APS Board of Directors Elects New President

Today, the Board of Directors of the American Philatelic Society elected Robert “Bob” G. Zeigler to complete the term of President of the Board. Zeigler replaces Mick Zais, who was recently confirmed to serve as Deputy Secretary of Education in Washington. The term will expire in August 2019.

Robert Zeigler“I’m honored the Board has put their trust in me to serve as President. We have made great progress since I joined the Board in 2016 on improving the outlook of the APS and the hobby. I am committed to working with the Board to build on that success and continue pushing to grow our membership in the months ahead.”

Zeigler, who hails from Indianapolis, Indiana is a Life Member of the APS, and has been a member since 1973. In 2016, Zeigler was elected Vice President by the APS members, serving on the Board of Vice Presidents. He previously served on the APS Board of Directors as a Director At-Large from 2001 to 2003.

Outside of philately, Zeigler has been a trial attorney since 1980, with a focus on defending health care professionals and hospitals in malpractice lawsuits.

On the collecting side, Zeigler has specialized in collecting Switzerland for more than 40 years. He has served the Society as a member of the Expert Committee for Switzerland for more than 30 years. In addition, Zeigler has served as a philatelic judge in over 90 shows, often as Chief Judge. In 2009, the APS honored him with the Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Award for National Service. Aside from service to the APS, Zeigler has served the hobby as past President of the Indiana Stamp Club, which annually sponsors INDYPEX, one of the national World Series of Philately shows. He has also held the office of President for the American Helvetia Philatelic Society (the Swiss specialists’ organization), in which he is also a Life Member.

Frozen Treats Stamps With That Sweet Smell of Summer

The first scratch-and-sniff U.S. postage stamps will be released later this summer, according to a news release today from the U.S. Postal Service. 

The first-class forever stamps will add “the sweet scent of summer to letters of love, friendship, party invitations and other mailings” the USPS said in its release.

A first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony, free and open to the public, will take place on June 20 at 6 p.m. local time the Thinkery Children’s Museum in Austin, Texas.

Frozen Treats StampsThe stamps feature illustrations of frosty, colorful, icy pops on a stick. Today, Americans love cool, refreshing ice pops on a hot summer day. The tasty, sweet confections come in a variety of shapes and flavors.

Ice pops are made by large manufacturers, home cooks and artisanal shops. In recent years, frozen treats containing fresh fruit such as kiwi, watermelon, blueberries, oranges and strawberries have become more common. In addition, flavors such as chocolate, root beer and cola are also popular. Some frozen treats even have two sticks, making them perfect for sharing.

There are 10 designs – each showing two different treats – that will be sold in booklets of 20. The artwork showcases is from Margaret Berg, of Santa Monica, California, who depicted the whimsical illustrations in watercolors. The words “Forever” and “USA” appear along the bottom of each stamp.

Art director Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, Virginia, designed the stamps with Leslie Badani of Alexandria, Virginia.

A Postal Service spokesman declined to say if the 10 stamps would have the same or a variety of aromas, noting that information will be released when the stamps are issued. He also noted that the technology used for the stamps will also be explained at that time.

The Frozen Treats stamps represent the third time in a year that new U.S. stamps have featured innovative technology. One June 14, 2017, the USPS issued eight Have a Ball stamps. It was the first time the U.S. issued touch-and-feel stamps in which the stamps had the feel of the sports ball shown. Six days later, on June 20, the USPS issued the Solar Eclipse stamp in which an image of the Moon was hidden behind dark, thermochromic ink until it was warmed, such as by the heat of a thumb’s touch.

The U.S. is a bit behind the world in scratch-and-sniff technology on postage stamps. Bhutan issued the world’s first such stamps in 1973 with stamps that smell like roses, according to an article published May 1, 2015 in Linn’s Stamp News.

The American Topical Association lists 114 stamps on its check list of scented stamps. Roses remain a popular scent on the list along with such fragrances as chocolate, vanilla and coffee, according to the article in Linn’s. Other scents you can find on stamps include honey, cinnamon, pine, apple, lemon, sweet-and-sour pork and fire (burnt wood).

 

Postal Museum Celebrates Train Day

WASHINGTONOne young daughter sat on her dad’s shoulders as she blew a green train whistle and watched model trains travel a track. Another young boy jumped up, peering over the table to get a view of the model “Polar Express” train coming around the bend and blowing smoke behind its path.

It was all part of the National Postal Museum’s annual “Train Day” celebration this weekend, commemorating the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Three model train groups set up tracks throughout the museum, and visitors enjoyed a fun-filled day of train-themed games and activities.

photo: Tasos Kalfas

When entering the atrium, visitors began at the Railway Post Office Training School, where they could learn to talk like a railway post office clerk. They learned terms like “rattler” (a freight train) and “dressing a rack” (preparing a train for mail service).

After testing their railway knowledge, visitors moved to the “Train Whistle Code School.” Kids could pick from different colors of bright yellow, blue, green, and purple train whistles to try their codes, filling the entire atrium with echoing whistle noises.

photo: Tasos Kalfas

Boys and girls gathered around the “Coloring Corner” to color train cars, the museum’s mascot Owney the dog, who traveled with the railway post office, and other patterns.

Visitors pretended to be railway mail clerks inside the museum’s railway post office car, at which visitors sorted letters by destination in the train’s cubbies, just as railway mail clerks used to do.

