09/18/2009 (P1654)
Contact: Ken Martin

Adema and Kent Receive the American Philatelic Society’s 2009 Luff Awards

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The Luff Awards are the most prestigious awards presented by the 38,000-member American Philatelic Society. Established in 1940 in honor of prominent American philatelist, John N. Luff and APS president from 1907 to 1909, the awards are presented each year at APS StampShow for meritorious contributions to philately by living philatelists. This year’s winners are Kees Adema and David A. Kent. They were honored at the 2009 StampShow Awards Banquet on Saturday, August 8, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Kees Adema of Fairfield, Connecticut has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research.

Kees Adema’s outstanding exhibits reflect the keen research he undertakes and then shares with his fellow philatelists. His astute research efforts are even more extensively revealed in his writings. He is the author of more than two dozen articles on various aspects of Netherlands philately, including a recent article in the London Philatelist based on his presentation at the Royal Philatelic Society London for which he received the prestigious Lee Medal. He has written more than fifteen articles in the Collectors Club Philatelist on such diverse topics as the world’s first postage dues, postal pigeons, French Fieldpost during invasions of Holland, Thurn and Taxis and mail in connection with Napoleon’s Grande Armée and the invasion of Russia. All of these writings reveal extensive research by the author. Most have been translated and published in Dutch, French, and German periodicals.

He also has written original research articles that have appeared in the Journal of the American Society for Netherlands Philately, Nederland Onder de Loep, Notities and Fakes, Forgeries, Experts, among others. The Philatelic Foundation in New York produced a DVD titled “Holland’s Wars and Struggles 1568–1815,” showing original letters and documents from his collection placed in historical context. The video is used as an educational tool in the United States and Europe.

In 2002 the Dutch Postal History Organization published Adema’s book The First Postage Dues: Holland’s 3s Markings 1667–1811. He has identified thirty-one different types of early markings, many previously unrecorded. He created a new cataloguing system that has now been adopted by other handbooks, periodicals, and auction houses — known as the “Adema Identification Method.” Further, he developed a system to differentiate between forgeries and authentic postal markings from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries.

Kees Adema has published a number of articles that involved original research and philatelic discoveries, such as two different Fieldpost markings from Louis XIV’s army on letters from 1747, whose use in Holland was until recently unrecorded. He has completed the first volume of a planned three-volume treatise on Dutch Mail in Times of Turmoil, Wars and Revolts 1568–1839, scheduled for publication in London this fall.

In addition to being past president of the American Society for Netherlands Philately (1997–2006) and a current governor of the Collectors Club of New York as well as a member of the club’s editorial board, Adema is a fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London, a member of the Nederlandse Academie voor Filatelie in Utrecht and the Académie Européenne de Philatélie in Paris. His exhibit “Early Postal Markings of the Netherlands” won a national grand award, five large gold awards from the Féderation Internationale de Philatélie along with special prizes and felicitations of the jury for research, and was shown in the FIP Championship Class. It also received the “Golden Posthorn” award — recognizing outstanding research — at the specialized postal history competition in Sindelfingen, Germany in 2000. Another exhibit, “Dutch Mail in Times of Turmoil 1568–1839,” won a large gold award and felicitations of the jury for research. The exhibit has been expanded and received two more large gold medals in international competition and the Grand Prix in the Master Class at Naposta 2005 in Hannover, Germany.

Kees Adema’s postal history research achievements have been recognized with several honors including:

  • Prof. Dr. Carlrichard Brühl Medaille for research (Germany 2003)
  • Professor van der Willigen award for research (Netherlands 2003)
  • “Honorary Guardian of the Treasure” for his “research in publications related to pre-postal history and his merits in publicizing the archives and collections of the Amsterdam Municipal Archive” (Netherlands 2003)
  • Edwin Koenig Award, presented once every five years to the author of a philatelic publication with the most original research (Netherlands 2006)
  • American Society for Netherlands Philately de Kruyf award for lifetime services in Dutch philately (USA 2008)

In view of Kees Adema’s remarkable record in the field of postal history research, he was recommended for the Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research.

David A. Kent of New Britain, Connecticut, has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately.

David Kent is perhaps best known for his philatelic writing and editing. However, he has distinguished himself in several different organizations by holding office and in particular by serving as a volunteer at local, regional, national, and international shows. He has written more than 2,000 philatelic articles that have appeared in the general philatelic press as well as in specialist society journals. Despite the nationwide trend in recent years for general newspapers to eliminate stamp columns, David continues to write a popular one for the Hartford (CT) Courant and has done so for more than twenty-five years.

His journal editing dates back to the 1950s when he edited The Confederate Stamp Album, journal of the Confederate Stamp Alliance. In 1991 he was named a staff writer for Mekeel’s Weekly Stamp News, and today is Associate Editor of Mekeel’s & Stamps Magazine. For the past fifteen years he has edited the Military Postal History Society Bulletin, to which he also contributes researched articles. For his extensive editing and writing in our hobby he was elected to the APS Writers Hall of Fame in 2007.

David was Editor-in-Chief of the fifth edition of the Catalog of United States Naval Postmarks published by the Universal Ship Cancellation Society in 1997, and contributes periodic updates in the society’s journal. He has served the USCS as secretary-treasurer, vice president, president (1980–1983), and has been a member of the board of directors for more than twenty-five years — longer than any other individual in the society’s history. He is also an accredited USCS judge, chairman of the society’s Hall of Fame Committee, and publicity director. For the society’s Nathan Hale chapter David has been secretary-treasurer since 1971 and manger of their mail auctions for almost as many years. He was general chairman of five USCS national conventions between 1975 and 2002 and manager of more than fifty regional meetings and “Cover Fest” events. The USCS honored him with its Raymond St. John Memorial Service Award in 1986.

David Kent has been active for many years in the American Topical Association where he served as treasurer, second vice president, and president (1988–1991). He was general chairman of two National Topical Stamp Shows and floor manager for two others. He has served as president of the ATA’s Americana Study Unit for more than thirty years and has been editor, associate editor, and columnist of Americana Philatelic News. The ATA named him a Distinguished Topical Philatelist in 1986.

David appears to be the glue that holds together many of the local and regional clubs and shows in the Connecticut area. And yet he has found time to help at the national level by serving as Executive Chairman of the International Philatelic Press Club and as a director and treasurer of the Council of Philatelic Organizations.

In his typically quiet way Kent has volunteered his time in mounting and dismounting exhibits at AMERIPEX 1986, LONDON 1990, WORLD COLUMBIAN EXPO 1992, and WASHINGTON 2006. His volunteer effort at shows and bourses, often unnoticed except by those who have worked alongside him at these events, continues apace. He seems to be the Energizer Bunny® of volunteerism, a type of service that is always appreciated but seldom recognized.

For someone who has long avoided the limelight, it seems time to honor David A. Kent with the Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately.

Guideline and nomination information for the Luff awards is available. Nominations should be submitted by December 1 to insure consideration for the 2010 awards.