Ian A. Marshall writes:
I am greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Bill McDonald. Bill was first and foremost a gentleman. He was also a great numismatic scholar, and one of the greatest collectors of his time. He assembled world class collections in the fields of Canadian Chartered banknotes, Canadian Merchant scrip, Foreign private banknotes and books on Banking history. I feel fortunate that I was able to sell Bill many wonderful items in all these areas in the 1980's and 90's when he was still actively collecting them.
As well as the organizations already mentioned by others, Bill was also a life member and strong supporter of the International Bank Note Society, serving a number of terms on the Board of Directors in the 1960's, 70's and I believe the 80's. What I most treasured about my relationship with Bill was his generosity and friendship. He would always stop by my bourse table at any show we were both at, say hello and have a conversation. He also was always willing to answer any numismatic question I had for him (there were many) to the best of his ability. His willingness to share his vast knowledge will always be treasured.
Bill continued to regularly attend the major coin shows in the Toronto area and most CNA convention until a few years ago when his health began to fail. Bill also was the co-chairman and organizational giant behind the Iterpam Convention held in Toronto in 1981. It was a wonderful International Paper Money extravaganza that has never been equaled. My sympathies are extended to his lovely wife Gwen, who so often accompanied Bill on his numismatic travels. Bill will be greatly missed! May he rest in peace.
Joe Boling writes:
I built my first numismatic exhibit (of Japanese coins and paper) in late 1973. I test-drove it at the Everett Coin Club's show in November, and then took it to the Vancouver Numismatic Society's show in spring 1974, where it won best-of-show. Bill McDonald was on the floor and looked me up to praise the exhibit and encourage me to keep exhibiting. As a collector of fewer than ten years and a novice exhibitor, his words meant a lot to me. I can't say my trajectory as an exhibitor and judge was launched from there, but it certainly got a nudge.
A few years later, I believe it was at the Atlanta ANA in 1977, he was bringing book inventory to the show (as Marlcourt Books) and was forced to hire a customs broker to get his stock into the country. He was livid - it cost him several hundred dollars, probably more than the books were worth.
I have other stories that I associate with him, but at this distance it's hard to remember which involved him and which involved Jack Veffer - they probably were co-conspirators.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
William H. McDonald, 1924-2011
Wayne Homren, Editor
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