ATA 2017 Distinguished
Topical Philatelist Selected

[April 17, 2017 ATA Press Release]

For her wide-ranging contributions to philately, Vera Felts has been selected to receive the American Topical Association’s highest award at the National Topical Stamp Show awards banquet June 24 in Milwaukee.

As ATA executive director since 2009, Felts has brought innovation and a positive attitude to the office and many of the organization’s programs. She spearheaded the highly successful ambassador program which has resulted in hundreds of new members, and managed the transition to a new topical checklist database, which has made ATA’s signature checklists better than ever.

For the past 18 years she has served as registration chair and managed the show cachets for the St. Louis Stamp Expo.  She edited the APS gold award-winning newsletter of the Southern Illinois Stamp Club for 15 years, and co-founded its SIRPEX local show.

A life member of APS, she served eight years as coordinator of its newsletter exchange. At the Science Center in Carbondale, Illinois, in 1999 she founded a long-running youth stamp group.

Felts is revered throughout philately for her devotion to helping people advance and enjoy topical collecting.

The Distinguished Topical Philatelist (DTP) award has been presented each year since 1952, by the ATA, the largest affiliate of the American Philatelic Society.  Don Smith served as chair of the selection committee.  The scrolls signed by all of ATA’s 119 DTPs can be viewed at http://americantopicalassn.org/awardsdtp.

Nominations Open for Annual First-Day Cover Writing Award

Nominations are being accepting through May 1 for the Philip H. Ward Award for Excellence in First Day Cover Literature, presented annually by the American First Day Cover Society. All works published in 2016 are eligible.

All articles published in First Days, the society’s journal, are automatically considered. Additional literature can be submitted to the Ward Award Committee chair, Mark Goodson, 202 W. Temperance Street, Ellettsville, IN 47429, or by e-mail to bgdsn@comcast.net.

The awards are presented each year at Americover, the annual show and convention of the AFDCS. Americover 2017 will be held August 11 to 13 in Independence, Ohio.

The award is named in honor of Philip H. Ward (1890-1963), a distinguished Philadelphia stamp collector, dealer and journalist who was a pioneer in the field of first day covers. The award was instituted in 1964.

Dorothy Knapp: Philately and Family, a book by Douglas S. Weisz, a well-known first day cover dealer, received first place in last year’s contest.

More information is available through the society’s website, www.afdcs.org/newsblog.html.

Back issues of First Days are available for $4 each postpaid within the U.S. from Jeffrey Bennett, 1601 River Farm Drive, Alexandria, Va. 22308. A searchable electronic archive of every issue of First Days from its inception in 1955 through 2014 is available on DVD for $79 postpaid. Society members can download back issues since 2011 for free on the AFDCS website.

New Author Combines Mysteries and Stamps

A new author has created a world where mysteries found in stamps are pursued and unraveled by young detectives. And you can get a nice sample of the work right now via the internet for free for a very limited time.

In a nod toward the styles of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, Carl Wildrick has crafted a trilogy of philatelic-related mystery books for young people.

The first book – The Finder, about Carter Owens, The Accidental Philatelist — can be downloaded free as an eBook via Amazon through April 1. It is available at http://amzn.com/B01N00EEMQ.

The second in the series, The Seeker, will be available as an eBook for free on April 2 only at http://amzn.com/B01MSYEJ9L.

The third book in the trilogy, The Fighter, has just been released.

Two APS Members Chosen to Sign Roll of Distinguished Philatelists

Two longtime members of the American Philatelic Society — John Hotchner, of Falls Church, Virginia, and Steven Walske, of San Francisco, California — have been chosen as to receive one of the world’s greatest philatelic honors.

The two Americans and two philatelists from Great Britain — Alan Holyoake and Colin Tabeart — were elected last week as 2017 signatories to the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists by the Association of British Philatelic Societies.

This is one of the highest and most prestigious honors in philately, recognizing achievement, research, publication, and service. The roll was first signed in 1921 and as of now, 356 philatelists from 40 countries have signed.

This year’s signing ceremony will take place in Cardiff, Wales on July 28. The four join 78 other living signors from 25 countries spread over five continents.

Hotchner is a former APS president and longtime philatelic researcher, writer, exhibitor, and national and FIP judge. His numerous accomplishments and awards include those from the APS — signatory of the Luff Scroll and recipient of the Charles J. Peterson Philatelic Literature Lifetime Achievement Award — not to mention his many leadership roles. He and Randy Neil are founders of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors. He’s been a regular contributor and author to many magazines and journals.

Walske has compiled several national and international award-winning exhibits, including a“Franco-Prussian War Siege Mail”exhibit that won the Grand Prix International at Luxembourg 98 and the Grand Prix National at PhilexFrance 99. (He was the first non-Frenchman ever to win the award. His Civil War exhibit was nominated for the Grand Prix National at Washington 2006. His books include Special Mail Routes of the American Civil War: A Guide to Across-the-Lines Postal History (2008), co-authored with Scott Trepel and The Pony Express: A Postal History (2005) with Richard Frajola and George Kramer.

More details on the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists can be found online at www.abps.org.uk/Awards/Roll_of_Distinguished_Philatelists/index.xalter.

World Stamp Show-NY 2016 Legacy Continues

The legacy of last year’s World Stamp Show-NY 2016 continues, thanks to $200,000 in grants from the show to help philatelic groups. Donations include a $25,000 matching grant to the American Philatelic Society to support the society website and marketing, as well as $100,000 to the next U.S. international show.

Read  details about all the grants here, http://stamps.org/userfiles/file/news/WSS-NY-Legacy.pdf.