The earliest record we have of stamp collectors meeting in Cape Town was on 12th December, 1898. About twenty people attended a meeting to start a collectors' club. They resolved to meet on the second Monday of every month, but that's all we know. No additional records have survived.
The Cape Town Philatelic Society and Exchange Club was founded on 3rd May, 1911. The society shortened its name to the Cape Town Philatelic Society in 1939. It became the Royal Philatelic Society of Cape Town in August 1953.
of the Cape Triangular postage stamp (the world's first triangular stamp). The exhibition of 1952 is notable for having included a portion of the world's greatest collection, namely, the collection of King George VI of England.
Other venues have included: St. John's Church in Cape Town and the Friend's of Italy Room in Tulbagh Square.
In 1973 the RPSCT moved to the Athenaeum in Campground Road in Newlands. It has been there ever since.
The society has staged many important events over the years including: the National Congress in 1938; SATISE to commemorate the tercentenary of the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1952; and a philatelic exhibition at the Argus galleries in 1953 to commemorate the centenary
The Athenaeum, venue for Society meetings since 1973
Official stationary and first day cover from Jubilex, 1961
The Society runs a number of competitions over the course of each year:
The founding meeting took place in the drawing room of the Y.M.C.A. in Cape Town. It was convened by Mr G. J. Ellis who became secretary and treasurer. Mr George Lovelock was elected the first President. It was mentioned in Gibbon's Stamp Weekly of June 30th, 1911. In a paragraph about a meeting of the Johannesburg Philatelic Society on 9th May, Gibbon's reported that members applauded 'the announcement of the formation of a Cape Town Philatelic Society'.
In the early years, the society met at the Athenian Chambers off Long Street. From there it moved to the Railway Institute in Observatory, the Medical House in Wale Street; and the Mountain Club Room in Strand Street.
South Africa became a Republic on 31st May, 1961. In October, the Society celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the formation of South Africa with a National Exhibition called 'Jubilex'. Ten years later it celebrated the 10th year of the Republic and the 60th year of the Nation by hosting the great 'Diamond Jubilee' International Philatelic Exhibition.
Most recently, the Society staged CAPEX, the national exhibition for 2015.
The Society also sponsors what's come to be known as the 'Royal Medallion'. This is an award made at the jury's discretion to the best exhibit in either of two classes at the national exhibition. The award alternates between 'Gibbons Red Catalogue (i.e. British Commonwealth) exhibits; or 'the rest of the world'.
Now more than 100 years old, the Royal Philatelic Society of Cape Town continues to promote philately in South Africa; and continues to set unusually high standards for exhibits by both members and visitors.