The obituary by the late Keith Pogson (ESC 130) for the passing away of our long-serving former Chairman Major E.L.G. MacArthur, MC, CdeG. (ESC 125), 1916-1998, was published in QC 187 (December 1998, p.287). The introduction of "a small trophy to be presented annually for the best article published in the QC (chosen by popular vote)" was announced at the Egypt Study Circle Annual General Meeting on 8 May 1998 (reported in QC 188 (June 1999, p.28), the cost of which was to be covered by a bequest from Major MacArthur. It was intended to encourage more original research, to be published in QC articles.
This was the MacArthur Award, for which a Roll of Honour was published in QC 280 (March 2022, p.200). That list, however, which starts with 2001, inadvertently omits listing the first two recipients of the award since its inception. See below for a complete list.
For the record, details of the creation and early stages of the MacArthur Award were as follows:
An invitation to vote for the best QC article was first announced in QC 195 (December 2000, p.175), asking members to vote for one article of 1999 and one of 2000. The results of that first poll were declared at the 2001 AGM, reported in QC 197 (June 2001, p.222). The "Scribe" award, as it came to be called, was a small statuette of the Louvre’s Fourth Dynasty seated scribe, made of brass with blue enamel features, on a square wooden plinth. It had been sourced from Egypt by the ESC Chairman at the time, the late and much missed Robin Bertram (ESC 137), who acquired a number of these units for the annual award. With time they have become irreplaceable.
The first recipient of the newly inaugurated trophy was Edmund Hall, who was presented with the "Scribe" for 1999 at the AGM on 12 May 2001. Pierre Grech could not attend that meeting, but received his award for 2000 from Robin Bertram at a later ESC meeting (reported in QC 199 (December 2001, p.270). Subsequent winners are registered in the Award's Roll of Honour.
Additionally Major MacArthur also generously bequeathed the whole of his philatelic library to the ESC Library. The letter of gratitude on behalf of the ESC from the Librarian, John Davis (ESC 213) to Mrs MacArthur, is reproduced in QC 190 (September 1999, p.51).
2021 – Ramez Atiya (USA, ESC 242), The pseudo-watermarks of the Second Issue (QC 279, pp 281-288)
2020 – Pierre Louis Grech (UK, ESC 266), Ismailia – Timsah (QC 274, pp 61-72)
2019 – Sami Sadek (UK, ESC 559), TPOs and timetables: Secrets revealed (QC 270, pp 248-255)
2018 – Ronny Van Pellecom (Belgium, ESC 618) and Alain Stragier
(Belgium, ESC 241), Egypt’s Railway Stations 1879-1914 (QCs 264-267)
2017 - Pierre Louis Grech (UK, ESC 266), 1957: Rejected Egyptian Mail (QC 261, pp 29-31)
2016 - Greg Todd (Ireland ESC 585), Stamped covers from Massawa (QC 258, pp 252-256)
2015 - Dr Amr El-Etreby (Egypt, ESC 688), The 1915 Provisional: A Centenary Celebration (QC 255, pp.173-185)
2014 – Edmund Hall (UK, ESC 239), Sinai and Gaza Part 4: 1917-1948 (QC 251, pp 86-92)
2013 – Mike Murphy (UK, ESC 240), Stationery Cutouts: Valid for Postage? (QC 245, pp 224-229)
2012 – Edmund Hall (UK, ESC 239), Sinai-Gaza Part 2 (QC 240, pp 110-120)
2011 – Pierre Louis Grech (UK, ESC 266), Helouan (QC 239, pp 78-90)
2010 - Hany Salam (Egypt, ESC 580), Official Mail service from 1866 to 1883 (QC 235, pp 284-288)
2009 - Pierre Grech (UK, ESC 266), French Forces in Egypt during World War One (QC229, pp 127-143)
2008 - Ahmed Abu Mousa (Abu Dhabi, ESC 584), Fuad Second Issue: Retouches and Flaws (QC 227, pp 82-89)
2007 - Ahmed Abu Mousa (Abu Dhabi, ESC 584), Postal History of the Fuad Portrait Issues (QC 220, pp 205-216)
2006 – Edmund Hall (UK, ESC 239), Operations Kadesh and Musketeer: the Tripartite Aggression
(QC 219, pp 176-177,183-192)
2005 – Anatole Ott (Sweden, ESC 261), Third Study of Parcel Cards for Foreign Countries (QC 212, pp 305-309)
2004 - Anatole Ott (Sweden, ESC 261), Second study of Parcel Cards for Foreign Countries (QC 210), pp 250-254
2003 - Sven Eriksson (Sweden, ESC 411), Extracts from the Postal Guide of Egypt and from the U.P.U. Congress
(QC 207, pp 183-196)
2002 - Richard Wilson (USA, ESC 230) Cover Census of the Indian Forces in the 1882 Campaign (QC 202, pp 61-65)
2001 - Edmund Hall (UK, ESC 239), Egypt and Sinai Part 1: pre World War 1 (QC 198, pp 256-269)
2000 - Pierre Louis Grech (UK, ESC 266), The Ramleh Electric Tramway (QC 192, March 2000, pp 102-117).
1999 - Edmund Hall (UK, ESC 239), Station Postmarks (QC 191, December 1999, pp 86-95).