Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition Friday Through Sunday, February 3–5

The Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition — which brings dealers, world-class exhibits, specialty societies, and philatelic friendship all under one roof — begins its three-day run Friday, February 3, at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium in Florida.

The show, sponsored by the Sarasota Philatelic Club, opens at 10 a.m. Friday through Sunday, closing at 5:30 p.m. the first two days and at 3 p.m. Sunday at the auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail. There’s free parking and admission.

The show, featuring 200 frames of exhibits, is part of the American Philatelic Society’s World Series of Philately so winning single- and multi-frame exhibits are eligible for the final World Series competition set for August at StampShow in Richmond, Virginia.

The sold-out bourse will have 40 dealers carrying all collecting specialties. Clubs and societies scheduled to take part are the Auxiliary Markings Club, the Canal Zone Study Group, United States Possessions Society. The United Nations Postal Administration and U.S. Postal Service will be on hand.

Several lectures and meetings are scheduled, including an open forum on exhibiting sponsored by the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, “Finland Figure Cancels,” “Exhibiting in Iceland,” and a meeting of women exhibitors. There will be an awards banquet Saturday night.

Novice youth and adult collectors will find special areas just for them. Free appraisals of collections will be available. For more information, visit the club’s website, www.sarasotastampclub.com/show.html.

Little Known of Interpreter Featured on Canada’s 2017 Black History Stamp

Mathieu Da Costa — a 17th-century interpreter who is thought to be the first person of African descent to arrive in Canada — is featured on this year’s Black History stamp from Canada Post.

The domestic rate self-adhesive stamps sold in booklets of 10 are being formally issued February 1 at the start of Black History Month. The official first-day cover is canceled in Tadoussac, Quebec, where historians believe Da Costa may have come ashore.

Da Costa continues to fascinate and confound scholars. Admittedly little is known about Da Costa and there is no known portrait. From the few records that remain, historians conclude he was a free man who earned a living as an interpreter for Europeans who were trading with indigenous people in the New World. Believed to be of African or even Euro-African descent, his connection to Canada came in the year 1608 — the year Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Québec — when Da Costa signed a contract to work for French fur trader, explorer and governor of Acadia, Pierre Dugua de Mons.

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