Exceptional Gallantry

Posted on Mon, 30 March 2015 by Alyson Thomas
Posted in: Medal News
Exceptional Gallantry Breakfast in America

As this issue of MEDAL NEWS goes to press spring (at least in the UK) has not yet sprung, the heating in the Token Publishing offices is still on and when five o’clock rolls around and the working day is done we go home under leaden skies—in short the summer is far from our minds. However, I make no excuse in this month’s “Comment” for talking about the summer, and in particular August and the forthcoming Orders and Medals Society of America (OMSA) annual convention to be held at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, 4355 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, Georgia from August 5–9. You may wonder why, in the April issue, this is even a topic for discussion. Simple: every year I hear excuses from people as to why they can’t attend the convention, excuses that range from “I forgot it was on” to “it clashed with my summer holidays”, so I felt that if I gave people enough of a heads up this year then such excuses could be negated. And they need to be. Last Year’s OMSA convention was, as ever, superbly run. It was an excellent and enjoyable few days of sun and medals and it is always good to catch up with collectors from across the globe—but sadly there just weren’t as many people there as there should have been. Inevitably, as time passes, many OMSA members are simply unable to make the journey to a different location each year, however, there are plenty who still can—and they must. The OMSA convention is an essential part of the hobby in North America and without it the medal world Stateside would be a poorer place—but it can only survive if people attend and that’s why this appeal is going out to everyone, whether in the US, Canada, Europe or further afield.

Of course, many of you will think that going all the way to Atlanta for a medal show is a trifle extravagant—after all, if you’re coming from Europe you may feel you will be in the air longer than you will be at the show—but actually that is where you’re wrong. OMSA isn’t a medal show as we know it in the UK: there’s no mad rush at 9.00am with everyone gone by 1.00pm—far from it. Instead you’re lucky if half the dealers are in by 9.00am on the first day! The whole pace of OMSA is different, it’s a 3½-day marathon not a sprint, with exhibits, talks, a breakfast, a banquet and lots and lots of chat in the hotel bar. It is unlike anything most readers of MEDAL NEWS will have ever experienced, certainly if your only knowledge of a medal fairs is based on the mad morning scrambles we experience over here, but it is a great deal of fun. This will be the third Convention MEDAL NEWS has attended in Atlanta and the 17th in total (where does the time go?) and I hope there will be many more in years to come, but it really does need your support. Yes, I hope you will all support the Orders and Medals Research Society with their annual convention in London too (September 26/27 at the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury), but for most of us a trip to London doesn’t require quite the same logistical effort as a trip to the States, hence my “plugging” OMSA now! Without a good number of attendees each year the OMSA convention will simply fold and that would be an absolute tragedy; so please, for the good of the hobby in the USA, indeed in general, get on-line, book that airfare, book your hotel and get yourself to Atlanta. We’ll see you there!

The convention bourse is open on Thursday, Friday and Sunday Morning to OMSA members only and on Saturday to all comers but that isn’t a problem—joining OMSA is easy. Just visit www.OMSA.org for details on membership and the convention.

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