LÁSZLÓ (Les) GRÓF, 1933-
“Once seen, never forgotten!” by Mervyn Benford
“A Rock!” wrote our Editor, learning the tragic news the virus had taken a most loyal, colourful, and generous member who joined the then Magyar Philatelic Society of Great Britain in its founding year.
A former Society Secretary told me: “I met Laci bácsi I think the first time I went to Thame -
We all loved him! László, or Les to most of us, fled Hungary in the 1956 anti-
The Society magazine had had a fitful life in its opening years. After a fifth anniversary celebratory first meeting in London it was decided to start a new series after edition 24: Volume 2. As Editor from mid-
He became Vice-
After edition 24 of Volume 2 he started a new set, Volume 3 and thus to develop 24 editions per formal volume. He had also been very successful, due no doubt to his business acumen, in generating good advertising that helped pay the magazine costs. He had advised or directly helped publish special handbooks by members such as Ernest Homolya’s ‘Hungarian Airmail Postmarks’. In 1978 he greatly contributed to an edition presenting Hungarian history. Later came the definitive handbook of ‘Hungarian Airmail and Flights’ by member John Latham, which was translated into Hungarian and remains the major authority. Volume 3, No.11 of March 1980 was his final one.
In 1981, he became Vice-
He was very proud of his Hungarian roots. He had a special interest in the 1956 Sopron overprints that came with the revolution during which he and countless others escaped. The ‘K’ registered letters and Hungary’s ‘Recorded Delivery’ service were subjects of informative articles. He discovered and explained a hitherto little-
Always proud of Hungary and things Hungarian, but also of the Society, he introduced us to the British-
His living space at home was adorned with many framed, rare examples of the great early European map-
The AGM location had become an issue after long years in Birmingham. We had tried the Commonwealth Institute in London, and sharing a meeting in Leeds with two other central European societies -
Les had been prominent in our Society’s major celebratory events and with several others displayed in our 1971 exhibition and the international 1871 centenary exhibition in Budapest celebrating what was still believed to be Hungary’s first stamps. He joined the scientifically specialist philatelic research society, MAFITT, as member no. 42, and was widely known and much loved and respected within Hungarian philately and its many celebrated collectors.
Sadly, his death coincides with a long-