President’s Message: January 2020

by Nancy B. Clark, President

You may have heard that a merger with the Postal History Society is being considered by the American Philatelic Congress leadership. This possibility is still very much in the discussion stage, and the Board has provided me with a straw vote that the action merits consideration. It’s all in the details, many of which remain open. Among them are financial (including, but not limited to cash balances, dues and website coverage), number of members (240 vs. 166), and membership options. If you have an opinion on the possibility of merging the two groups, please let one of your Board members know when you see them. This will be one of the items our Board will discuss at our meeting Friday morning.

An update in our planning will be shared at the super brief business meeting prior to the talks.

Two of our Board members, including our Secretary-Treasurer, who usually does yeoman duty at our table, will be on the Jury and unavailable for table-sitting duties. As Boston 2026 will also have a booth, I will be torn between the two booths. It’s early days yet, but if at all possible, consider volunteering at the table. A two hour time commitment can make all the difference. Please let me know your availability at the email address on the right.

In planning your time at the show, be sure you allow time for our author talks on Friday afternoon, prior to the wine and cheese gathering. It’s a good opportunity to learn more about the varied subjects explored in the articles. Arrangements are still being made as to where the gatherings will be, but check the Great American Stamp Show program to see the details, which will also be online at the American Philatelic Society website,

As you can see from the financial report later in this message, we have not raised dues for 2020, however it takes a community to make this happen. If you are able, consider donating above your regular dues level when you mail your check to Chuck.

I hope your holidays were filled with good memories and that your new year has begun well. See you in Hartford, ready to continue our explorations in philately!


2020 DUES

Enclosed with this mailing is a dues notice for 2020. Please take the time to send your payment in the enclosed envelope. If you elect to pay by PayPal, please select the “Send Money” option to avoid PayPal fees. To follow up on Nancy’s message we have added places on the dues renewal form to record any opinions you may have on the potential merger with the Postal History Society as well as times you may be available to help at our society booth in Hartford.


The responsibilities of a member of the Council include writing articles for The Congress Book, or recruiting others to do so, participating in the annual Council meeting at the APS StampShow in August, and other tasks for which you volunteer or consent to be co-opted. If you would be interested in being a candidate, please email or mail Chuck Wooster of your interest and include a brief (one paragraph) philatelic biography (email and address in the sidebar on the front page of this newsletter).


This past November the 2019 Congress Book was awarded a Large Gold Medal and the Reserve Grand Award at the 2019 Chicagopex show.


In 2019 for the second year in a row, we finished with a small deficit of around $200. As a result, we have decided not to raise dues for 2020. However, our successful 2019 financial performance was made possible by member contributions in the amount of $2,485 (over and above dues) and a $1,000 gift from the Schuyler-Rumsey Auction Company. Without these, we would have been forced to raise dues by $15 per person. In 2020 we will likely experience higher printing costs as well as an additional fee for our new editor. Please continue to support the efforts of the American Philatelic Congress with your gifts in 2020.


The 2020 Congress Book has a new editor, Dr. Seija-Riitta Laakso. As of January, she still needs several more articles to fill the book. If you have recently studied something of interest that you have not published anywhere else, please write an article for The Congress Book. If you know somebody else who might be interested in writing, don’t hesitate to ask. Should you have a good idea, or a ready article, please contact the Editor at seijulaakso (at) gmail (dot) com asap. Kindly note that the figures should be scanned in 1:1 size and 300 dpi resolution, for engravings please use 600 dpi.


Each year the Congress makes a number of awards for both articles in the current Congress Book as well as for philatelic literature published elsewhere. The following awards were presented at the Congress reception in Omaha;

The Helen August Memorial Award for best postal history article 2019 Congress Book – Thomas Lera for St. Johns River Mail: Steamboats, Route Agents and Railroad Post Offices.

The Diane D. Boehret Award for best philatelic publication of 2019 – David R. Pitts, FRPSL and Arthur H. Groten, M.D., FRPSL for Bermuda, Crossroads of the Atlantic, A Postal History.

The Diane D. Boehret Award for best philatelic journal of 2019 – Rossica, The Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately, Nikolai Sorokin, Editor.

The Erani R. Drossos Award for best foreign article 2019 Congress Book – Richard F. Winter for North Carolina Ship Letters Before the Civil War.

The Jere. Hess Barr Award for best author presentation – Jay M. Weiss for The First Adhesive Postage Stamp of the United States Post Office: A First Day Cover.

The Walter R. McCoy Award for best article 2019 Congress Book – Jay M. Weiss for The First Adhesive Postage Stamp of the United States Post Office: A First Day Cover.

The C. Corwith Wagner Award for best United States article 2019 Congress Book – Cheryl R. Ganz for Transcontinental Zeppelin Posts.