History of APO
In October 1978, at the initiative of Georges A. Saint-Cyr, a few stamp collectors of the region, namely Édouard Beaubien, Jacques Collinet, Eugène Dalpé, Paul Sarault and Édouard Schingh, met and decided to form a stamp club that would become the Amicale. An executive committee was formed and Édouard Schingh was elected the first president.
The City of Hull (now a sector of the City of Gatineau) officially recognized this non-profit organisation during its June 19, 1979 regular meeting (resolution 79-294). It would be known as the “Amicale des philatélistes de l’Outaouais”. According to its status, it has the goal and purpose of promoting and encouraging the development of stamp collecting in the Outaouais region. In the stamp collecting regional community of today, everybody knows the club as the “APO”.
Although the club is francophone and from the Quebec part of the Outaouais region by its status, the APO has always been open since its beginning to everyone, men and women, young and old. Even if French is the club’s principal and official communication tool, English is widely used. It is not surprising to hear the occasional German, Spanish and even Chinese.
Quite quickly the APO became active and, after only one year, it had more than 40 members. After having had up to 70 members at the beginning of the 90’s, the club saw its membership go down. Most stamp clubs have experienced this as the decade progressed. The coming of a new century seemed to have rekindled the stamp collecting flame, and its membership started to grow up again. For some years now, the APO averages about 50 members and the trend seems to be holding.
From 1978 to May 1994, APO’s members met every Thursday evening, from September to May, in the basement of the Saint-Benoît church, located at 170 Sherbrooke Street in Gatineau (Hull sector). During the summer of 1994, members had to search for new premises for their meetings, and two problem years followed. Without the availability of a proper hall, the APO was not able to organize and hold what was dear to its heart: its annual philatelic exhibition. After a stay at the Larocque Community Centre from September 1994, to the middle of 1996, the APO moved for few months to the Tetreau Community Centre at Mousette Park.
Thanks to the City of Hull’s kindness, the APO had been able to go through those two years with minimal difficulties and, finally, it was given the use of premises that were more suited for its needs. Since September 1996, the APO really feels at home at the Fontaine Community Centre, located at 120 Charlevoix Street, still in the Hull sector of the City of Gatineau. In September 2003, after 25 years, the APO’s members decided to hold their meetings on Monday evenings rather than Thursdays. As always, the APO's doors are wide open to visitors and friends passing by. A lot of them eventually become members.
In November 1979, shortly after a year of existence, the APO organized its first stamp exhibition named “Amphilex”. The name Amphilex comes from the first few letters of three words : “Amicale”, “philatélie“ and “exposition”. From 1980 to 2008, 16 other exhibitions were held, one of which had a provincial status in 1986. In 2013, the year of its 35th anniversary, the APO will organise its 18th exhibition. All the exhibits you will see are the work and efforts of its members.
In the course of all those years, the APO and its Amphilex reputations never stopped growing, as much for the welcoming feeling it had in store for everybody and for the quality of the exibits its members were proud and courageous to display to the public eyes. The APO is the only stamp club in the province of Quebec that holds its meetings every week.
The APO is a member of the Fédération québécoise de philatélie (FQP) and the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada.