Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
"The Club Co-op" columns for 2003

          This page includes previous The Club Co-op columns from the WFSC newsletter, Across the Fence Post published in 2003.

January issue

The November 2002 issue of Badger Postal History, journal of the Wisconsin Postal History Society, includes a call for help from all Wisconsin philatelists. It involves the gathering of information for two ambitious WPHS projects:

  • an illustrated catalog of Wisconsin Return to Sender cancels, and

  • a listing of Wisconsin unique five-digit ZIP codes.

Here’s what you can do: Go to your local post office and ask for an example of all of their Return to Sender cancels. (Some post offices have several types.) Tell the postal clerk that your request is on behalf of the WPHS, which is doing an in-depth study of the cancels. Write the name of the post office on the sheet of examples and send it to: Frank Moertl, N95W32259 County Line Rd., Hartland, WI 53029.

Frank additionally would like copies of old Wisconsin-to-Wisconsin covers that depict Return to Sender cancels.

Acquiring unique five-digit ZIP code information also involves contacting your local post office. These codes are usually assigned to establishments that receive a large volume of mail. An example is Lands’ End, Inc., Dodgeville 53595, whereas the normal Dodgeville ZIP is 53533. Some five-digit unique ZIPs were formerly assigned to post offices that no longer exist, such as Herrschners, Inc., Stevens Point 54492 (former ZIP code for Whittlesey, WI).

When inquiring about unique ZIP codes in your area, try to also get the assignment, reassignment and retirement dates of all past and current code numbers.

Report your findings to: Chris Barney, 3913 Dory Ct., Franklin, WI 53132; e-mail cnbar51@wi.rr.com.

For WPHS membership information, contact: Bill Robinson, Secy., WPHS, 1642 Bruce Ln., Green Bay, WI 54313.

What others are doing

The Polish American Stamp Club has changed its meeting dates and location. Members now gather at 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Polish Center of Wisconsin, 6941 So. 68th St., Franklin, WI. Visitors are welcome.

Newly elected PASC officers are: Pres. Roger Szymanski, VP Eugene Wolosiewicz, Secy., Edith Ann Malson, Treas. Rita Michalak, and director John Fagan.

February issue

For many clubs, the new year brings another round of dues collecting and a handful of delinquents. Try bringing some of those dropouts back by sending a letter. I did this a few years ago when I was president of my local stamp club, and it was quite successful. A personal letter also shows that you are truly thinking of those you haven’t seen for a while. Here’s a sample:

"Dear John,

"You have been missed! The (club name) continues to provide –

"We’ve missed sharing these pleasures of stamp collecting with you and would like to have you back.

"Please plan to attend an upcoming meeting soon. And, so we can keep in communication, we’d like to get your name back on our newsletter mailing list. To do this, all you have to do is remit your membership renewal (form enclosed).

"We look forward to your positive response and to seeing you in person once again, hopefully at our next meeting.

"Cordially yours,

/S/ (club president)

(club name)"

In 1999, the Oshkosh Philatelic Society reported great results to the practice of sending a dues reminder letter to its delinquent members. As a convenience, OPS enclosed a SASE to the club treasurer.

What others are doing

Speaking of dues, the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society offered free dues for the calendar year 2003 to 32 prospective members residing in the Milwaukee area. The names of the 32 individuals were culled from registrations collected in 2001 at TOSAPEX, the WPS’s annual show held in late October. The idea of the free-dues offer was conceived while going through the registrations for a TOSAPEX ’02 publicity mailing.

The Polish American Stamp Club has changed its meeting dates and location. Members now gather at 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Polish Center of Wisconsin, 6941 So. 68th St., Franklin, WI. Visitors are welcome.


Newly elected PASC officers are: Pres. Roger Szymanski, VP Eugene Wolosiewicz, Secy., Edith Ann Malson, Treas. Rita Michalak, and director John Fagan.

