Brian Grant Duff is celebrating his 40th anniversary of serving the collecting community in Vancouver and around the world. It all started in 1984.

1984: Eatons and the Bay.

After a year at U.B.C., I took a Summer job that never ends working for Daniel and Frederick Eaton at their leased stamp and coin departments in The Bay and Eaton’s in downtown Vancouver.

Duties included buying and selling in both concessions, simply changing name badges. The brothers were third generation stamp dealers who had recently lost their father and were transitioning from Kerrisdale retail and auctions to running the stamp and coin departments and auctions downtown. Ed Smele trained me and complained that when there were no customers I paced impatiently behind the counters.

1994 Eaton’s centenary stamp

One of my tasks was booking silver and gold wholesales and walking the junk silver over to Benny Lee’s nearby office at Seymour and Georgia for payment

1999 Hudson’s Bay Company millennium stamp

The biggest test was meeting Mrs. Eaton in their Southlands home and being asked to feed Kathy and Lisa, her Dobermans, who were kept in separate paddocks, and whose metal bowls bore many toothmarks.

The Bay, Granville and Georgia St. Vancouver

One of the most popular retail features was a bin of mint Canadian stamps sold at two times the face value. Eaton’s stamp and coin department was busier than the Bay’s. The shops were both located at Granville and Georgia, on different levels, across the street from one another. In those days, they had different clienteles.

Part 2 is here

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