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Philatelic Societies and Clubs in India

The Philatelic Societies and clubs in India has done so much to keep true philately alive in India, but we know very little about the history of various Philatelic Societies in India, who laid the foundations of Philately in India. Perhaps The Philatelic Society of Bengal, based in Calcutta was the first and oldest philatelic / stamp Society established in India. It was founded in February, 1894. It was largely an effort of Gordon Jones, F.S. Gubbay and G.J. Hynesa British Postal Officer, the then Deputy Director General, Post Offices in India and an ardent philatelist who was the President of the Society. The Society enrolled about 60 members within 4 months, and it had an admission fee of 5 Rupees. The official publication of the Society was the 'Philatelic World' edited jointly by C.F. Larmour and Wilmot Corfield and was published by B. Gordon Jones. It was regularly published until March 1897. It's publication ceased on the appearance of the Philatelic Journal of India. The Founding Secretary was E. Berthovel. After the retirement of Mr. Hynes, in 1894 Mr. C. Stewart Wilson succeeded him as Deputy Director General of P.O. in India and also became President of the Philatelic Society of Bengal.

In January 1896, the Bombay Philatelic Society was formed and it had 55 members. It published an official organ known as The Quarter Philatelic Circular. The President was The Honourable H.J. Parsons, Vice President E.S. Gubbay and J. Seymour Summers was the Honorary Secretary. At the same time another Philatelic Club called the North West (India) Philatelic Club was formed in United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh). There is also a mention of Kasauli Stamp Exchange Club which was in existence in 1895 and Wilmot Corfield was the secretary of club during 1895-1897.

Philatelic Society of India CentenaryThe idea of an all-India philatelic society arose at the Philatelic Society of Bengal in 1896 and an open letter was published by Charles Stewart-Wilson in Calcutta calling for expressions of interest. In January 1897, the Philatelic Society of India was formed in Calcutta. The first meeting took place at 6 Middleton Row, Calcutta on 6 March 1897 where Charles Stewart-Wilson was appointed the first President and Lady Collen, Professor O.V. Muller and Major C.H.I. Hopkins were each appointed Vice-Presidents. The first Treasurer was Wilmot Corfield and the Secretary Mr. P. Aylwyn Selfe of the Bank of Bengal. The Philatelic Society of Bengal was merged with the Philatelic Society of India in 1897.

The Philatelic Journal of IndiaIn the beginning there were only 60 members including 6 ladies and all of them were British. During its first fifty years the society included most of the important Anglo-Indian philatelists and had a particularly strong publications record with two award-winning books. The society's journal, 'The Philatelic Journal of India', was published from 1897. Wilmot Corfield, edited it during the greater part of 1898 after which he handed over its charge to Mr. C. Stewart Wilson. In year 1897, Mr. C. K. Dutt became first Indian to join the Philatelic Society of India. Its office moved around in India at different times to Madras, Bombay, Lahore and New Delhi. Since 1955 it has been stationary at Bombay.

The formation of the Empire of India Philatelic Society in Mumbai in December 1941 was another significant event. Jal Cooper, the well-known authority on Philately, served as its founder-Secretary. Jal Cooper acquired the publication ‘India’s Stamp Journal’ (which was started in January 1937) from a Swiss dealer, Mr. Neukom of M/s Philatelic Orient in October 1940. India’s Stamp Journal became the house magazine of EIPS.

Formation of a national philatelic body in India, the Philatelic Congress of India (PCI) in 1975 marks a watershed in the philatelic history of the country. PCI is the Indian National Federation of Philatelic Societies and it was formed in a Preparatory General Body meeting held in Calcutta (Kolkata) on 29th December 1975 during the National Philatelic Exhibition INPEX-1975. PCI got formal affiliation with the world philatelic body, Federation Internationale de Philatelie (FIP). Late D. N. Jatia played pioneering role in formation of PCI and he was the first president of Philatelic Congress of India. PCI is registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860.

Philatelic Congress of India

Mr. Rajesh Kumar Bagri
Secretary General, Philatelic Congress of India
C/o Computer Management Centre,
Chatterjee International Centre, 5th Floor,
33-A, Jawaharlal Nehru Road,
KOLKATA - 700 071, India

Phone: +919830275515


Philatelic Societies and clubs in India are listed in state wise order in this section.

Office bearers of all philatelic organisations are requested to send latest information of their organisations for updation. If you know any other philatelic organisation in India which is not listed on this website, please send us full information for listing.
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