Skiing or stamp collecting?
Twenty years ago, just about when he turned 60, Nigel Skermer of Penticton decided to hang up the slats and return to his boyhood hobby—collecting stamps.
“Now that I’m 80, the bones are actually quite brittle. It’s just a little safer,” said Skermer, a longtime member of the Penticton Stamp Club.
In his reason for giving up the snowy pastime he wrote, albeit somewhat tongue in cheek:
“In my opinion, collecting stamps is far less dangerous and within the past little while, the statistics of skiing accidents would seem to be in my favour. Yes, I know it is so nice to be out on the beautiful white snow and sunlight, crystals glittering as one surveys the scene. But in reality, semi-hurtling down packed slopes is not so much an aesthetic experience as one verging on the outskirts of terror.”
Skermer was introduced to stamp collecting by his father many years and is still just as passionate about the hobby.
Monday, he and fellow club member Harv Baessler stopped in to drop off a couple of cheques for about $700 at the South Okanagan Similkameen SPCA, proceeds of sales from donated stamp collections.
One of the club’s mandates is to ask people who no longer want the stamp collections they’ve collected or may have inherited from a friend or family member, to donate them.
“Absolutely, some people throw them in the garbage,” said Baessler. “Often the family doesn’t realize there’s value in the stamps. It may not be big value, but then, we’ve had some that are in the thousands of dollars.”
Those collections they receive are auctioned off locally or sent to Vancouver and the money is given to charitable organizations like the SPCA and the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.
“With the SPCA we’re hoping to get a program going to get the product out of peoples’ basements who like animals,” said Baessler.
Added Skermer: “It’s important (the work of the SPCA), especially when you read about the things people do to animals. It’s heartbreaking.”
There are 35 members in the club, which meets monthly in the United Church at Main Street and Eckhardt Avenue.
For more information about the club or donating, contact president John Greene at 250-493-6955.