By Mellica McPherson
Two members of The Italy & Colonies Study Circle (ICSC) visited the British Virgin Islands last week and presented the prestigious Richard Harlow Cup to BVI resident Dr. Giorgio Migliavacca who has played a valuable role in the 45 year-old organisation for many years and is credited with the continued success of the organization’s quarterly publication (Fil-Italia).
The presentation, which took place at Maria’s By The Sea was carried out by Paul Woodness, the P.R. Officer for The Italy & Colonies Study Circle (ICSC), and by former president of the Royal Philatelic Society of London Mr. Alan N. Moorcroft, Member of the ICSC. Both members spoke favourably of not only the Circle but also the Fil-Italia magazine which is edited by Migliavacca.
Woodness explained that the Cup is named after Richard Harlow, the Founder of the Society; and is a rotational award. It was explained that the trophy is presented annually to a person that had contributed something to the ICSC or had won an important Circle competition. “It was very open who should get the award,” Woodness said.
The presentation to Dr. Migliavacca on Thursday 16 January followed a unanimous decision that was made at the Annual General Meeting of The Italy & Colonies Study Circle (ICSC) on 28 September. During that meeting that took place in London at the Union Jack Club members agreed that Migliavacca should be acknowledged for his contributions.
In noting how pleased he was to make the presentation to the 2019 recipient Woodness said, “It was felt that in light of the manner that Giorgio held his position as Editor for the past six years and has taken our journal way beyond what it was before he was deserving recognition.”
The ICSC Public Relations Officer explained that Fi-Italia which is the quarterly journal Migliavacca edits continues to make the organization proud. “We are now recognized internationally for being one of the best recognized journals available. It has achieved honours at many of the stamp exhibitions and we felt that it was only right that Giorgio should be recognized for that and the Committee was unanimous.”
Woodness in further explaining the importance of the journal said, “We have a large membership worldwide and the thing that keeps all of those members together as a group is the magazine…If we lost the magazine with all of the articles, the information that comes through there would be very little to offer the rest of the members other than a meeting here and there.”
Moorcroft in his comments said, “I hadn’t met Giorgio before, it was nice to finally meet and make the presentation of the cup to him. We appreciate all the work he had done in producing for us the magazine which is a big job. Right now, it’s hard for him to produce this all the time but we really appreciate it so it’s nice to meet him and thank him.”
In his acceptance remarks Migliavacca spoke fondly of the ICSC and noted that the organization’ members exhibited at a stamp event that was held here in the BVI back in 1999 in celebration of the Silver Anniversary of the club: “In 1999 we also packed the bag and went up to St James’s Palace to see the Royal Philatelic Collection to gather important information for the BVI Specialised Stamp Catalogue which has won gold medals at international exhibitions. All of this collaboration and friendship amounts to things. In fact in 2002 the BVI Philatelic Society held its 10th stamp exhibition hosting a mesmerizing selection of major Caribbean rarities from the collection of Her Majesty The Queen as well as the Annual General Meeting of the British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group attended by 35 of its members from all parts of the globe.”
“The Italy and Colonies Study Circle is a very well-organized Society. It has been from the very beginning. I was privileged to be among the founding members,” he added. The Fil-Italia quarterly is published four times a year and is accompanied by the popular ICSC auction catalog that includes more than 800 lots. The presentation was made on behalf of Harlow and the other members and officers of the ICSC.
Migliavacca is a member of the Editorial Board of the international postal history magazine “Post Horn”; member of the Board of Directors of the Italian Academy of Philately and Postal History; and quite a few of his 15 books have won gold medals and international acclaim. He is President of The Italy and Colonies Study Circle and former president of the BVI Philatelic Society.
By Mellica McPherson