John A Edmunds

From the July 2003 edition of the 'UK Log'

A Tribute to John Edmunds

It is with great sadness that we record the passing, after a short illness, of John Edmunds, a stalwart member of our Group who served as Chairman from 1991-1994. John died on 17th February 2003 at the age of 75 years.

Born in London in 1927, John became an electrician by trade and was responsible for testing the wiring on flying boats. Before the end of the Second World War, he joined the Royal Air Force which resulted in an interest in aviation history which was to remain with him for the rest of his life.

In 1955, John married Mary and they had three children, Sally, Susan and Jonathan. In 1971 the family moved to Guildford where John joined the local philatelic society. Then in 1989, he enrolled with the PISG and became a regular attender at our meetings.

At the time of his retirement, John was Managing Director of Victa Lawnmowers (UK), a subsidiary company of the Wilkinson Sword Group.

In 1990, John and Mary moved to the tranquility of Batcombe in Somerset. John quickly became involved in local activities while at the same time maintaining his interests in aviation history and in Pitcairn. He was responsible for founding the U3A movement in Castle Cary becoming life President. In addition, he took a keen interest in the local tourist office where he was a volunteer.

John had a great love of people and he was an enthusiastic member of our Group. He will be greatly missed.

A thanksgiving service for his life was held at Castle Cary Methodist Church on 25th February and was attended by his many relatives and friends. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife, Mary and all her family.

Austin Meares


From the July 1993 edition of the 'UK Log'

Meet your Officers
John A Edmunds, PISG UK Chairman

My interest in stamps came through my father who was a collector of British Commonwealth, which commenced my interest in travel and far away places. As I grew older, competing interests of the sporting world and girls took over.

It was much later in life, during a visit to the island of Jersey to attend a sales conference, that the stamp interest returned.

A colleague who collected Channel Islands persuaded me to sign up for all of the Island's issues of stamps and covers. From here I started to collect philatelic material from the islands of Iceland, Isle of Man, Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) and Pitcairn Islands.

It was during a business trip to Australia that I was taken to a stamp fair in Sydney and came across Pitcairn material that increased my awareness of the people and history of the Island, hence my joining PISG (UK).

During my business life I was Managing Director of a group of companies which enabled me to travel all over the world finding philatelic material in some very odd places.

Unfortunately a major heart attack prevented further travel, but in retirement I have found time, apart from expanding on Pitcairn material, to research another interest. During my RAF period I was attached to a Sunderland flying boat squadron so I am now researching through stamps, covers and articles the early aviation history of the 1920s and '30s of Imperial Airways (the Empire airmail routes) and Trans-Oceanics flights of the Clipper Pan Am flights, with a view to hopefully writing a book.

In addition, to keep the mind occupied, I have set up a local branch of the U3A - University of the Third Age. The Third Age is a time of creativity and fulfilment for the older, in the main, retired people. The aim is for members to learn about what they like and to help others learn.