Young children also tried their hands at being railway clerks. One at a time, they hopped on a small electric train engine and rode in a circle. They swung by one station picking up a mail bag before turning the bend and dropping the mail bag in a box on the other side of the track. The activity was meant to simulate how railway mail cars seldom made stops to pick up and drop off mail.

The Rappahannock Model Railroaders from Fredericksburg, Virginia, displayed a model train set in the museum atrium. The set showed people waiting on platforms and construction workers performing road maintenance.

The Northern Virginia NTRAK model railroading club’s track included smaller-sized trains and a freight-style Postal Service truck parked outside a bank and another Postal Service truck in what looked like a residential neighborhood. The trucks donned the old “standing eagle” Postal Service logo.

The largest track belonged to the Washington, Virginia, and Maryland Garden Railway Society in the museum lobby. Their set featured a large Amtrak train and displayed an early-1900s-style car which read “U.S. Mail” and also had the “standing eagle” logo.

Public Programs Manager Motoko Hioki said the event spiraled off of Amtrak’s celebration of train day several years ago.

Union Station, Washington DC
photo: Martin Kent Miller

Union Station, which serves several Amtrak routes is next door to the Postal Museum. The station used to host a National Train Day celebration at which several Washington-area model railroaders displayed their tracks. However, the station no longer does the event.

Hioki said around 5,000 people attended the Postal Museum’s train day event over the weekend.

The museum’s next event is called the “Dog Days of Summer” and is set for late July. The museum will celebrate railway mail dog Owney and other animals who played a part in postal history.

“We will also be celebrating the museum’s 25th birthday” Hioki said, though she declined to say how.

At the Dog Days event, the museum will partner with local animal rescue groups and the Amtrak Police K-9 Unit to host an adoption fair, according to the museum’s website.

The event is scheduled for July 28 and 29 at the National Postal Museum.

by Tasos Kalfas, @TasosKalfasWRGW

APS President Announces Resignation

Board of Directors Will Meet to Elect New President

Mick ZaisToday, American Philatelic Society President Mitchell “Mick” Zais submitted his resignation from the Board of Directors to serve as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Zais was nominated for the post on October 3, 2017 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 16, 2018.

“On behalf of the APS members, I would like to thank Mick for his years of service on the APS Board,” said Scott English, Executive Director, “Even with his new responsibilities, I hope he still has time to collect, visit a few stamp shows, and even recruit a few new members in the Nation’s Capital. Best of luck in the next chapter!”

Mick Zais has been an APS member since 1976, joining after attending Interphil 1976, the seventh international show held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Zais is a 1969 graduate of United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the U.S. Army for 31 years, retiring as a brigadier general. From 2000 to 2010, he served as president of Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. Zais was elected South Carolina Superintendent of Schools in 2010 and held office from 2011 until 2015.  In 2013, Zais was elected to the Board of Vice Presidents and became President in 2016.

Filling the Vacancy

In keeping with the APS Bylaws (cited below), the APS Board of Directors has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 5 p.m. EDT to elect a new president from the board. The newly elected president will complete Zais’ term through August 2019.

The newly elected President will then appoint a replacement board member to fill the vacancy on the board, subject to approval by the APS Board of Directors, to fill the remaining term on the board ending in August 2019.  A meeting to take up that appointment will be scheduled at the May 23 Board meeting.

The meeting is open to the public and APS members are welcome to join the call at:

Toll-free Number: 888-537-7715
Passcode: 13291358#

From the APS Bylaws:

5.7      Vacancies.
Death, Resignation or Other Removal from Office. In case of a vacancy in the office of any of the officers of the Society because of death or removal, such vacancy shall be filled as follows: In the office of President, by election by the Board of Directors from among its own membership. In any other elective or administrative office, by appointment by the President, subject to approval of the Board of Directors. In the event of vacancy in the office of President, the Board of Vice Presidents shall call a meeting of the Board of Directors within ten (10) days for the purpose of naming a new President. Such vacancies shall be filled subject to the term limitations of 5.2 (c) and (d).

Royal Wedding Celebrated with Stamps

All eyes will turn toward Great Britain Saturday as Prince Henry of Wales and Meghan Markle are married at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, the medieval masterpiece at the heart of Windsor Castle.

To celebrate there will be stamps, of course. On Tuesday, Royal Mail of Great Britain unveiled its designated Special Stamps, which will go on sale Saturday. The stamps – one  black-and-white showing the couple in a casual outdoor setting and a color formal image of the couple holding hands – are being produced in a four-stamp souvenir sheet.

The images are taken from the official engagement photographs taken by Alexi Lubomirski at Frogmore House, Windsor, in December.

The couple’s engagement was announced on the morning of November 27 with an announcement from Harry, the  Prince of Wales. The Isle of Man on March 28 issued a pair of stamps celebrating the royal couple’s engagement.

Guernsey Post will issue a two-stamp souvenir sheet Saturday to mark the wedding. The stamps depict the couple in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden as they officially announced their engagement.

Prince Harry, 33, is fifth in line to the British throne and is the younger son of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The prince, born Prince Henry Charles Albert David, was educated at Eton College. He spent a gap year working on a cattle station in Australia and in an orphanage in Lesotho. He then went on to train as an army officer at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurstand conducted two tours of duty to Afghanistan with the British Army during his 10 years of service.

Markle, 36, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and graduated from Northwestern University in 2003 with a degree in theater and international studies. She may be best known her role as Rachel Zane in the television drama Suits, and has also starred in the films Get Him to the Greekand Remember Me. Markle worked as a United Nations women’s advocate for political participation and leadership and became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada.