Volume 61, Number 8, September 2023
A lasting legacy, unchanged TOKEN Publishing Ltd has been around for 40 years now, and at the helm throughout those four decades has been John Mussell, Managing Editor first of COIN & MEDAL NEWS (from 1983–89) then of two separate magazines (COIN NEWS and MEDAL NEWS) from 1989 onwards. In addition to the magazines, we have also published a plethora of books over the years, from the annual YEARBOOKS to numerous one-off titles, all off which he has been keen to oversee. Whilst he has been steering the ship, as it were, there have, of course, been numerous others helping him out, not least his wife Carol who joined Token in 1990 and his son Philip who joined in 1996, both now Directors of the company alongside him. In recent years, John has, quite naturally, taken more of a back seat (after all, we held a retirement party for him some 16 years ago on his 65th birthday) and he has now decided that as he’s just turned 81 and isn’t in the best of health (which is why he’s not been at a fair recently— his absence at the recent York Coin and Medal Fair was noted by many, thanks to all of you who sent your good wishes) it would be best to bow out on a high. So it is that, this month, he formally announces his retirement (properly this time, not that faux retirement of 16 years ago) and has decided to take even more of a back seat than he has been already. Now you may ask whether this will change anything in the magazine, and the answer is no, or at least it shouldn’t do. As mentioned, John has been “overseeing” things more in recent years rather than taking an active role, and large chunks of the magazine have had very little input from him for quite a while. He’s always liked to “keep a hand in” and check things over (although in recent months his health has meant he’s not really been able to do that very much) but a great deal of the editorial content is done by others. As many of you will know, this “Comment” comes more frequently from the pen of Phil rather than the desk of John, I’ve actually been writing it for longer than I care to remember, despite my father’s picture appearing at the top until a few years ago! I took over the “News & Views” a while back, too, as John sought to slowly hand things over to his team. Only my being responsible for “Auction Highlights” is a relatively new thing for this year. With Carol (his wife, of course) still very much in post, me still doing all the shows (and this column) and Louise (my wife) involved in the scheduling and the actual editing (the literal crossing of “t”s and dotting of “i”s, as well as coming to shows with me), John is confident that his family business remains in good hands. And as most of the fantastic Token Team have been with us for many years too (Klara, Senior Graphic Designer, has been with us for 16 years; Sera in Accounts has been here eight years; Lisa, our Art Editor, 20 years; Jayne, the Advertising Manager, joined seven years ago; Karen, our Office Administrator and first port of call for many of you, has been with us for eight years, and Alyson, the Subscriptions and Sales Manager, has been here for 18 years) we can confidently say that it really is business as usual despite John stepping back. There’s little I can say about John’s career here, anything said in this column will just come across as far too gushing and sentimental (you can read about that career in the April issue of this magazine—our 40th anniversary special which details all the ups and downs) but I think it’s fair to say that he has played an important part in the hobby these past 40 years, and that the effect his tireless championing of coin and medal collecting has had cannot be understated. Others, I know, will gush, will tell him how important he has been to them over the years— whether they are collectors or dealers—and that’s fine, all I can do here is relay my most heartfelt thanks for all he has done, both for the hobby at large and for us here at Token, and say that it has been an honour and a privilege working beside him for the past 27 years. I will also promise him, from the bottom of my heart, that Carol, myself, Lou and the rest of the team will take very good care of Token Publishing Ltd going into the future. It’s his legacy and we won’t let him down.
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