The following report was submitted by Australian Numismatic Society / American Numismatic Association Member, Judy Blackman, FRCNA, FONA, KStE-CDA/USA. Thank you.
Hands Across the Seas
Expert numismatist, Gary E. Lewis, had been in contact with the Australian Numismatic Society's Treasurer & Membership Secretary Rodney
Rod T. Sell, FANS, about attending an ANS meeting during Gary's visit to Australia. As luck would have it, Gary was a Guest Presenter for the ANS-Sydney Annual General Meeting, No. 1240, held at 1:30PM on 10th September at the Roseville Club in Roseville, New South Wales, Australia. Gary spoke about his local club, the ANA, and he showed his 2023 S US Morgan and Peace Dollars—First Day of Issue NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo, and an elongated Lewis & Clark coin.
Following his presentation, Gary presented each ANS member with these two ANA elongated coins (2017 and 2023).
In turn, Rod Sell and ANS Vice-President Frank Chauvier presented Gary with an ANS Proclamation Medal featuring a Great Britain George III 1799 Farthing. ANS had 175 copper-coloured and 50 gold-coloured medals struck for July 2023 distribution. In 2016 ANS issued a 50th Anniversary of Decimal Currency medal. This was followed by a series of Proclamation medals issued twice a year over the years 2017-2027 and all medals have already been struck. Members receive one medal free per year, and then have the opportunity to purchase the other medal at a very low rate of just $10 each.
Members found Gary to be a very nice man, knowledgeable, and a great ambassador. See photo below: left to right - Frank Chauvier, Gary Lewis & Rod Sell. Photo by Grant Chauvier.
Gary served as President of the American Numismatic Association 2003-2005, and he has served the organization in other volunteer ways. This is Gary's copper medal that he issued to celebrate 50 years collecting, and his ANA Presidency.
Gary and Rod discussed the challenges of filling vacancies on the Executive. The ANS has been experiencing more difficulty in recent years as the membership ages. Gary confirmed that even though the ANA is the largest numismatic group in all of North America, and it has over 27,000 collectors as members, as well as member clubs, it too has a tough time in filling leadership spots.
Gary lives in Cape Coral, southwestern Florida, facing the Gulf of Mexico. While growing up in Cedar Rapids, it was during 7th grade that Gary became interested in coins with both his grandmothers and some neighbours as collectors who helped to mentor Gary. As an adult while serving as an Accounting & Finance Officer in the US Air Force, Gary was able to expand his collections with pieces while traveling in service to his country. Gary stays very active in the numismatic hobby since 1955. He participates in over thirty coin shows a year, and also exhibits at local flea markets, and gives appraisals. Gary advises on preserving collections, buying, and selling numismatic pieces, and he provides estate planning for major collections.
For example, he is a Past President of the Cape Coral Coin Club (which ceased to exist in the 1990s), Fort Myers Coin Club, and the American Numismatic Association, which may even be the largest numismatic association in the world. Gary was Chairman of the US Mint 2004 Florida State Quarter Committee in charge of the selection process. In 1999 then Florida Governor John Ellis "Jeb" Bush (appointed Gary to the Chair. Each State issued a coin in the order that they entered the Union for a 10-year period. Although dated 2004, Florida's was released into circulation in late-2003.
The Australian Numismatic Society was very pleased to share fellowship with Gary E. Lewis, and welcomes more international numismatists to its meetings.
For more information on the Australian Numismatic Society, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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