Members’ other hobbies is a meeting program that seems to be catching on. A benefit is getting to know your fellow philatelists on a different level. December 2002 marked the second year in a row that the Badger Stamp Club (Madison) devoted a meeting to members’ outside interests. In February, members of the North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee will share information about their other hobbies.

February 2003 also happens to be the 40th anniversary of the NSPS’s first organizational meeting. Happy anniversary, NSPS! Leading the group during this milestone year are: Pres. Linda Brothen, VP Rob Henak, Secy. Howard Perlick, and Treas. Robert Mather.

Backtracking to more 2002 activities, in November, members of the Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) heard about requirements for earning the Boy Scout Stamp Collecting Merit Badge.

The Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club’s (West Bend) November educational program featured a study of cinderellas.

Christmas donkeys dominated the December meeting of the thematic-conscious American Topical Association Chapter V (Milwaukee). Attendees learned about the donkey’s role in the Christmas story as depicted on stamps.

Stamp bingo was a popular accompaniment to the many club holiday parties held as part of the usual December meeting or as a special event at a local restaurant.

March issue No column this issue

April issue

Please keep me on your newsletter mailing list. It seems that some clubs have dropped me and are now sending their newsletters to Ken Grant, our new ATFP editor. I began this column in 1993, before I became editor of ATFP. I plan to continue it as WFSC secretary.

I also will cull "Club News" items from newsletters and press releases and pass them along to Ken. There is a fine line between what goes in this column and what is published as club news. Basically, items that are more related to individuals and shows fall under the "Club News" heading.

What others are doing

Rockford Stamp Club (IL) 2003 officers are: Pres. Tim Wait, VP John Brown, Secy. Matt Mace, Treas. Tim Gallagher, and directors Don Alcock, Jim Johnson, and Andy Bumgarner. The RSC held its annual charity auction in December. It raised $164.25, which was donated to the Empty Stocking Club to buy toys for needy children.

In January, two Milwaukee-area clubs -- the American Topical Association Chapter V and the American Air Mail Society, Gen. Billy Mitchell Chapter -- banded together for a joint meeting. The busy evening’s program was a member show-and-tell session, a slide show about design errors on aircraft and space stamps, and a mini-auction. Both groups meet at the Mayfair Shopping Center on the same meeting dates and time, but in different rooms.

ATA Chapter V officers re-elected for 2003 are: Pres. MaryAnn Bowman, VP Rollie Kohl, Secy. Linda Brothen, and Treas. Ray Sullivan.


The Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) kicked off the year with a back-of-the-book night program. Attendees brought in their favorite examples to show to fellow members.

Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) 2003 officers are: Pres. Larry Marten, VP Bill Julian, Treas. Norm Braeger, Secy. John Barnick, and board member James Berard. The club’s February meeting featured one-page exhibits prepared by members.

Back in November 2002, members of the Central Wisconsin Stamp Club (Stevens Point and Port Edwards) enjoyed a program on U.S. airmail special delivery stamps. In January, they learned about the initials that often appear on the selvage of older U.S. stamps printed on flat-bed presses.

Results of the Milwaukee Philatelic Society’s recent elections are: Pres. John Farkas, VP Linda Brothen, Secy. Carol Schutta, Treas. Kurt Albrecht, and directors Roger Szymanski, Alice Archie, Gunther Heller, and Doug Van Beek.

Leading the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) for 2003 are: Pres. Fred Ziemann, VP Gary Maas, Secy. Paul Nelson, and Treas. Linda Schultz.

In recognition of Valentine’s Day, the Waukesha County Philatelic Society’s February meeting program focused on hearts depicted on stamps, covers and postcards. A show-and-tell portion of the meeting featured unusual or decorative letter openers.

Many clubs devoted February and March meetings to gathering answers for the annual WFSC Club Trivia Contest. The Green Bay Philatelic Society went the extra mile to defend its 2002 championship. We’ll see how they fared when the 2003 winner is announced on April 26 at WISCOPEX!

