President's Letter

Dear Members and Friends,

I hope this note finds everyone staying healthy, strong and safe! This is our number 1 priority.

We are thinking about you and happy to report that John and I are safe and well in Baltimore. We go from our home to the office and back with little contact with anyone in an attempt to practice social distancing – the new normal. The work of the Society continues behind the scenes. You should have received your Directory 2019-2020 that was mailed from Hong Kong. If not, please notify headquarters now.

Life has changed drastically since my last letter to you, which was very upbeat, after my return with Clare from Taipei in early February when we finalized details for the Taipei convention with Mike Ma, our Taipei convention chairman.

Now to the business at hand. The Taipei convention is postponed to October 2021! The new dates are Tuesday, October 26 through Friday, October 28 and the not-to-be missed optional tour on Saturday, October 29, 2021. I am happy to report that the Shangri-La Hotel has not increased the guest room rates or other rental fees. Each deluxe room stands at US$200 for a single person and US$220 for two with buffet breakfasts included.

This 2021 change is heartbreaking news considering that Mike Ma has put so much effort into making this program spectacular along with Clare Chu, curator of a mammoth exhibition at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. The planned program can be viewed on our website with its new dates.

Mike Ma is working on rearranging the program schedule which we hope will remain the same as proposed for this year. It’s to be a snuff bottle extravaganza with over 300 imperial snuff bottles at the National Palace Museum and 750 snuff bottles from Taipei collectors at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall – an unsurpassed number in our 52-year convention history. More details will be available in my descriptive write-up in the 2021 Spring Journal.

As previously noted, the Society will not pursue the post-convention tour to Shanghai and Suzhou. If you wish to do your own touring, I’m happy to share all my information including the wonderful services of a local Suzhou professional ground operator to coordinate all your travel needs.

These are unusual times! By 2021, there should be a vaccine, travel will become safe again and restrictions will have been greatly eased. These are our goals for a successful Taipei 52nd convention.

You should have received your 2020 membership renewal forms via email or mail. Please renew now and be as generous as you can in the higher renewal categories. Additional funds are needed to continue publishing our Journal at the same high-quality level as in the past. Profits from conventions and the Benefit Auction’s proceeds have always underwritten our educational and publishing goals. This year, without these, it’s more important than ever to renew and be bountiful at the Patron or Sponsor level.

For your information, publication of the spring Journal is running late and you should receive it in mid-May. In the next two weeks, you will receive your proxy directing one of your directors or officers to vote on your behalf at the annual and board meetings of our Society. Mary Jo Earp is the new proposed board director. The Society’s business will be conducted via conference call as we all follow lockdown orders in our separate communities. This is a new world!

Please stay calm and safe in your homes with your families. Look at your beautiful bottles for pleasure and comfort and/or pick up a Journal to read some interesting articles. Another option is to log on to our website to read all published issues. You can also read many other interesting articles by our scholar and friend, Hugh Moss on his website There is a lot to keep us busy during our home confinements related to snuff bottles!

Warm regards from headquarters in Baltimore,
Berthe H. Ford, President