What started out as a lunchtime sideline in the boring business of big banking, turned out to be his bread and butter. For Paul van Zeyl, who started his career in central banking, stamps were initially a means of funding his own collecting passions, and is now a rewarding way of life.
Paul van Zeyl (t/a Rand Stamps) is a past president of the South African Stamp Dealers Association (SAPDA) and a well-known dealer. His (philatelic) passions are postal history/stationery and picture post cards. When Paul’s father, Leo, first introduced him to stamps at the age of 12, he found them to be a fascinating key to opening up a whole new world of faraway places.
Playing at central banking
He initially joined the South African Reserve Bank where he worked for more than a decade. In search of more excitement, Paul moved to the Economic Research Division of Standard Bank. It was also here - during lunchtime deals - where the seeds of his philatelic business were sown.
Because Paul enjoyed the wheeling and dealing environment to which he was now introduced, he committed himself to eventually taking over the business of Jo Busser, then SAPDA’s president. This happened much earlier than anticipated, leading him to commence postal auctions in 1978.
After assisting Stanbic’s capital market division in raising loans for the then homelands, Paul moved to a development-orientated parastatal. While one of his specialities was corporate planning for various government organisations, he was also required to work closely with communities.
This community work became an important passion in his life. His work during this time also included pure research projects for organisations such as the Development Bank of South Africa and the World Bank.
Paul’s stamp dealing preferences tend to follow his own collecting interests. Initially, he exhibited collections of postal stationery of most of the states in Southern Africa. His love for Pretoria has led him to exhibit collections of postal history and post cards of the city as well. To help him to more fully understand the Afrikaans segment of the population, Paul is collecting and has exhibited collections on the concentration and POW camps of the Anglo-Boer War, as well as the Boers of West and East Africa.
Paul was president of SAPDA in 2002 and 2003. He set clear-cut goals. These included short-term ones such as improving communication between dealers and market-entry support to newer members, as well as medium-term goals such as establishing a website for the organisation. He has served on SAPDA's executive committee for more than a decade, taking his first break in 2007. He's again been on SAPDA's ExCo since 2008.
This website reflects a “sixpack” of services that lie close to Paul’s heart. He likes challenges and appreciates challenging people. Do you fit the bill?
* This segment is based on an article by Louise van Niekerk in Setempe, May/June 2000