Message from the President - March 2020
Recap of the CHICAGOPEX 2019 Polonus Annual Meeting & Exhibition
Thanks everyone who came to Chicago in November to participate in the Polonus 80th Anniversary show helping with booth staffing, hosting the hospitality suite, attending meetings and seminars. It was a great show and super success for Polonus. Our seminars attracted a number of new people, both to Bob Ogrodnik’s introduction to Poland collecting and Bogdan Pelc’s superb presentation on Poland #1’s and the development of postal services in the Kingdom of Poland. Most seminars had upwards of 16 people. The Polonus dinner, in concert with the Chicago Collectors Club joint dinner was also a success. Since we had the largest group (15) we had a separate room which was good since our rousing singing of Sto lat led by Bob needed its own space! We did get some good pictures from the dinner which were shared in the last Bulletin issue so will not be repeated here.
We had lots of booth activity and signed up 10 new members and regained two former members who had lapsed, for a total of 12. Sales were also brisk, selling out of Fischer catalogs and garnering $782 in revenues of which $477 were sales of philatelic material. We also received several donations of material some of which we were able to sell at the show and the rest will be used for listings on the Polonus eBay store annex site. The special cachet cover for our 80th Anniversary was designed by Adam Gigiel and is available through the store (see ad in this issue).
The meeting with presidents of the four eastern European societies went very well with tentative plans for another conclave at APS StampShow 2021, which will be an international show. Each president will take back to their board’s considerations for continued cooperation between the four societies.
The annual member meeting filled the room including Tina Szebel, Fred Szebel’s daughter. Part of the agenda was an overview of the 80 years of Polonus and a tribute to Fred who, owing to health, could not come. Polonus provided a bottle of Dom Perignon for Fred along with our thanks for his many years of dedicated service to the Society.
Polonus fared well with exhibits as well, with 8 exhibits in 39 frames. Those exhibits achieved 5 large golds, one gold and a few lesser medals. Overall a nice showing. The Polonus Grand was won by yours truly with a new exhibit “The General Duty Revenue Stamps of Poland 1920-1924”. The intersociety competition we sponsored among the four convening Eastern & Central European Societies was won by Ingert Kuzych for his Reserve Grand exhibit “The Western Ukrainian National Republic: November 1918 - May 1919”. Lastly, we held a tour of Poland area exhibits on Sunday which attracted a good crowd of interested collectors.
Quick Update on the Regional Meeting at the Sarasota (FL) National Stamp Exhibition
On February 7-9, 2020 we had a regional meeting of Polonus with several exhibits and a seminar and informal meeting. The show was well attended and some local Polonia attended as well as 10 members. The Best Poland Area showing was Jim Mazepa’s Large Gold exhibit, “Warsaw Postal Administration: First and Second Provisional Issues”. Ed Andrews won a Large Gold and the APS Research Award for his literature submission, “Analysis of Poland General Duty Revenue Tax Rates and Effects of Hyperinflation, 1921-1924”. Jim Mazepa kindly hosted an evening of Polish food, libations and camaraderie for our members and other guests at his home in Sarasota. As a result of the show we hope to add at least three new members among those expressing interest. Polonus will continue occasional regional meetings at WSP shows to provide opportunities for local members to interact.
The new website will be operational on or before April 1, 2020 so we hope everyone will take time to review its features. If you have suggestions regarding the new site please use the “Contact Us” option on the website to voice your comments.
The new website does not require registration and all those who registered on the old site will have the same passwords and can easily access the new site. You can also opt to change your password, or if you were not registered on the old website you will need to request a password to access the new site. To change or get a new password use the “Contact Us” option on the website.
We are working on the Polonus Store website. This site will have a shopping cart feature with easy access to PayPal to purchase items offered. We hope to have the new store website up and running by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2020.
BALPEX 2020 - call for exhibits!
Our next annual convocation and exhibition will be at BALPEX, Hunt Valley MD, on September 4-6, 2020. More details will be posted on the website and follow in future Bulletins. In the meantime we encourage exhibitors to get their applications in to the show well before the August deadline. There are other societies meeting at BALPEX so we expect exhibits to fill quickly. Apply early to avoid disappointment. For complete show and hotel information visit https://www.balpex.org/.
Dues ........ are Due!
The 2020 dues notices were sent by email or USPS in December and we ask that you promptly pay to assist our treasurer and to avoid the cost of reminder notices. If you are unsure as to your dues status contact our treasurer Bill Williges via email via firstname.lastname@example.org . Unpaid dues result in your name being purged from the Bulletin mailing list so you risk missing future issues. Also consider options for paying multiple years or even Life Member status, these are convenient ways to assure your dues are paid for future years. Lastly, don’t forget to consider a donation to the Society. We are small society and have tight resources so every dollar counts.
Dues and donations can be paid via mail or the website. A direct PayPal link makes the process of paying very easy. Thanks in advance for your continued support of the Society.
Want to Enjoy Polonus More? It’s easy to . . . get involved. The experience of involvement, minor or large, brings you closer to the organization and those dedicated to running it for all out benefits. We still have a number of volunteer positions open where even minimal assistance can help us improve our operations and services. Contact me for further information.
Please continue to let us know how we are doing. We are only as good as our ability to service the needs of the membership. So we need to hear from you if we are not providing an activity, service or resource that you believe would help you and other members. Feel free to contact me at any time using the email address above.
Many thanks for your continued support and interest in Polonus and Polish philately.
Ed Andrews, President