By Pete Acampora
On July 19, 2017, the Westchester County Coin Club (New York) held its 1,000th consecutive meeting.
The club was formed on April 15, 1934, in New Rochelle, N.Y. It has changed meeting locations a number of times over the years but has always remained in lower Westchester County, which adjoins Bronx County in New York City.
Currently, the club meets at the Eastchester Public Library on the third Wednesday evening of each month.
From its inception, and for decades following, the club met on the third Tuesday of each month at the New Rochelle YMCA.
The club holds lifetime membership in the American Numismatic Association (club No. 49, having joined Jan. 1, 1934) as well as do many of our members.
One of the most important and famous club undertakings occurred very early in its existence. In late 1935 the club conceived, planned and sponsored a federal bill, signed into law on May 5, 1936, which authorized the minting of up to 25,000 coins of a single date and mintmark. This was the New Rochelle commemorative half dollar. Check out the history, background and facts about this coin at:
The founder, and first president of the club, was Julius Guttag. The president of the club in 1938 was William S. Dewey, who was the recipient, as the representative of the club, of the eighth New Rochelle half dollar ever struck which was a “Proof Presentation Specimen.” Mr. Dewey was also the librarian and curator of the American Numismatic Association at the time.
What makes this 1,000th consecutive meeting even more significant is that our club meetings have convened through the Great Depression, all of World War II and all subsequent wars; have been held through severe hurricane and snow conditions with the club still maintaining a membership of between 50-100 men, women and young numismatists.
The club is healthy, vibrant and thriving. The meetings are lively, informative and socially rewarding. Not only coins, but currency and other collectibles are displayed and discussed.
The club holds an auction two to three times a year, an end-of-the-year fund-raiser to help defray costs of club activities, an annual dinner, and encourages members and outside guests to be monthly speakers to present informative presentations on coins and currency.
Our 1000th meeting featured a talk on 1936-1939 proof coins. We’ve even had the U.S. Secret Service speak on counterfeit bills and their detection.
Three of our very active current members are also professional coin dealers whose knowledge and expertise lend themselves to our meetings and contribute to the life of the club.
Past notable members were the late Catherine Bullowa-Moore and Larry Gentile Sr. (nationally recognized for his work with Young Numismatists). The club has also had one of its members, Will Robins, chosen as Young Numismatist of the Year.
Our club is proud of this significant milestone in its history and encourages collectors on Long Island, New Jersey, New York City, Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties to attend our meetings and join the club.
Check out some of our past meetings and activities at our website: http://www.coinhelp.com/page/page/694745.htm.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.
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