Ross and his three colleagues (one in Sydney, one in Perth and one in Trafalgar, Victoria) coordinate the LISC project to the whole of Australia, which is an incredible achievement when you consider that they handle up to 400 kilos of stamps each year. While most of the stamps are low in individual value, it’s the cumulative effect of the sales that raises the money.
“If we do find some lightly franked stamps that may be of individual value, I’ll auction them separately online. Sometimes the market for our items is not where you would expect. We’ve had a huge interest from Chinese collectors in recent years, in fact a huge surge in the membership of the Lions International Stamp Club from China too. We’ve also had a lot of interest from the USA for Australian Territories’ first day covers. And recently, we received more than $1,000 for a small collection of south-west African stamps,” says Ross.
Prior to retirement, Ross was a successful bank manager where he used his knack for sales and marketing to turn around branches that needed a little ‘TLC’. Those same sales skills, and his determination and ability to galvanise, have helped him with this valuable project.
The personal and emotional rewards have been enormous for all involved, Ross says, from those who donate their stamps, the Lions Club members who collect donations, and the people who donate their time clipping the stamps. And, of course, for Ross and his three co-organisers.
“I have had the privilege of seeing a child being fitted with their first frame. It was an incredibly moving experience. Even recalling it now brings back the same emotion. The look on their face when they turn around, see themselves in the mirror and say, ‘Is that really me?’ – it’s indescribable.”
How you can help
Ross and the LISC team will happily accept clipped stamps, unwanted collections, first day covers, stamp packs, in fact any items of philatelic interest.
To donate, or to assist with clipping stamps for sale, please contact Ross Paine via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about the Australian Lions Children’s Mobility Foundation, visit: alcmf.lions.org.au