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of Southern California


Distinguished Service Award for 2009

SESCAL Gold medal
William A. O'Connor

Presented by Dr. Lawrence Sherman

Dr. Larry Sherman with Bill O'Conor

Our Federation Distinguished Service Award this year goes to a person who has rightly been described as "an individual who quietly but effectively does more for the philatelic community of Southern California than all the rest of us combined."

Consider his willingness to serve at every level of Philatelic society: He has been President of the Philatelic Clubs of Southern California, President of the San Diego Philatelic Council, President of the Eire Philatelic Society, President of the Poway Stamp Club, and Show Chairman of POWPEX..

Yet William "Bill" O'Connor, our award recipient, has also rolled up his shirt sleeves and pitched in to help run auctions for the San Diego County Philatelic Library, has served as a regular volunteer keeping the doors open and the lights on at the library, and has helped appraise collections for "What's in Your Attic" at Southern California stamp shows. And have I mentioned his work for SESCAL over the last years handling show cachet arrangements and serving as a johnny-on-the spot worker?

Bill's collecting interests have focused mainly on the stamps and covers of his native Ireland — he just might show you an Irish air mail cover he wants you to analyze, so he can improve his exhibit -- but his eclectic nature is shown by his interest as well in the stamps of Great Britain and the postmarks of San Diego County.

He has also been energetic outside philatelic borders. He had a highly successful career as teacher of history and government at high schools within the Poway Unified School District. Bill ran for — and was elected to — membership on the school board of Fallbrook, where one of his constituent teachers was his wife, Connie, who taught English at Fallbrook High School.

It is his service to the philatelic community of Southern California that we honor tonight. Our thanks go to him tonight for his many jobs well done, and our wishes for many more years of service given with his characteristic gusto and infectious good fellowship.


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Last updated October 18, 2010
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