Since the publication of the April 2020 Recognition issue in late March of last year, we all have experienced more than our fair share of problems and tragedies. That issue was full of sincere and warm recognitions of the contributions of APS members to the Society and the future of philately. If you dig the issue out to read today, you might sense some dramatic irony or naivety to the problems that were just around the corner. In this Recognition issue, a year later, “perseverance” is the stronger theme. The American Philatelic Society still has much to be thankful for, thanks to you, our members, more than 27,000 strong.
Among so many other things, in this past year you have helped the Society achieve its most urgent goal: Getting out of the debt that was incurred in buying and refurbishing our headquarters. I know I speak for the APS Board and the staff in expressing our deepest gratitude to the membership for enabling us to get the burden of debt lifted from both the APS and APRL.
Having achieved that goal, we now have many opportunities. And there is much left to do.
This difficult year has proven that the Internet represents a promise for the future of our hobby. Any threats the Internet may pose to the future of mailed communication – and those threats are of course a concern – are accompanied simultaneously by the opportunities the online world gives us. People have observed, correctly in my opinion, that if our world were hit by a global pandemic 20 or 30 years ago, with the internet in its early years, our hobby may have been dealt a much worse blow. But instead, we have seen previously technology-averse APS members become regulars at Zoom meetings, longtime exhibitors try their hands at virtual exhibiting, and tremendous shifts to make books, articles, and other research materials available digitally. The APS reached out to you, and you reached back, taking the leap to try new things, and giving us the resources to make it possible.
Whether you are trying to find a stamp missing from your collection, or researching a question of postal history, or simply trying to find stamp dealers in your area, the APS is here to help you. The Society is profoundly grateful to those of you who have supported us, whether you made a donation, volunteered, or simply decided to remain a member through this difficult year. If you chose to repay the Society in any way, please know that your efforts are gratefully accepted and appreciated.
The President's Column is reprinted from the April 2021 issue of The American Philatelist, The Member Recognition Issue Issue. If you are interested in joining the American Philatelic Society to gain access to members-only benefits such as this highly acclaimed monthly magazine, visit Together We Grow today!