Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
2002 President's Message columns

          This page includes President's Message columns from the 2002 issues of Across the Fence Post.

January issue

Call for Nominations

By WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

The WFSC's 2002 Annual Business Meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. on March 9. As usual, the meeting will be held in conjunction with WISCOPEX, which is at Rockford, IL, this year.

A portion of the meeting agenda includes officer elections for terms beginning on July 1, 2002. The following job descriptions briefly outline what each position in the 2002 elections involves. I'm hoping that this information will motivate you to consider running for one of the offices. (Note that the offices of president and vice president are not a part of this year's elections. Those individuals were elected at WISCOPEX '0l for a two-year term.)

Secretary (two-year term) -

Keep a careful and authentic record of the proceedings of the WFSC and Executive Board meetings.

Maintain a roll of member clubs.

Provide the president with a list of all matters to be brought up at any meeting of the WFSC or the Executive Board.

Bring to each meeting copies of the WFSC Bylaws and parliamentary authority.

Send out meeting notices and carry on the official correspondence of the WFSC.

Treasurer (two-year term) -

Serve as the official custodian and disbursing officer of WFSC funds.

Responsible for banking transactions regarding WFSC funds and for keeping accurate banking records.

Responsible for payment of all bills after payment is authorized.

Maintain a record of funds received and funds paid out with appropriate receipts or vouchers.

Submit an annual report of the finances of the WFSC and periodic updates upon the request of the president.

VP Youth Division (one-year term) -

Oversee all WFSC matters pertaining to youth activities, including assisting member clubs with youth programs, ideas and advice.

Act as the WFSC representative for youth activities at functions outside the WFSC.

Regional VP (eight elected to one-year terms) -

Contact member clubs within the VP's respective region; visit each club at least once a year, if feasible (clubs in each region are listed in each issue of ATFP).

Act as a liaison between member clubs and the Executive Board.

Solicit nonmember clubs for membership in the WFSC.

If you or someone you know might be interested in helping your federation by serving in one of these offices, please contact members of the WFSC Nominating Committee:

Vern Witt, 2422 No. 9th St., Sheboygan, WI 53083, 920-458-3767

Greg Schmidt, 1978 Fox Burrow Ct., Neenah, WI 54956, 920-722-1449, gschmidtQvbe.com

Paul T. Schroeder, 1750 W. 5th Ave., Apt. F, Oshkosh, WI 54902, 920-426-2059.

February issue

Call for Convention

By WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

Here's a special invitation to all to attend WISCOPEX '02, the 71st annual Convention and Exhibition of the Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs. This year's event will be held March 9-10, at the Forest Hills Lodge, in Rockford, IL. The convention is hosted by the Rockford Stamp Club, which rejoined the WFSC in 2000, having previously held membership during the years 1962-73.

Dwane Kaplenk is serving as general chairman and Tim Wait as exhibits chair. WISCOPEX is being held in conjunction with ROCKFORD '02, the club's long-standing local show.

The last time we convened south of the border was in 1958, when the Lake County Philatelic Society hosted our 27th convention at Waukegan, IL. We appreciate the Rockford club's hospitality and look forward to getting better acquainted with our Illinois neighbors.


All WFSC member clubs are reminded to send a delegate and/or an alternate to the Annual Business Meeting, which will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 9. Delegates should be prepared to check in at 12:45 p.m. or " preregister at the WFSC society table with written credentials (a simple statement signed by your club president designating you as the official representative of your home club). Members-at-large are also encouraged to attend, but have no voting privileges.

"Clubs are urged to be prepared to send their delegates to the Annual Business Meeting with offers to host WISCOPEX '04, '05, '06, or '07."

Annual Business Meeting

The meeting will include officer, commit-tee, and special project reports. This is the time for comments and suggestions that you or your club might have concerning the WFSC and its operations. The delegates will vote upon elections of officers. Several appointments also will be made.

Here's the time, too, to get your club's offer in to host future conventions. We like to keep the calendar filled for five years out but are currently lacking a host for conventions beyond 2003. Clubs are urged to be prepared to send their delegates to the Annual Business Meeting with offers to host WISCOPEX '04, '05, '06, or '07.

WFSC society table activities

Wear your WFSC logo button, show it to the staff at the table and receive a gift - a first-day ceremony program of the Vince Lombardi stamp issued in Green Bay on August 5, 1997. We're offering other gift options as well.

While you're at our table, remember to light up your home club on the display map and register for door prizes.

Awards banquet

The WISCOPEX '02 banquet is scheduled for Saturday evening, March 9, at Lino's Restaurant in Rockford). The 2002 WFSC Dealer Recognition Award and individual exhibit awards will be presented at this event. We'll also induct at least one outstanding philatelist to the Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame. We'll learn the winner of the 2002 WISCOPEX Club Award as well.

