During the month of June, the newsroom will be running a series of articles reprinted from The American Philatelist Auction issue available to read now. Check back for new articles.
APS Brings Back Two Popular Competitions for Chapters
Since coming to the American Philatelic Society, I have successfully collected as many stamp club memberships as I have stamps. I recently joined the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Stamp Club and Clearwater (Florida) Stamp Club, making my new total 65 stamp club memberships in the U.S. and Canada. My apologies and thanks to club secretaries who do a fantastic job of reminding me when dues are due or answering my sometimes repeated questions about whether I’ve renewed this year.
Since the pandemic started last year, many clubs moved meetings online so members could stay connected. As weeks turned to months, more clubs started meeting through Zoom, lining up talks from philatelists worldwide. On some evenings I can join three club meetings across time zones, visiting members from coast to coast. Many clubs have opened up their discussions to visitors. For more information, visit our website at aps.buzz/StampClubs to get dates and times.
The benefits of belonging to local chapters do vary. Some have outstanding newsletters with outstanding philatelic information, others have regular stamp sales and auctions, and some bring in great speakers to present on various topics. There is one constant across every club I’ve joined: the people. That may sound trite to some of you, but I’ve gotten to know some great people from different parts of the country. Not a day goes by when I don’t get an email, letter, or philatelic item from someone I’ve met through the local chapters. The giving nature of philately and the genuine sense of community has meant a great deal to me.
Introducing the Star Route Awards
Until 2018, the APS sponsored two annual competitions, one for chapter newsletters and chapter websites. The competitions, while valuable, never reached their full potential: sharing these success stories and showcasing best practices with the APS membership at large. We’re going to change that. The APS is proud to re-launch the chapter newsletter and website competitions, now named the Star Route Awards.
The mission of the U.S. Postal Service is to deliver mail anywhere in the country, no matter how remote or hard to reach. To accomplish that, we’ve had to rely on private carriers to get to specific points. In 1845, Congress established a private contract service to deliver mail with “celerity, certainty, and security.” In short, they did not care how the mail was delivered, rather that it was delivered.
As part of the recordkeeping process, postmasters had to record celerity, certainty, and security in their ledger to indicate the mail was delivered by a private carrier. Before long, postmasters replaced those three words with three stars, and the routes became known as Star Routes. Today, we know those routes more commonly as “Highway Contract Routes.”
Our chapters serve and grow the hobby in those same tough terrains with that same mission. They represent the hobby closest to the collector, and the value they deliver should be recognized and celebrated.
We’re inviting chapters to share their website and newsletter for this competition. Our judges will provide editors and webmasters with helpful feedback to improve your reach. More important, your newsletter and website will help other chapters grow and serve.
Submissions of Chapter Newsletters and Websites open June 7, 2021, and the deadline is 5 PM Eastern on August 5, 2021. After the judges evaluate and provide feedback for the newsletters and websites, we will announce the results in October during National Stamp Collecting Month. We will provide samples as models for all chapters.
Please encourage your club to participate in the competition and take part in showing our stars!
For more information, visit www.stamps.org/star-route.