By A.V Jeyachandran,Secretary IFPNA
Indo French Philatelic & Numismatic Association ( IFPNA )Organized a philatelic and numismatic exhibition at Pudducherry from 20th to 22nd June 2014.On this occasion Chief Guest Thiru P.Rajavelu Hon\’ble Minister for Welfare and Tourism Govt. of Pondicherry honoured senior philatelists.
Mr. G. Amarchand:The Life Time Achievement Award and certificate from the Hon’ble Minister Thiru.P.Rajavelu Minister for Welfare and Tourism Govt. of Pondicherry.Mr. G. Amarchand was born on 9th April 1942 at Pali, Rajasthan. At the age of three, his family migrated to Chennai.At a very young age of 16, he was drawn into Textile business at Godown Street.During his free time at the business, he was fascinated by the stamps on the covers Received by the business office. From then on, he developed a keen interest in the collection of stamps. In a very short time, he has made a mark for himself indealing in all common stamps and after some years later, he switched on to Classicstamps of India, Great Britain, Australia and France.He was a longtime Treasurer of South India Philatelists Association and instrumental in the successful mobilization of funds to conduct all the SIPA’s exhibitions.His collection of India Classic Stamps have taken him to the league of International Gold Medalists, as he won the Gold Medal at Indepex 2011 at Delhi. He is also an Expert on Maritime Mails of the British era.He was instrumental in making a number of Stamp Collectors into serious Philatelists.He is also famous for his hospitality, wherein he hosts about 10 Philatelists and Stamp Collectors in his house on all Sundays, with heavy Snacks and Tea for the past 40 years.
On behalf of Sri G.Balakrishna Das his son Mr.B.Mahesh Parekh receiveing The Life Time Achievement Award and certificate from the Hon’ble Minister Thiru.P.Rajavelu Minister for Welfare and Tourism Govt. of Pondicherry.Mr. G. Balakrishna Das, was born on 19th August 1933 at Trichirappalli. He had a keen liking to stamps at a very young age of 14, collecting stamps from all the envelopes that used to come to his house. The spare and duplicate stamps was exchanged with any other stamps with his friends, when he used to visit Madras.
Some these friends decided to form a society and thus SOUTH INDIA PHILATELISTS’ ASSOCIATION was formed in the year 1956 at Madras. He is the only surviving founder-member of the Association.
He started specializing in French India stamps and Convention States of British India, i.e. before Independence. He has won Gold Medals for both his collections in National level and Large Vermeil [above Silver and below Gold] in International exhibitions. He has also acted as Jury for District and State level exhibitions.He was the Secretary of South India Philatelists’ Association from inception i.e from 1956 till 2000, when he was elected as President of South India Philatelists’ Association.
Mr. Balakrishna Das was instrumental in all the 13 Philatelic Exhibitions conducted with aplomb by SIPA right from 1959 till 2011. He is known for his pleasing manners and capable of bringing members together for the Association’ efforts. Due to his best efforts, the Department of Posts, Tamilnadu Circle, has decided to furnish an old hall and re-christened as Philatelic Exhibition Hall, adjacent to Philatelic Bureau in Anna Road Head Post Office. This Hall is hosting stamp exhibition on various themes and collections from April 2003 and is open to all on all Saturdays.
He is meeting people of all walks of life collecting stamps over the years and has given him pleasure in explaining the nuances of philately to others. This hobby has given him immense joy and happiness all through and is very glad that philately has kept him going and feel very young at heart whenever he see a new stamp or a young collector.Mr Balakrishnadas is now 81 yrs old, for him philately is not merely collecting stamps, but true essence of life.