Show activities

Bourse - In addition to the listing of dealers confirmed as of January 1, the show will include a U.S. Postal Service substation and a United Nations Administration booth.

Exhibits - WISCOPEX includes an array of exhibits in various classes, including a Champion of Champions competition. This year's judges are Rob Henak, Claude Giralte, and Jack Green. The Judges' Critique scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday is open to everyone, whether you have an exhibit entered in the show or not. The critique offers an opportunity to learn how to construct a competitive exhibit.

Wisconsin Postal History Society Meeting - The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Sunday and visitors are invited.

Youth activities - Youth will enjoy games and prizes and a 2^ table for starter collections. Auction - There will be a silent auction of 200 lots each day with bids closing at 2 p.m. on both days.

Show covers and special cancels - Since this is a combination of two events, WISCOPEX '02 and ROCKFORD '02, the Postal Service will have separate cancels for each. The Rockford Stamp Club has prepared separate cacheted covers for each, too.

March issue No column this issue

April issue

Will Stamp Shows Die?

By WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

This question arises as growing numbers of dealers turn to the Internet as a marketing alternative. Other considerations are the increasing difficulty in securing a show facility and rising rental fees. In short, though, the answer to my opening question is, no.

The number one reason that stamp shows won't die is because the hobby won't die. Stamp collecting is far too intriguing, holding a certain fascination for many people. It offers a variety of facets. Pick any area: postal history, cancellations, revenues, etc., or just the beauty in the miniature art. There's something in stamp collecting for everyone.

The second reason why stamp shows won't die is because they are the perfect venue for those who like the one-on-one relationship with dealers. Not only can collectors handle and inspect large numbers of stamps, they also have the advantage of gaining knowledge as dealers point out items of interest.

Exhibits are an important part of stamp shows. They offer a tremendous means for learning about the various aspects of philately. For the exhibitor, the process of building an exhibit takes time and patience but the effort is rewarding. -

I like seeing old friends, meeting new ones; this is a special part of stamp shows, too.

I urge you, therefore, to take a look at the "Show Calendar and Registry" on p. 2. Attend the next show in your area and enjoy. Your support of local shows helps to ensure that they'll certainly never die.

Monroe Stamp and Postcard Club Joins WFSC

The Monroe Stamp and Postcard Club that officially organized in November 2001 have joined the WFSC.

The club's nine members meet at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Monroe Middle School, 1510 13th St. in Monroe (use south/back door entrance). Officers are: Pres. Dwane Kaplenk, VP Ron Martini, and Secy.-Treas. Earl Button.

For further information about the club, contact Earl Button. His daytime phone is 608-328-8960, evenings 608-328-2827, e-mail button@scdatacenter.com.

Here's a big WELCOME to our newest WFSC member club!

May/June issue

Our 71 st Annual Convention/Exhibition

By WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

WISCOPEX '02, the WFSC's 71st annual convention and exhibition was held March 9-10 at Rockford, IL. Many thanks to the Rockford Stamp Club for hosting this year's event and to all who helped to make it a success. This includes General Chairman Dwane Kaplenk, Exhibits Chairman Tim Wait, dealers, exhibitors, judges, and visitors to the show.

Thank you also to the delegates who took time out from the show to attend the Annual Business Meeting and help make necessary decisions for the future of our organization.

Congratulations to all WFSC officers who received a vote of confidence from the delegates through their re-elections for another term of office.

Congratulations to exhibit winners Roger Oswald (Champion of Champions), Tim Wait (Best of Show), and Jesse Robinson (Youth Grand Award).

Further congratulations to Dwane Kaplenk, this year's recipient of the WFSC Dealer Recognition Award. And still more accolades to Paul T. Schroeder, who was inducted into the Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame. I also wish to thank those who supported my nomination for the honor of becoming a member of that prestigious group.

Despite the severe weather, for which Wisconsinites were jokingly blamed as having brought along from the north, there was plenty of warm philatelic fellowship. Finally, who could forget that fabulous banquet dinner!

We look forward to a repeat performance when we return to Rockford for another WISCOPEX in the year 2006.

July/August issue

Selling Your Stamps

By WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

Have you ever thought of selling some of your duplicate stamps, an album, or even your collection? Which is the best approach, you may wonder. There actually are several options available.

Your local stamp club is a good start. Club members like to look for items to add to their collections. Auction houses are always on the lookout for interesting material, and there are some good ones here in the Midwest. Stamp dealers are constantly seeking stamps and covers to replenish their stocks. Perhaps there is a stamp store in your area. If you're not sure, check the Yellow Pages under "Stamps for Collectors." Stamp shows present an excellent opportunity to visit several dealers in a short period of time.

There are many philatelic publications that accept classified ads: your local club newsletter, specialty journals, the national philatelic press, and even ATFP (see p. 5). There's your local newspaper, too. You could try a small ad at a nominal cost.