May/June issue

Last summer (ATFP July-August 2002), I discussed the Badger Stamp Club’s (Madison) policy for responding to inquiries from noncollectors wanting to dispose of an inherited collection. The Waukesha County Philatelic Society adopted a somewhat related policy as a benefit of membership. It is specifically designed to help its member’s spouses and family. Here it is:

"As a membership benefit, the WCPS is willing to assist (on a case-by-case basis), with the disbursement of deceased and incapacitated member’s philatelic holdings in the following four ways:

"(1) Identification of premium material and recommendation of appraisers, auctioneers, and other resources.

"(2) Allocation of material of moderate value to the WCPS’s annual spring or fall auction. (Promotion is usually limited to area clubs.)

"(3) Lotting of moderate-value material for individual sale at StampStore, the American Philatelic Society’s Internet stamp sales site.

"(4) Receiving minimal-value material for society use, such as for door prizes, giveaways, outreach/youth items and mini-auction lots."

The policy includes the following guidelines:

"Normally a WCPS officer initially identifies opportunities and acts as liaison with surviving family members. The proposal must be approved at a regular society business meeting. A committee of society members will develop the material for disbursement as appropriate. The society will retain 15 percent (plus any direct expenses) from the sales proceeds. Recognizing that each circumstance is unique, society involvement should be specified in advance, limited in scope, conducted openly, and have a date for completion."

Does your club have a policy for appraising and disbursing collections? If so, I’d like to share it with our other WFSC member clubs.

What others are doing

Results of the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee) elections held in February were: Pres. Paul Zientek, VP-Librarian Don Arndt, and Secy.-Treas. Bill Carter.

The Wauwatosa Philatelic Society entertained 39 youngsters at its annual Student Stamp Collector Workshop held February 25 at the Wauwatosa Public Library. The club handled a whopping 177 lots at it’s annual public auction held on March 22.

A 2-4-1 (TwoForOne) public auction sponsored by the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) is scheduled for May. The first section comprises donated material, with all proceeds going to the LCPS to refresh its treasury. The second part enlists members to act as auctioneers for their own material. Here, the club retains 10 percent of the selling price. When preparing lots, it helps to know what your fellow club members collect. A listing of those collecting interests recently appeared in Perforations, the LCPS’s monthly newsletter.

Earlier this year, members of the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) learned all about plate number coil collecting. At a successive meeting they explored the subject of revenue stamps.

Looking forward to football season, the Oshkosh Philatelic Society’s April 1 program featured a discussion of professional football in Green Bay and Packers-related stamps and covers.

July/August issue No column this issue

September issue

Some time ago, many clubs began talking about it and now the Badger Stamp Club (Madison) has actually started doing it. "It" is the idea of distributing the club newsletter as an e-mail attachment. The editor’s message announcing the August 2003 Badger Stamp Club Bulletin attachment states:

"This month I am e-mailing the club newsletter to 25 members. If I do this every month, it will save the club about $60 over the course of the year. You are one of the members I picked because we have your e-mail address.

"To be sure you get this e-mail, just reply "Got it" so I know you did. You can read the newsletter on your screen or print it out if you need a hard copy. This not only saves postage but envelopes and the labor of licking stamps, folding the newsletter and stuffing it.

"I hope this method of sending you the newsletter is OK with you. If not, let me know. I hope to mail the newsletter to everyone this way by the end of the year."

Meanwhile, the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society used the seldom-seen 2002 Hawaiian Missionary Stamps issue to frank the envelopes carrying its newsletters. Starting with the May newsletter, each month a different Hawaiian Missionary stamp was used so that every WPS member eventually acquired a complete on-cover set.

I guess it’s just a matter of the state of your treasury and volunteers available to fold, stuff, and affix stamps. With BSC’s 80-plus members, e-mail distribution for at least a portion of recipients makes sense to me.

BSC officers for the 2003-04 year are: Pres. Curt Shawkey, VP Bert Hart, Secy. Myra Reilly, Treas. Dave Dyer, and board members Thom Boykoff and John Rettig.

