then showed some delightful essays of the very early issues, all featuring the Sphinx and Pyramids design, Jon Aitchison (ESC 611) some memorabilia including a Pyramids brooch and a Mena House telegram from 1891, and Tony Schmidt (ESC 198) was as ever on board with the only full set of Interpostals, including the rare Suez both mint and used.

Discussion went on for some considerable time as members old and new caught up on recent events, and the Design Centre in Islington was closed before the last member left.

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