09/11/2012 (P1708)
Contact: Ken Martin

Dixon, Graue & Rod 2012 Luff Honorees

Dixon, Graue and Rod at APS StampShow 2012

The Luff Awards are the highest awards given by the American Philatelic Society. Established in 1940 in honor of prominent American philatelist John N. Luff, APS President from 1907 to 1909, the awards are presented each year at APS StampShow for meritorious contributions by living philatelists.

Michael Dixon, James Graue, and Steven Rod have been chosen to receive the 2012 John N. Luff Awards. The recipients were honored at the 2012 StampShow Awards Banquet on Saturday, August 18, in Sacramento, California.

Michael D. Dixon of Portland, Oregon, has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately.

Michael’s service to the hobby began in England where he was president of the Dulwich Philatelic Society. From 1980 to 1983 he served on the Council of the Royal Philatelic Society London. He was a consultant to the RPSL Expertizing Committee. From 1980 to 1982 he served as president of The Spanish Main, the club of collectors of Latin America.

After moving to the United States he became a nationally accredited judge and chief judge for philatelic and literature exhibits¸ and an FIP (International Federation of Philately) judge. He served the Napex Washington, DC area national show in various capacities, including show chairman and director emeritus. He has served as U.S. Commissioner to exhibitions in Germany and the United Kingdom. Until earlier in 2012 he served on the FIP Commission for Philatelic Literature where he was responsible for relations with FIAF and the delegates of FIAF countries.

Michael Dixon’s most significant contribution to philately has been his ten-year involvement with the U.S. international Washington 2006 exhibition, which he served as president and board chairman. Here he had to work with numerous individuals and organizations including the USPS, American Stamp Dealers Association, and many others. The show was immensely successful and, not insignificantly, ended up with a considerable surplus of income over expenditures.

Since his relocation in 2008 to Oregon, Michael has been working with the Northwest Federation of Stamp Clubs to revitalize the Pipex WSP show.

Dixon served on the APS board as a director-at-large from 2007–2009. He has served on several APS committees including technology, international, fundraising, expert, and long-range planning. He has been a consultant to the APS Expertizing Committee.

Outside the APS he has also served as a chief of the Arizona Philatelic Rangers and president of the Potomac (Maryland) Philatelic Society. Dixon is currently vice president of the American Philatelic Congress.

Michael’s contribution to philatelic literature has been largely in the field of the stamps of Peru. His articles have appeared in Filatelia Peruana, London Philatelist, The Mainsheet, The American Philatelist, and the Great Britain Collectors Club Chronicle.

Dixon has exhibited widely — including exhibits of British Forces Air Mail Letter Cards and Air Letters Used in World War II, and Use of GB WWII Prisoner-of-War Air Mail Postal Stationery — but may be better known for his fun exhibits of Upper and Lower Bongoland.

James W. Graue of Valleyford, Washington, has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research.

Jim Graue is a lifelong collector who has served the hobby as researcher, exhibitor, judge, writer, editor, and officer.

Jim joined with John Duggan in England in intensive research of the Deutsche Lufthansa archives in Köln-Deutz, Germany, related to the DLH South Atlantic service, aimed at reconstructing lost, destroyed or otherwise incomplete records of the flights. Records from The Gambia and Condor, the Brazilian DLH affiliate, were discovered and these contributed to the project. Further records were found at Dornier, a flying boat manufacturer in the 1920s–1930s, that detailed the roles played by the catapult support ships in the South Atlantic. The DLH South Atlantic flight records take up fifteen volumes of binders. Their work was published in 2000 as Deutsche Lufthansa South Atlantic Airmail Service 1934–1939. It quickly sold out and a new revision is planned.

Jim Graue and John Duggan also collaborated in original research in the archives of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin/Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei in Friedrichshafen. For the Zeppelin South America flights, they focused on the air mail drops and exchanges made without landings to determine the date, time and location of the air mail exchanges between the DLH and the airships, a problem area for specialists for decades and the cause of numerous incorrect certificates. Much of this work was published in their Commercial Zeppelin Flights to South America. This book was awarded the American Air Mail Society George D. Kingdom Award as best aerophilatelic book for 1995. Jim’s work with John Duggan was terminated by John’s untimely death, but Jim has continued to work with the research results.

In 2004 Jim joined with Dieter Leder in Germany to produce and publish a new German North Atlantic Catapult Flights 1929–1935 catalogue. It is now accepted by most as the definitive work on the subject. Few official records of these flights have been found, so intensive study of the actual mail was significant in understanding the development and operations of that system. The research on the 1934 night flights was particularly significant.

