Philately’s own marathon man: mixing philately and exercise
Cecil returned to his childhood hobby of collecting stamps while stationed as a medical officer with the King's African Rifles Regiment in Kenya during the turbulent 1950's.
After moving to Perth in 1962 with his wife Rusty (an authority on textiles and WA State coordinator for the enormous tapestry in Parliament House Canberra), Cecil immersed himself in the local philatelic scene and took a great interest in the history of the Swan River Colony from its convict beginnings.
With a successful medical practice and an urge to run like Forrest Gump, Cecil says philately has provided him with a quiet refuge from his otherwise hectic lifestyle.
“If I didn’t have my stamps as a diversion I would probably have had some sort of breakdown!” he exclaimed.
Cecil also is quick to comment on the numerous quality relationships he has enjoyed with other philatelists.
“You can make so many friends and meet a wide cross-section of people with whom you might otherwise never come in contact,” he said. “And wherever you travel you’re likely to run into other collectors with whom you can share quality time.”
Like many collectors, Dr Walkley takes a long-term approach to philately and has never been concerned about the financial side.
“If you enjoy doing something, there is reward enough in that. If you can make a profit out of it, that’s a bonus,” he explained.
His study of Western Australia, and in particular postal articles and their markings, and his knowledge of the subject is prodigious.
When asked to nominate the favourite items in his collection. Cecil said he could not go past his four convict letters, the content of which offers significant insight into the harsh conditions of the times.
And the item he would most like to own? “Oh, the Inverted Frame on cover. I couldn’t afford it, but I’m safe because it doesn’t exist anyway!”
Cecil Walkley has kept himself youthful and full of life and it would be easy to attribute his robust health to athletics. However, Cecil is the first to admit that following his philatelic pursuits has helped keep his mind as nimble as his body.
It has been a pleasure to know this charming man for over 20 years and we hope he can participate in many more marathons.