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.

Bill Gross to be Honored as Recipient of Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award

[Press Release]
Bill Gross to be Honored as Recipient of
Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award
National Postal Museum Cites Gross’s Philanthropy and World-Class Stamp Collections in Awarding Nation’s Most Prestigious Philatelic Honor

William H. Gross
William H. Gross.

NEWPORT BEACH, CA (Oct. 19, 2016) — The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum will award the 2016 Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award to Bill Gross and two other recipients on Oct. 22 at a museum-hosted gala event in Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award
Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award.

The Smithsonian Award was established in 2002 to honor and celebrate living individuals for outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of philately. This achievement may include original research that significantly advances the understanding of philately, exceptional service to the philatelic community or sustained promotion of philately to the benefit of current and future collectors. In addition to Mr. Gross, recipients of the 2016 award include Cheryl R. Ganz and Richard F. Winter.

Richard F. Winter
Richard F. Winter.
Cheryl R. Ganz
Cheryl R. Ganz.

The selection of Mr. Gross is as much a reflection of his philanthropic activities on behalf of stamp collecting as it is for his world-class collection.

“There has never been anyone in philately as philanthropic as Bill, and he wanted to create something special, which he has,” said Charles Shreve of Robert A. Siegel International, Mr. Gross’s long-time philatelic advisor and dealer. “Without his gift there would have never been a new Smithsonian National Postal Museum, the finest in the world. Bill has contributed greatly to the general public’s view of collecting in a positive way.”

In addition to donations totaling $10.8 million to build the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery in the National Postal Museum, Mr. Gross and his wife Sue have donated almost $25 million from proceeds of the sales of Mr. Gross’s collection since 2007. Beneficiaries include the PIMCO Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, the Millennium Villages Project, the Hawaii Foodbank, The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, and other charities.

“Stamp collecting has always been a means to an end for me,” said Mr. Gross, the portfolio manager responsible for managing Janus Capital Group’s Global Unconstrained Bond strategy. “There is the pleasure of the hobby itself, which has brought countless hours of satisfaction in researching the history behind these miniature works of art. And then there is the knowledge that the returns from my hobby have served a higher purpose in benefiting the less fortunate.”

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