Jim’s other air mail subject is the 1934 air mail issue of Germany. His research of this issue resulted in the discovery of several additional printings beyond those listed in the Michel Deutschland-Spezial Katalog.

As an exhibitor, Jim has received more than forty gold medals, seven grand awards, twelve reserve grand awards, and eight APS Research Awards at WSP competitions, plus three international gold awards and two special prizes. He is an APS-accredited chief judge for both philately and literature. He has served on the APS Committee for the Accreditation of Exhibitions and Judges (CANEJ) for twelve years, contributed to and edited the sixth edition of the APS Manual of Philatelic Judging, and was team leader for the revision of the literature judging guidelines in 2009.

Jim has written extensively, including major articles in the Congress Book (awarded the Erani R. Drossos Award in 2007), German Postal Specialist, Airpost Journal, and The American Philatelist. He has been editor of the German Postal Specialist of the Germany Philatelic Society since 2004, and also is the current president of that society.

Jim served the American Air Mail Society as editor of the Airpost Journal for seventeen years (1989–2006), winning the Diane Boehret Award in 2005. He has served as AAMS director, chairman of the AAMS Publications Committee, editor-in-chief of the American Air Mail Catalogue, vice president, and he is the current president. He was awarded the Walter J. Conrath Award by the American Air Mail Society in 1997 for outstanding service to the society. He was instrumental in the conversion of both the Airpost Journal and the German Postal Specialist from black and white to full color.

In 1999 Jim was named Distinguished Philatelist by the Northwest Federation of Stamp Clubs, its highest award recognizing outstanding service to the Federation. He served the Federation as president, treasurer, and for eleven years as executive secretary.

In 2011, Jim was elected to the Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame which honors those philatelists who have made significant contributions to aerophilately.

Jim’s greatest pleasure in our hobby is sharing the fruits of his research with other collectors and exhibitors.

Steven J. Rod of South Orange, New Jersey, has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Luff Award for Outstanding Services to the American Philatelic Society.

Steve has been an APS member since 1981 and is a life member and patron of the American Philatelic Research Library. He served as APS Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee from 1988–1992. He was appointed Chair of the APS/APRL Campaign for Philately fund-raising committee in August 2005 and served for two years, during which time more than $1,000,000 in gifts were received. After a brief sabbatical, Steve continues to serve as a member of the Committee.

Rod was elected as an APS Vice-President in 2007, and upon the passing of President Nick Carter, became chairman of the Board of Vice Presidents and was re-elected in 2009. In 2010, Steve was appointed chairman of the APS Membership Recruitment and Retention Committee, and has formed a national committee of nine people that meets regularly.

In 1990 Steve developed a two-frame 32-page exhibit called “Welcome to Our Show and Introduction to Stamp Collecting.” APS produced and provided color copies to each World Series of Philately show. Intended to be placed in frames one and two, its purpose was to introduce show visitors to the hobby.

Steve has served as a director of APS Writers Unit 30 three different times for more than ten years, and organized and chaired the Writers Unit Breakfasts for many years. He is co-editor of the Encyclopedia of United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting, published by the United States Stamp Society.

He wrote more than 400 weekly “Refresher Course” columns in Linn’s Stamp News, and bi-weekly columns on U.S. stamps in STAMPS Magazine and Stamp Collector Newspaper. He is currently a monthly columnist for The American Stamp Dealer & Collector. His Linn’s columns served as the basis of his Introduction to Stamp Collecting book, published by Amos Press in 1989. While treasurer of the APS, he edited the USPS’ A Celebration of Stamp Collecting, the official guide to World Stamp Expo 89.

In 1993 Rod was recognized with the Ernest Kehr Award for creative outreach for beginning collectors and in 1990 with the APS Century Award for recruitment of 100 or more new Society members. He is also a member of the Writers Unit 30 Hall of Fame, which recognized him for his ability to write about stamp collecting in a simplified manner for young and new collectors.

He has been a member of the APS’ Ernest Kehr Award Committee, and the Hall of Fame Committee for many years. He serves on the APS Personnel Committee, and has also served on the APS Finance Committee several times.


A list of previous honorees is available.

Nominations for deserving candidates may be made to the Luff Awards Committee, which submits its recommendations to the Society’s Board of Directors during the APS Spring Meeting. Awards are conferred each summer at StampShow, the Society’s annual convention and exhibition.

All nominations must be submitted to the Luff Award Committee in writing using an official nomination form. Nominations are active for five years. Nomination forms are available online in downloadable pdf format. You also may obtain a form by writing to: Luff Award Committee, 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823.