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Two clubs can show us how to do it

Two coin clubs in New York marked their 1,000th meetings just months apart. (Read more here and here.)

What a milestone it is to have achieved such longevity. It is not easy. Whatever the two clubs have done, we should bottle it and sell it to other clubs around the country.

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Converting 1,000 meetings into years, my calculator shows it as 83.33 years.

Just think about it. When the two organizations came into existence, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the first months of his four elective terms.

My grandparents were worried about raising their families and making ends meet during the Great Depression.

Events good and bad have buffeted the country in the years since.

We might be beguiled to think how easy it is for a club to last a long time because the American Numismatic Association is now 126, but longevity is no easy thing to achieve.

The trickiest thing to do is find people to take on the task of leadership.

By coincidence, Clifford Mishler has begun distilling the contents of club bulletins for Numismatic News. For starters, the Florida Token Society is shortly to be disbanded unless there is a surprise in the next few weeks.

The Nebraska Numismatic Association is also on the brink unless replacements can be found for the current president and vice president.

This kind of news makes reaching 1,000 meetings look almost impossible, doesn’t it? Yet these two clubs did it.

All is not gloom and doom in Mishler’s presentation. There are new and very active clubs making a name for themselves as well.

The South Hills Coin Club in Puyallup, Wash., is just three years old.

What is the secret of getting beyond exuberant youth to an age that is far beyond the bounds of a single numismatic generation? It is that secret sauce that needs to be bottled and preserved.

There are many long-serving officers in the coin clubs of America. The time must come for each to pass the responsibility along.

It is that leadership transfer that seems to trip up so many. Often, members are good friends of these indefatigable long-serving leaders and they decide to bug out when their friends step down.

It is not meant to be this way. It might simply be age, but it is in the nature of human beings to go where they feel comfortable. New leaders and a new way of doing things can disrupt the sense of well being and comfort. But it doesn’t have to.

So let’s congratulate the Bronx Coin Club and the Westchester County Coin Club by name. What they have done simply by surviving to the present should be celebrated by all coin collectors.

They have carried the torch of numismatics high all these many years. May they continue to do so. Let’s hope the South Hills Coin Club will be celebrating a similar milestone come the year 2096.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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