What others are doing


In April, the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) sponsored a KidsKollect program at the local library. Youngsters enjoyed an evening of soaking stamps they had selected and hinging them to album pages. Officers now leading the LCPS are: Pres. Tom Willer, VP Bob Luhr, Secy. Howard Shaughnessy, and Treas. Walter Viehle.

The Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) also entertained youth this past spring at its annual Stamp Camp held at the West Iron County (MI) District Library. Results of the NPS’s recent elections were: Pres. Ellsworth Semler, VP Tom Pleyte, Secy., Jim Stearns, and Treas. Mark Pleyte.


When the Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club’s (West Bend) secretary resigned because of a move to another state, Jim Stollenwerk stepped in to fill the vacancy of office. This automatically made Jim the club’s new newsletter editor. As such, Jim decided to call the previously unnamed publication Mint Issue.

The April KMCSC educational program featured errors, freaks and oddities found on stamps. Postal stationery was the topic of the May meeting program.

Several communities in the West Bend area use the 530 ZIP code prefix number followed by a "0"and a single-digit post office designation. The KMCSC has been marking their ZIP code days with commemorative covers. Last year’s cover featured a May 30, 2002, cancel for Allenton, WI 53002. This year’s cover was issued on May 30, 2003, for Ashippun, WI, 53003. Coming up in 2004 is Belgium, WI 53004. The club promotes itself by selling the covers at the respective post offices.

The Germany Philatelic Society Chapter 18 (Milwaukee) achieves visibility by participating each year in Milwaukee’s German Fest celebration. In April, GPS members viewed the American Philatelic Society slide program titled "United Nations Philately."

Green Bay Philatelic Society officers re-elected are: Pres. Tom Johnston, VP Don Kimps, Secy. Bob Johnston, and Treas. Ken Coakley.

October issue

Planning a program that requires member participation can be a foreboding hit-and-miss venture. Working with a popular subject, however, helps ensure at least some measure of success. This is what put the Waukesha County Philatelic Society's program titled "The Academy Awards of Stamp Collecting" in the Oscar-winning column.

The club's newsletter announcing the meeting program included a list of movie titles and the year each film received the Best Motion Picture of the Year Award, 1928 to date. Members were challenged to go through their collections and find a stamp that would best portray one of the movies. The stamp was mounted on a small file card with the name of the corresponding film and year it received the award. Participants prepared cards for as many movie titles as desired. The program was deemed a success when members showed up at the meeting bearing approximately 140 cards! They were arranged by decades and votes were cast for the best stamp representation for each decade.

Narrowing the field or providing suggestions sometimes helps promote participation. For instance, the Milwaukee Philatelic Society began assigning a specific topic to its monthly show-and-tell sessions. For the April meeting, members were asked to bring something that reminds them of spring. The May topic was fine arts; June was freedom; and for August, an item showing a non-philatelic use of a stamp.

By the way, MPS is promoting its annual November bus trip to CHICAGOPEX. Contact any member for information on how you can be included on the passenger list.

What others are doing

The American Topical Association Chapter 5 (Milwaukee) now offers an incentive award for exhibitors at National Topical Stamp Show. Award criteria were established and the group purchased a l0-year supply of ribbons inscribed with the chapter name, the letters

NTSS and year date. The actual award is an engraved magnifying glass. The first award

was presented at NTSS 2003 held in Denver this past June.

Officers re-elected to lead the Kenasha Stamp and Cover Club are: Pres. Joseph Renkas and VP Serge Logan. The KSCC's April meeting featured a travelogue in the form of a slide show of a member's trip to China. It was complemented with slides of related stamps and covers issued by the People's Republic of China.

The Central Wisconsin Stamp Club (Stevens Point and Port Edwards) also did some stampin' around the world this year. In March, a CWSC member presented a program of his experiences as a resident of the island of Jersey. The program included a history of the Channel Islands and its postage stamps.

In May, members of the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee) enjoyed one of their favorite programs, the annual peep quiz of U.S. new issues from the previous year. The club's June meeting program focused on Wisconsin first-day-of-issue items.

