The Sixth Biennial Conference of the Numismatic Association of Australia Inc. took place in Adelaide over the weekend of 23-25th October 2015. Held every 2 years the conference was a chance for dedicated numismatists and interested collectors to meet up and listen to presentations and chat with friends within the hobby. Speakers travelled from as far afield as the UK, New Zealand and came from all corners of our country.
Friday afternoon kicked off the event with a buy and sell session known as a bourse followed by a welcome in the bar of the Naval, Military and Air Force Club of South Australia. Saturday morning the conference was officially opened by Mr Tom Chapman who spoke on the history and restoration of the Clipper ship the “City of Adelaide” that now sits pride of place in dock at Port Adelaide, the ship depicted on the conference medallion.
Speakers throughout the day ranged from our local expert on banknotes Mr Mick Vort-Ronald to the author of this article Kathryn Harris discussing valuable coins you can find in your change. Darren Burgess, president of the Numismatic Association of Victoria (NAV) spoke on medals in the collection of the Melbourne City Council and Mark Stocker of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa discussed the Te Pahi medal. The Club put on a lovely morning and afternoon tea as well as a quiet lunch in the garden all included in the conference registration fee. After lunch Christopher Hill from the UK told the story of “The African Queen” and Spicer-Simson which was very entertaining. Mr David Galt of the Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand spoke on one of my favourite topics the 1967 New Zealand Bahama Islands Mule and low mintage New Zealand decimals society issues. Topics of numismatics varied from coins to banknotes to medals, war medals and education.
Saturday evening posed a predicament for some with a formal dinner requiring a suit jacket and tie! Peter Lane was presented with the Ray Jewel silver award, only the seventh awarded since it’s inception in 1988. The only silver conference medallion was auctioned after too much wine and beer it sold for $300.
Sunday we attended bright and early to hear John Wheatley speak about the history of the Bank Of Adelaide. Many speakers followed including the talented Anna Meszaros who spoke of medal making in Australia. Anna’s own work includes the Royal Australian Mint’s 2012 Australian Capital Town Hall $5 coin series and numerous sculpture and artwork pieces. You might be familiar with the family name as her uncle Michael Meszaros has produced designs for the Mint and also her grandfather Andor is well known to numismatics with the design for the 1967 swan pattern dollar.
Overall the conference was a great venue to meet numismatic figures from other coin societies, universities, clubs and museums and it was a thoroughly enjoyable event. Thanks to the Numismatic Association of Australia and the host society the (NSSA) Numismatic Society of South Australia, it was a great success!