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The Saint Club

And so, my friends, dear bookworms, most noble fellow drinkers, frustrated burglars, affronted policemen, upright citizens with furled umbrellas and secret buccaneering dreams--that seems to be very nearly all for now. It has been nice having you with us, and we hope you will come again, not once, but many times.

Only because of our great love for you, we would like to take this parting opportunity of mentioning one small matter which we have very much at heart.

Leslie Charteris, The First Saint Omnibus (1939)

Welcome to The Saint Club

Welcome to www.saint.org, the official Web site of The Saint Club.

Leslie Charteris founded The Saint Club in 1936 and it is still going strong more than seventy years later. Simon Templar is, of course, the President of the Club, with Leslie Charteris being the Vice-President until his death in 1993, when he was succeeded by Roger Moore, Ian Ogilvy and Simon Dutton. Club dues are £30.00 for a lifetime membership, or £3.50 for an annual subscription. All proceeds from the membership fees and the sale of merchandise go to support the Arbour Youth Centre in the East End of London, England.

Leslie Charteris on The Saint Club

When I was very young, and just beginning as a writer, any fan mail that I was lucky enough to get was an event, to be received with grateful excitement and unstintly answered.

Today the gratitude remains, but the expense of acknowledgement has soared like a space shot. The cost of a photograph, which is often asked for, has gone up like the cost of living. Even the price of postage on a simple autograph is today more than 30 times what it was when I received my first request for one.

In 1935, things were not yet as bad as that, but the influx of fan mail had happily become a serious fact of life, and the foreshadowings of inflationary spirals could already be discerned upon the wall. It was also revealed to me that a very high percentage of fans were no book buyers but library borrowers, and therefore that the rewards of corresponding with them were in no way reflected by my royalty statements. In the proverbial nutshell, I was paying quite a price for the flattering of my ego.

That was when the solution dawned, if movie stars could have fan clubs, why not a club for addicts of the Saint's adventures? But to suit my conscience, it would have to serve a really good purpose, and not be just an adoration society.

With that resolve, the Saint Club was swiftly launched. Every penny of profits from subscriptions and the sale of merchandise, from Club ties to Christmas cards, were passed on for a start, to the Invalid and Crippled Children's Hospital in East London, where for a time they supported a ward of eight beds. As my own contribution, autographed photos for sale to members were supplied by me at no cost to the Club. For snob value, there was the unpaid office of Patron Saint, first filled by the Marquis of Donegal.

When the hospitals were nationalised in 1948, our donations began to be funnelled to the Arbour Youth Centre, still in East London, and adjudged to be another thoroughly worthy cause. The post of Patron Saint is now filled by Lord John Oaksey. After more than 50 years, everything else goes on as before, with an expanded list of merchandise on offer (though at prices which we regretfully have to revise upwards from time to time, to keep realistic pace with our current costs).

As we head onwards in our seventh decade, I am hoping that the Club will keep on achieving more and more under the latest Honorary Secretariat, Ian Dickerson.

The Honorary Secretary Writes...

Leslie Charteris founded The Saint Club in 1936 with the aim of providing a constructive fan base for Saint devotees. Before the War it donated profits to a London hospital where, for several years, a 'Saint' ward was maintained. With the nationalisation of hospitals, profits were donated to the Arbour Youth Centre in Stepney, London where the Club maintains a small office to this day.

The Club also acts as a centre for fans interested in the adventures of Leslie Charteris and the work of Simon Templar and publishes an irregular and irreverent newsletter, The Epistle, which covers anything and everything to do with the Saint and Leslie Charteris. The club also offers its own range of merchandise that is regularly updated and includes ties, mugs, photographs and note-paper, and has an award winning web site on the Internet.

Since Leslie Charteris' death, the Club has recruited three new vice-presidents; Roger Moore, Ian Ogilvy and Simon Dutton have all pledged their support whilst Audrey and Patricia Charteris have been retained as Saints-in-Chief. But some things do not change. As we enter our seventh ecade the back of the membership card still mischievously proclaims that...

"The bearer of this card is probably a person of hideous antecedents and low moral character, and upon apprehension for any cause should be immediately released in order to save other prisoners from contamination."

Saint Club Merchandise

Saint Club members are able to purchase items from The Saint Club, including autographed photos, club ties, and other items related to The Saint.

Membership Costs

£3.50 (or US$7) per year
£30.00 (or US$60) for life membership
The Epistle is available on a single issue basis. Please ask for details.
Please make out US Dollar or British Pound cheques payable to 'The Saint Club' and send, along with return postage to:
NOTE: either a self-addressed stamped envelope or International Reply Coupon is required.

The Saint Club, PO Box 258, Romsey, Hants. SO51 6WY England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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