Identifying those pesky U.S. definitive varieties has captured the interest of the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau), which spent its June meeting on the subject. Earlier this year, members of the Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) studied these difficult issues with their own varieties guru.

Janesville Stamp Club officers elected for the 2003-04 club year are: Pres. Gary Wentworth, VP Mel Steil, and Secy.-Treas. Dwane Kaplenk.

November issue No column this issue

December issue

The noose around stamp show sponsors tightened when Linn’s Stamp News changed its "Stamp Events Calendar" policy. I noted the change when I was about to submit a listing for our 2002 local club show. For years, Linn’s provided clubs with three free listings. Suddenly, the new listing form that appears on the "Stamp Events Calendar" page included a statement that the free-listing offer is only for clubs who submit a membership roster. Although Linn’s no longer even mentions that option for free listings, a response to my inquiry earlier this year confirmed that it still applies.

While some clubs have complied with Linn’s roster policy, others (my local club included) feel they must placate those members who object to receiving Linn’s subscription solicitation mailings. Clubs also are compelled to respect their members who are sensitive about the matter of anonymity for security reasons. Those clubs must now pay $10 per listing plus an additional $1 per listing to get the show on Linn’s website calendar.

My initial reaction to Linn’s new policy was somewhat mixed as many show clubs had profited for years from their annual shows and could well afford the publicity budget increase. Today, due mainly to skyrocketing facility rental costs, clubs are struggling to break even. Although facility proprietors don’t benefit from helping to promote philately, Linn’s has an obvious vested interest in bringing new people into the hobby, and stamp shows are a major means of attracting newcomers.

Here’s the economic trail: clubs scrimp on publicity, attendance drops, dealers’ sales drop, dealers stop renting show booths, shows die. Is it time for Linn’s to reconsider its events calendar listing policy?

What others are doing

The North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee suggests that its members can give a Christmas gift to the club by bringing a friend or relative to a meeting and then buying the visitor a club membership. NSPS officers recently re-elected are: Pres. Linda Brothen, VP Robert Henak, Secy. Howard Perlick, and Treas. Robert Mather.

Results of the Wisconsin Postal History Society’s elections held during the group’s 58th annual meeting conducted at WISCOPEX ’03 are: Pres. Frank Moertl, VP Paul Schroeder, Secy. Bill Robinson, Treas. Greg Schmidt, and Director Chris Barney. The August 2003 issue of Badger Postal History, the WPHS’s quarterly journal, includes a list of 20 Wisconsin post offices that feature Depression-era murals painted by artists sponsored through the federal Works Progress Adminstration program.

For WPSH membership information, contact: Bill Robinson, Secy., WPHS, P.O. Box 12492, Green Bay, WI 54307.

Leading the Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) for the 2003-04 club year are: Pres. Darwin Hintz, VP Gene Clark, Secy. Ruth Barrington, Treas. Verna Shackleton, and Director-at-Large Al Marcus. Shirley Kloes serves as OPS’s newsletter editor and youth chairman. At the club’s September meeting, members participated in a philatelic quiz. Dealer’s Night was held in October, and the November meeting featured an auction.

The Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) almost forgot that 2003 marks its 70th anniversary. Seems they were concentrating on their line-up of educational programs that since June has included studies on Native Americans on U.S. stamps, U.S. commemorative issues, and plate number coils. In August, the LCPS initiated a successful bid-board activity that is available at each meeting. Members post their sale material on the board with identifying information and a minimum bid. All proceeds go to the seller.

The Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) enjoys a close relationship with the Escanaba Stamp and Coin Club, whose members are frequent visitors to NPS meetings. In turn, NPS members support the Escanaba club’s annual show. In August, these Upper Peninsula philatelists learned about the Salvation Army through a meeting program presented by a fellow club member. The NPS newsletter states that more than 20 countries have issued stamps depicting the history, activities, and symbolism of this international religious and charitable group.

A September meeting of the Oshkosh Philatelic Society focused on the topic of third-class cancels.


Latest update: June 12, 2005 

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_co-op_2003.shtml