IFSDA wishes to congratulate Tony Shields on his recent award of an Honorary FAP by the Australian Philatelic Federation
Tony Shields together with his wife, Christine and daughter Katherine.
Tony Shields started collecting stamps at the age of five. Nine years later after moving from the country, he joined the Frankston and District Stamp Club as a junior in 1967 and Brighton Philatelic Society in 1968. He was awarded The Ern Allitt Junior Trophy for his B.C.O.F. Japan exhibit at The Victorian Philatelic Association Congress in 1970, and worked for Tam Mappin of Mappin and Curran in their stamp shop over the university holidays. A year later he joined his friend David Kirby and worked at Max Sterns over the next 6 years on a part time and then full time basis.
Within a year of finishing his Economics Degree and other studies, he married and together with his wife, Christine started a mail order stamp business, advertising in The Australian Stamp Monthly, and selling on exchange sheets. He helped re-establish the defunct Eltham Stamp Club (now Diamond Valley Stamp Club) and was its foundation Vice President, and in due course its President for over 10 years. He continued as a member for over 20 years.
He opened his first shop on 1st March 1979 in Greensborough and joined the Australasian Stamp Dealers Association. Within a year he was asked by Max Stern to join the committee, and by 1982 was President of the Victorian Chapter of ASDA and already on its National Board. He became a delegate to The Victorian Philatelic Council in the same year.
In 1985 Tony became the youngest ever President of the national trade body ASDA - now called The Australasian Philatelic Traders Association. He has held that position a record number of times, and undertook a massive restructuring of that organisation in the 1990s to turn its fortunes around and establish it as the most successful stamp dealers association in the world. Membership boomed and Tony was actively involved in obtaining most of the new ones through his international contacts. He also established a national circuit of APTA stamp shows, organised dealer bourses which were only open to the trade, proposed and helped to organise National stamp Dealer Conventions to educate the trade in various business matters, and helped to run a significant number of social events including golf days and a car rally. Many of his ideas for promoting shows and the trade are still used today. It was his idea to overprint booklets for 1989 Tram Show in Melbourne, and that idea has been used by virtually every show ever held in Australia since then, to help raise funds to run the show. Subsequently he did the same for exhibition covers and Philatelic Numismatic Covers. The idea has been copied by many other trade bodies around the world and even Australia Post and by now has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for organised philately and the trade.
In 1989 Tony attended his first overseas stamp show, which was in Singapore. Since then he has been a stand holder at hundreds of overseas stamp exhibitions, in 22 different countries, and significantly helped to promote Australian Philately in the process. He has joined trade bodies and collectors clubs in virtually all of them. In Australia Tony was Vice President of Melbourne Stamp Show 1989 and the last 4 world stamp exhibitions held in Australia - Melbourne 1999, Olymphilex 2000, Pacific Explorer 2005 and Australia 2013. He was a very active contributor to all of these and it was his idea at the Victorian Show in Wodonga to hold Australia 2013.
Tony and his business have received many trade awards from the national trade body including Dealer of the Year on numerous occasions. In 2002, he was the first non-British person to be awarded The Roland Hill Philatelic Award in London for "Enterprise and Personal Contribution" to the trade and hobby. The award was given by the British Post Office and Philatelic Traders Society. Later in the same year, he became the first ever recipient of the SPAN award from APF, and in 2007 was awarded life membership of APTA - one of only 7 people to be ever awarded this honour.
Extract from APF News, August 2016, Vol. 30 No.2 by Gary Brown.