Roll of Distinguished Philatelists to be signed in Germany

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26 March 2023
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This year’s signing of the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists (RDP) is set to take place in Essen, Germany on 26 May, as part of the IBRA 2023 International Philatelic Exhibition.

The signing ceremony will take place at Schlosshotel Hugenpoet, Essen, where the 2023 signatories will be accompanied by two elected during the last two years who had not yet been able to sign because of the pandemic. 

The Roll of Distinguished Philatelists is the highest and most prestigious of honours in philately, and is the world’s oldest philatelic honour. It recognises achievement, research, publication and service in many areas of philately. 


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The new signatories will be Pradip Jain (India); Patricia ‘Trish’ Kaufmann (United States of America); Professor Dr. Damian Läge (Switzerland); Jesús Sitjà-Prats (Spain); and Turhan Turgut (Turkey). These new signatories join 89 other current living RDPs from 27 countries spread over six continents. 

The Roll was instituted in Harrogate, England in May 1921 and the signature of His Majesty King George V appears at its head as the first signatory. The total number of signatories up to and including those selected in 2023 (but excluding HM King George V) is 407 from 41 different countries. In its design, it contains the names of 44 so-called ‘Fathers of Philately’, names of great philatelists who would have been invited to sign had they been alive at the time. At the first ceremony in Harrogate the signatures of the initial 39 names were added to the Roll.

Jon Aitchison, Keeper of The Roll of Distinguished Philatelists, said: ‘The ceremony is followed by a free drinks reception. Attendance at the ceremony is open to all, there is no need to pre-book and attendees should gather for the ceremony from 17.00. Return buses to the ceremony will be provided free, leaving from the Hotel Bredeney at 16.00 and 16.15, and from Messe Essen where the exhibition is being held at 16.15 and 16.30.’

More details, the rules and a nomination form for The Roll of Distinguished Philatelists can be found at: www.abps.org.uk/roll-of-distinguished-philatelists