Of course, for all of you computer buffs, there's the Internet with an abundance of sites to choose from. If you're a member of the American Philatelic Society, you might check into selling through the APS's online StampStore. You could also use the APS sales circuit book program. Details of these services

can be accessed at http://www.stamps.org/. Click on the "Services" tab. You'll find a link to the StampStore and Mail Sales Circuits. You can write for information about the sales circuits by addressing your inquiry to: APS Sales Division, P.O. Box 8000, State College, PA 16803.

These are just a few suggestions that may be helpful for collectors wanting to sell some of their philatelic material.

Happy stamping.

September issue

WFSC Speakers Bureau

By WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

This month I'd like to bring to your attention an idea that the WFSC Executive Board has been kicking around for quite some time. The proposal is to reinstate a Speakers Bureau, a program the WFSC has sponsored in the past. Clubs could choose a speaker from a pool of knowledgeable philatelists who are willing to share their expertise with many clubs instead of one or two. For example, if club members wanted someone to help them understand watermarks or printing methods, there would be a speaker available.

I know there are many capable federation members who could participate in this program

by speaking to not only WFSC clubs but other organizations, too. I include outside organizations because we shouldn't limit ourselves to just stamp collectors. Some speakers might also be available to present programs at meetings of fraternal organizations, in school classrooms, libraries, etc. We should take advantage of any opportunity to introduce the public to our wonderful hobby.

If you think this is a good idea, and you or someone you know would like to be a speaker and spread the joy of stamp collecting, please contact Karen Weigt, our federation secretary. She will gladly help you to become a part of the Speakers Bureau.

I personally think this is a great idea. The program could increase interest and boost attendance at club meetings. We all want to be better informed. Furthermore, one of the purposes of our organization is to encourage each other to become more knowledgeable about philately. A Speakers Bureau will help achieve that purpose.

October issue

The Joys of Stamp Collecting

By WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

What makes us want to collect things? Where does that desire to find an elusive item or set of stamps come from? Our friends and acquaintances may think we're a little strange, chasing after colored pieces of paper and envelopes with unusual postmarks.

There is, however, something captivating about stamps and covers. Is it the thrill of the hunt, the desire to complete a set, or to fill a page or an album?

There are those who look for unusual covers that might have a special look, a cachet, or multiple postmarks. Postmarks on covers often show the route of travel. Some collectors look for covers sent by or addressed to famous people.

For me, I enjoy the beauty of the stamps from around the world. Paging through my albums, I can be in Chile, Hong Kong or Thailand in a matter of minutes. It's like a world tour.

The engraving and printing methods of stamps are also fascinating. Czeslaw Slania, the famous engraver, is admired for producing over 1,000 stamp designs. I joined the Czeslaw Slania Study Group to learn more about him and his work.

Attending stamp shows is always fun. It is an opportunity to add items to my collection and to meet old friends.

Because of the many facets of philately, there is always some area to grab a person's interest. I hope you enjoy stamp collecting as much as I do. Happy stamping!

November issue

Collecting FDCs / WFSC Cover Exchange Program

By WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

One of the hottest areas of philately is first-day covers. Every year they seem to become more and more popular. For covers in general, some collectors are interested in the different cachet artwork; others focus on the postmarks. Still, others look at the history associated with covers of a certain era. Any one of these areas can be extremely fascinating. Furthermore, a stroll through exhibits at a stamp show can be very enlightening when it comes to the myriad of subject matter represented on covers.

Covers showing a stamp's use on the day it was issued have been sought after since May 6, 1840. This is the day the Penny Black, the world's first adhesive postage stamp, was issued in Great Britain. The first two United States stamps were both issued on July 1, 1847. To date, no FDCs for these stamps have been found. The Scott catalog does, however, list their earliest-known use: July 7, 1847, for Scott 1; and July 2, 1847, for Scott 2.

First-day cover collecting really took off in late-1922, when the U.S. Post Office Department adopted a policy to issue new stamps on specific dates and at places appropriate to their subjects.

The "First Day of Issue" slogan was first used July 13, 1937, for the 3-cents Ordinance of 1787 stamp issued at Marietta, OH; New York, NY; and Washington, D.C.

The WFSC supports first-day and event cover collecting by sponsoring an annual nationwide cover exchange program that is open to stamp clubs, philatelic organizations and individuals. Participants submit a minimum of 10 alike covers; the WFSC returns eight different covers from around the country.

Although the deadline for submitting covers for this year's program has passed, we'll begin the 2003 exchange process again next fall. If interested, you might start taking inventory of your cover stock so you're prepared when the program announcement appears in the September 2003 ATFP.

December Issue No column this issue

Latest update: June 13, 2005 

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_atfp_president_2002.shtml