History Of NPS

The formation of the Newcastle Philatelic Society is due to four men:

  • Mr John A Gow, shipping manager for a number of collieries in the Newcastle district
  • Mr Jonathon Dixon, who had extensive mining interests
  • Mr Frank Neale, headmaster at Cooks Hill Superior School
  • Mr A D Adam, staff member of a shipping company.

These men met informally in their homes. From these meetings it was perceived that there was a need for a local philatelic society to cater for collectors in the Newcastle area, which would provide a meeting place where collectors would be able to meet socially and discuss aspects of their hobby.

Twenty five persons were contacted, and an inaugural meeting was called at Mr Gow’s office, located in the Dalgety & Co building, near the corner Hunter and Watt Streets) for Friday 26 April 1918. Nine men attended this meeting ( J Dixon, J A Gow, F Neale, H L Moore, T L Bates, A D Adam, C H Furst, R Robinson, J Adams), with three apologies (G Rourke, J C Mather, F W Fletcher). Mr Dixon was elected President, with Mr Gow and Mr Neal as vice presidents. The position of secretary and treasurer was held by Mr Adam. The other members present formed the executive committee (Mr H L G Moore, T L Bates, C H Furst, J Adams and R Robinson). It was decided that the other gentlemen contacted would be accepted as members without nomination (Mr Mather, Russell, S J Mitchell, J Griffiths, G Short, F W Fletcher, J E Burrell, J Boyd, F J Flaherty, H G Sirle, T Rowles, G Rourke, E Halmarick), but that other people wishing to become members should be nominated and seconded by a member.

The first monthly meeting was held on Friday 17 May 1918. Present were the members from the inaugural meeting, and the following were accepted as members: F Hagen (Melbourne philatelist and publisher of “The Australian Philatelist”), H L White, W S Gardner, W H Winn, Capt D Jones, R Jefferson, and R A Raymond.

At this meeting a constitution was adapted: it had been drawn up by a sub-committee elected at the inaugural meeting. The annual membership fee was set at five shillings, which included a free copy of “The Australian Philatelist”. Reports of meetings (minutes and papers delivered with displays) were to be published in this magazine.

Also established at this time was an exchange branch. It was supervised by Mr A D Adam, and was very strong for many years. Mr W H Winn had a standing order with Stanley Gibbons to receive all new issues. He removed some stamps for his collection, and placed the rest in the exchange books.

The society library was also formed at the inaugural meeting. Handbooks, catalogues and periodicals were purchased, and some members donated material. A cabinet was purchased to house the collection. The library was initially located in Mr Gow’s Office until 1931, when it was moved to Mr Dixon’s office. In 1949 the library moved to the home of Mrs Patricia Rock, and in 1960 it moved again to the home of Mr & Mrs R C Daley. In 1972 the library had grown to become one of the finest in the commonwealth, and a permanent location was needed. Following negotiations in 1972, the library was housed in the Newcastle Regional Public Library, which was accessible to members at any time. This meant that the library was housed in safety and would be kept in good order for perpetuity. A printed catalogue of the resources in the library was printed and distributed to each member.

With the introduction of computers, and the development of the internet, the use of the library declined. In xxxxxx it was decided to close the library. Many early journals and reference books were transferred to the Philas Library in Sydney, and other books such as Stanley Gibbons single country catalogues were purchased by members.

A yearly syllabus was introduced in the second year. Since then each monthly meeting has had a display, a competition or inter club visit. In the early days the display was accompanied by a paper explaining the subject, and the paper was published in “The Australian Philatelist”.

A junior branch was part of the society’s activities. In 1926 some members visited local schools, however owing to the transfer of interested teachers this venture ceased. From 1931 a junior branch of the society was established, but it lapsed with the depression and subsequent world war. Later the junior’s program was revived by various members, notably Mrs Val Ross, at different venues. The ‘juniors’ section has now lapsed.

The society has met at a number of different venues over the last one hundred years.

  • 1918 to 1922   office of Mr John A Gow, Dalgety Building, Newcastle
  • 1922 to June 1924 –  Newcastle A H & I Assoc rooms
  • June 1924 to July 1934  – Diocesan Room at Church of England’s Diocesan Headquarters, Pacific Street, Newcastle.
  • August 1934 to April 1972  –  Newcastle Chamber of Commerce rooms in the Howard Smith Chambers, Watt Street, Newcastle.
  • April 1972 to April 1986  –  Newcastle Ladies Bowling Club, Parry Street, Newcastle.
  • May 1986 –  library at Newcastle Technical High School, Chatham Road, Broadmeadow, later re-named Merewether High School.
  • Mayfield Ex-Services Club
  • Mayfield Senior Citizens Centre  –  to September 2020
  • Pasterfield Centre, Cameron Park  –  from October 2020, currently.

Meeting nights

The Newcastle Philatelic Society has met every month since 1918 (with a short recess due to Covid-19). The monthly meeting night was originally every fourth Friday. Due to late night shopping on Friday evenings, which prevented some business owners from attending, the meeting night was changed in June 1934 to the second Wednesday in each month.

On 8 June 1981 the meeting night was again changed to the second Thursday of each month. At a later time some members decided that they could no longer go out at night, so a daytime meeting was held in the home cum art gallery of Sandra Baker, one of our members. It was held at 10am on the third Wednesday of the month.

Our society went into recess due to the Covid-19 pandemic, starting in April 2020. Four months later meetings resumed, albeit with hand washing and social distancing. However the hall had been leased to another group, who made us unwelcome and increased the rent.

Late in 2020 the committee inspected the meeting rooms at the Pasterfield Centre, Cameron Park, and decided to hold our meetings in that location. These rooms are modern, with excellent lighting, and lots of parking at the door. At the same time, the meeting time was changed from 7pm to 2pm. This move has proved popular with attendance again on the rise.

Newspaper items describing the first meeting of the Newcastle Philatelic Society, May 1918.

The Newcastle Sun, Monday 6 May 1918, page 3

The Newcastle Sun, Tuesday 21 May 1918, page 5

150 th Anniversary stamps

A set of three stamps was issued on Monday 8 September 1947 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the settlement that would grow to become the City of Newcastle. The issue coincided with other celebrations, including a Philatelic display at Tyrrell House.