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Thursday, September 29, 2016
Catholic writer elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
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 The journalist and broadcaster Peter Jennings has been elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for his writing about stamps. Mr Jennings, who is press secretary to the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham, and editor of Birmingham Catholic News, said: "It is a great honour and privilege to have been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. I am absolutely delighted that this distinguished body should have recognised my work in helping to raise the profile of far-off and remote places such as Tristan da Cunha, the British Virgin Islands and Antarctica by writing about their instructive postage stamps. "It is a particular pleasure for me to have been elected a Fellow this year when the Royal Geographical Society is holding a series of special events and lectures to mark the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest. Of course there was no post box up there but there is an intersection of most paths taken by the geographer and the philatelist. Truly there are few locations on a map of the world from which someone has not mailed a letter." Peter Jennings, who began collecting stamps in the coronation month, June 1953, at the age of five, is a member of Birmingham Philatelic Society and Fellow of the and of the Royal Philatelic Society. He writes extensively about stamps and stamp-related matters for many publications and is Stamp Consultant to the Press Association. Mr Jennings is also a member of Club de Monte-Carlo de l'Elite de la Philatélie, Académie Européenne de Philatélie, and The Collectors Club of New York. He collects and specializes in Pioneer Airmails 1902-1934 and in particular the development of airmails in Iraq under British rule. He is a member of the British Aerophilatelic Federation. His latest book, The Queen Mother's Centenary Celebrated In Stamps, was published in January 2000. The Hon Alexandra Shackleton FRGS, grand-daughter of Sir Ernest Shackleton, who proposed him for Fellowship, said: "Peter Jennings has shown great interest in parts of the world that are not only dear to my heart, but produce most interesting postage stamps, such as South Georgia, British Antarctic Territory and the Falkland Islands." Mr Allan Crawford, MBE, FRGS, Life President of the Tristan da Cunha Association, who first went to this remote South Atlantic island in 1937 as cartographer to a Norwegian expedition, seconded Mr Jennings. Now aged 90, Mr Crawford was the first person to make a land survey chart of the island and his work is accepted by the Admiralty for navigation purposes for international shipping up to the present day. He said: "I am delighted that Peter Jennings has been accepted as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His meaningful articles about the postage stamps of Tristan da Cunha have contributed much towards to the welfare of the Island and its people. The revenue from the sale of stamps is an important addition to the island's economy."
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