Ontario Numismatic Association President Sean Sinclair passed along this message about the 100th birthday of Bill English. Thanks, Happy Birthday!
On Saturday, February 4, 2023, Mr. Bill English, a founding member of the ONA, Waterloo Coin
Society, and active member of both, turned 100 years old. In celebration of this
extraordinary man, who is an integral part of both clubs, the ONA, in cooperation with the family,
hosted a special birthday gathering on Sunday, February 5, 2023.
The event was held in conjunction with the Paris Coin Show, held at the Paris Fairgrounds, 139
Silver Street, Paris, Ontario. Many people dropped by, wished Bill happy birthday, and signed the guest book. There were photographs of Bill through the years, both with his family and his
Bill has received a lot of attention over the last year or so. In 2022, he was featured on the 60th
Anniversary Convention Medal of the ONA, and beginning in January, his portrait was included
on the $5 Souvenir Treasury Note from the Waterloo Coin Society.
Howard R. Engel of Richard Stockley Books writes:
"Thanks for this wonderful and oh-so-appropriate tribute to a true mensch and mentor to many (and counting!) numismatists in Canada and beyond. It is especially noteworthy that Bill is receiving these well-deserved honours from his peers, friends and admirers while he himself is still very much alive. Kudos to all those who were involved in putting this special numismatic tribute together, especially his home club of the Waterloo Coin Society. How cool it must be for him to see his endearing image and beatific smile on such well-designed commemorative medals and scrip!
"I love the singular way Bill shares his passion for the hobby. Besides his well-documented selfless years of service to organized numismatics and other collectors, one has not attended a coin show without Bill English pressing into your palm some collectible token of his esteem and friendship. As a personal example, my first Bill English "palm-pressing token" was at the RCNA Convention in Mississauga in 2014 when I first met him. It is of the sizeable 40 cm aluminum Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario Canada 1969 Heritage Festival on the obverse and, "Double Good Luck" with love bird effigies on the reverse.
"Of course, I cherish this ex-Bill English token of friendship to this day. Thanks to Bill for all the love he has shown for the hobby of numismatics and for the innumerable collectors he has touched with his gentle presence over many decades of selfless service. What a great example of generosity and good will! May we all be inspired to "pay it forward"..."
Howard adds the following from a personal communication he received on Feb. 1 from Judy Blackman, a longtime friend and mentee of Bill English whom she got to know through their mutual membership in the Waterloo Coin Society.
"Bill sat on the committee responsible for the KW Oktoberfest medals (before the switchover to trade dollars), and he was on the committee responsible for the Heritage Festival medals. Bill designed the 1972 Canadian Numismatic Association (later RCNA) medal which was featured in Coin World. Bill had some of the Oktoberfest and Heritage Festival medals left over, and often would gift these at ONA and RCNA conventions to collectors. He put them in little blue jewellers' boxes with cotton and would tie them with a ribbon."
For more information on the Ontario Numismatic Association and the Waterloo Coin Society, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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