Skip to main content

Coffee, eggs and retirement

My body clock tells me it is 1 a.m., but the sunshine and the smell of breakfast coffee and scrambled eggs tells me it is morning in Berlin. I’ve already knocked a fork on the floor as Standard Catalog of World Coins market analyst Tom Michael and I trade the laptop for plates of food.

Murray Church (right) announces his retirement. He credits Dietmar
Spranz (left), president of the Austrian Mint, for his help in making
the success of his business.

We are surrounded by many officials from the world’s mints in the Hotel Estrel’s breakfast area. Some will head to business meetings. Some will head for a quick tour of the city. We will head for the Berlin Mint. It is set-up day at the World Money Fair.

Last night’s reception at the Canadian Embassy yielded many interesting tidbits of conversation. Murray Church dropped the bombshell that he is in the process of retiring. His Euro Collections International is to be sold to Australia’s Downies Coins.

I wished Murray luck, but I couldn’t hide my surprise and disappointment. I have worked with Murray for many years. I particularly remember his PR efforts in 1992 when he was publicizing the monthly unveilings of new 25-cent designs for the Canada 125 program, which was the forerunner of the United States 50-states program. Each province and territory was honored by Canada.

Downies will do a good job with the business. I look forward to working with them. I kept asking Murray why now? He had various reasons, but then he joked that his younger sister would telephone him to ask, “What? You’re not retired yet? That struck home. I can imagine my younger brother pulling the same thing with me. Suddenly it was perfectly clear.