ABOUT RON WEEKES
The journey began in 196o. Ron Weekes discovered The Albert Balch Autograph Collection in the Seattle Public Library. Ron would spend hours perusing the impressive collection of letters, photos, autographs, and manuscripts. He went on to profile Balch in an article Albert Balch: Master Builder and Collector and, over time, decided to follow in Balch’s footsteps as a collector. In 1961 Ron was given the gift of an autograph of (then) Seattle Mayor Gordon Clinton from a family friend, Wing Luke. Luke was the first Asian American to hold public office in the Pacific Northwest. That autograph was followed by an autograph of John F. Kennedy.
How did religion become a focus of your collecting? "While still in high school I was invited by The Albert A. Lemieux Memorial Library of Seattle University to exhibit my religion collection.," comments Ron. "I began speaking before many groups about collecting. in general. By my late teens I was actively buying, selling and trading autographs and evolving into something of a specialist of material of the Catholic Church (15th through 20th centuries)," he adds. "The collection was personally examined by Cardinals Lawrence Shehan, Terence Cooke and J. Francis McIntyre," says Ron.
“I grew up in the shadow of a metropolitan cathedral, the majesty and mystery of liturgy and sacred music always a source of fascination” says Ron. “Early on I felt drawn to ministry. Fortunately, for the church and me, the need for men of the Gospel wasn’t as great 50 years ago,” he adds with a laugh. “Instead, I took a slight detour serving six years in the Army where I worked closely with chaplains of all denominations. That experience led me to a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, the rich tapestry that is the community of the faithful ."
In the 1980s, I was privileged to work for Our Sunday Visitor in Huntington, Indiana. I served as marketing manager for The Harmonizer diocesan newspaper and also freelance for the national newsmagazine. One of my proudest moments was writing a feature story on Cardinal Paul-Emile Leger, former archbishop of Montreal who resigned that post to work among lepers and the handicapped in Cameroon. I was one of few American authors granted access to the cardinal following his move to Africa.
Ron has authored articles on autograph collecting for such publications as Hobbies, Parade Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, Avenue M: the Magnificent Mile, Today In Michiana, and for newspapers and other publictions.
“Over a period of five decades I have been privileged to earn the trust and friendship of loyal clients, archivists, curators, ministers, conservationists and others who, like me, cherish the written word and seek to preserve it for future generations.”
This online gallery is dedicated to the memory of Reverend Monsignor Francis R. Seymour, archivist of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ. Monsignor Seymour was a good friend and client of 45 years. Requiesat in pace.
Ephemera Society of America