Ken Pugh was born in Vernon, British Columbia in 1949, and started collecting stamps at the early age of eight. He became
seriously interested in collecting forgeries when he examined his collection of pre 1920 Turkish stamps with a copy of Billig, and found that 95% of what he thought was a genuine reference collection was forged. He now collected Turkish forgeries!
His interest in British North American forgeries came from acquiring a set of six Senf specimen overprint forgeries of Nova Scotia, and some Spiro forgeries of British Columbia. He found that reference material on B.N.A. forgeries was scant, and as his collection grew, acquiring necessary information to ‘write-up’ the expanding collection of forgeries became increasingly frustrating. What he needed was a reference that fully described the forgery, and if possible, illustrated it in a large size photo format. There being no such reference available, he decided to produce his own.
Being a professional photographer, producing quality photographs that showed the enlarged detail he wanted was not a problem. The first drafts of his B.N.A. Reference Manual was purely for his own personal use, but as he shared it with friends who had similar interests, he was persuaded to publish it.
The first of an eleven part series on B.N.A. forgeries (Series I) was published in 1977, and continued until 1981. In 2002, he published the first release of the Reference Manual of B.N.A. Fakes, Forgeries and Counterfeits – Series II, a new series on B.N.A. forgeries in a reformatted larger page stye. The first release covered all the B.N.A. forgeries of Jean de Sperati. Others in the new series illustrate and describe the faked Proof Book cancellations of western Canada, the genuine and forged stamps of the Canadian provinces, the O.H.M.S. and G. issues, and
Canadian postal counterfeits to name a few.
The author has received assistance from leading collectors and dealers of B.N.A. forgeries, the most notable being C.H.C. Harmer, and Carl E. Kane (both now deceased). Cyril and Carl loaned their extensive B.N.A. forgery collections to be photographed and documented, and with dozens of other B.N.A. collections that followed, the huge information data base formed has become the backbone of the B.N.A. Reference Manual series, one of the largest publishing projects in B.N.A. philatelic history. The author has also formed one of the largest working reference collections of B.N.A. fakes, forgeries, and counterfeits in existence. A former director if the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, the author is also a member of the British, North America Philatelic Society.
A new Series III is in preparation and illustrates the forgeries of non-BNA countries such as Buenos Aires, Argentina, Uruguay, Serbia and the Belgian Congo.
The author is a retired teacher, and during his 39 year career, won several provincial and national awards for his teaching, the most notable being the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal in 1977, and the Prime Ministers Award for Teaching Excellence in 1993. He continues to teach photography and palaeontology at his local University. When not working as a photographer or collecting fossils. He is married to Liliane, also a teacher, and has four children, Tammy, Kristine, Derek and Margo.
The author invites correspondence on all forgeries. He is also interested in adding new forgeries to his reference collections, and can be reached by e-mail from his web site at http://www.kenpughphilatelcs.com