Orders & Medals Society of America Forums General Chat RIP – John Royston and Rolfe Holbrook

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  • #12741
    jb floyd
    Moderator

    The last few months have been hard on OMSA stalwarts:

    John Royston died 16 June. John was the long-time Ribbon Bank manager, maintaining OMSA’s remarkable accumulation of worldwide ribbons.

    Rolfe R. Holbrook died 2 June. Rolfe, who ran the Holbrook Arms Museum in Miami for many years, served as president of OMSA from 1961 through 1968.

    **************************

    #17152
    ed_haynes
    Participant

    Sorry to break in, but this is very sad news, especially John.

    #17153
    jb floyd
    Moderator
    #17155
    Frank Draskovic
    Participant

    I learned just a few minutes ago of John Royston’s passing. What sad news! He was also a long time member of the So. Calif. Orders & Medals Society, though he never came to a meeting as he was so far out in the Calif. Desert, and remained a member long after he moved east. I always found him a fun person to deal with, eager to help with ribbon info, etc. and we’d often email back and forth wondering about what this or that ribbon might be. I will miss him as I’m sure many others will too.
    Frank Draskovic

    #17159
    eric bush
    Participant

    John Royston, A Ribbon Guy.

    Also a member of the Orders and medals research society ribbon collector branch where he also shared,
    the Military Collectors Club of Canada as well as others.
    I first became acquainted with John when He took over the Ribbon Bank from Steve Haskins in
    Sep 1998. John has always been a fountain of information for me, a ribbon guy also.
    He collected Medals also but at heart he was a ribbon guy.
    If you needed help, he was an email away.
    If he did not have the Ribbon you needed at convention, He took you name and checked when He got home.
    If you didn’t know what you were looking for, John would help you discover what it was.
    If he did not have the Ribbon by the name you gave him, He would usually come up with one that
    would work if it was possible.

    I have this story to share and I feel many in OMSA have the same they could share also.

    John made up a series of pamphlets on various Ribbon topics of which one was charts for all the National Guards.
    I asked if I could borrow them one at a time to make up National Guard charts for my web site.
    He sent 10 to me to start with and before I knew it, 10 more were on the way and before I knew it,
    All of the NG charts were up on the web. I had a copy of Greg Olgetree’s National Guard book [still a classic] which helped with the widths,
    John’s pamphlets gave me their color and the newer issued Ribbons since Greg’s book came out.
    John was not a web chart maker and he saw the value of having ribbon charts on the web so encouraged me to get it done.

    If a new ribbon came out, He gave me the needed info to help keep the charts current and I would then get the Ribbon if he had it for the color and widths.
    My goal was to have a Ribbon Database to help in finding the unknowns as well as ID knowns.
    When I went to Convention, John was always the first to visit and along with John came a group of Ribbon Guys,“Yash” S. G. Yasinitsky [our founder], Bob McPherson, George Reynolds, Lonny Borts, and other Friends gathered up through the years.
    I learned about mil-spec ribbons, a standard that was set in stone, newer non mils-spec ones seem to change in color/width with every new batch that comes out and to just accept that this is the life of a Ribbon guy, I learned about older ribbons and all their many color shades as well as width difference, that not all ribbons are 1.375 wide.
    For us Ribbon Guys, these details had a value and I learned this is what made us different, to many others a Ribbon was a Ribbon.
    John taught me about why colors were different in older than current ones, the dyes back then could no longer be used due to environmental reasons, Reds got brighter.
    Some NG ribbons had yellow sections that later were Orange and then later another shade of Orange, all to be labeled as varieties, Type 1, 2 and on and on, That it took a craftsman with skill to make a good ribbon, about moire ribbons,
    US vs Euro weave and so many other details.
    At Convention, I would sometimes listen to him as he explained many details concerning Medals, when Historical events occurred and other information concerning our Hobby/Business.
    He was always on the lookout to expand the offerings in the Ribbon bank and acquire new and other ribbons not available from any other commercial source out there.

    See=http://www.phibetadelta.org/old/index.php/chapters/chapter-news/270-collecting-ribbons.html
    Eric Bush, hoping I can fill in half as good as John.

    #17161
    edward wolf
    Participant

    Sorry to lose such old time professionals. As fate would have it, just a week ago I requested a ribbon from John at the email listed in the journal. I wondered why he did not confirm my request. John will be missed by this 50 year member, as will Rolfe.

    Please convey my sincerest condolences to the family.

    With utmost regard,
    Edwqrd Wolf # 630

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