2020 Virtual AGM

2020 Annual General Meeting of the Éire Philatelic Association

Minutes, Virtual Meeting, October 10, 2020

Our AMG was held in a virtual format via Zoom.  The meeting was called to order by President Rich Kelly at 2:05 pm (EDT).  Rich them passed the gavel to our incoming President Ray Murphy.

Our first virtual AGM had twenty members in attendance, representing France, Germany, Ireland, Canada and the United States.  His first order of business was a moment of silence for five departed ÉPA members:

    William J. Murphy (0549)   Stephen W. Dreslin (2230)

    Paul E. Wittreich (1878)       B. Melvin Kiernan (2407)

  William O’Hara Jr. (2738)

The Secretary determined that a quorum was present and the Minutes of our last AGM (Boxborough MA, May 2019) were approved.  The Secretary indicated that the ÉPA had 30 new members since our last AGM for a total membership of 284.  The following officers were elected for the term 2020-2022.

    President – Raymond H. Murphy

    Vice President North America – Michael S. Canavan

    Vice President Europe – Brian Warren

    Directors – David Brennan, Barney Clancy, Philip Kane, Richard Kelly, William O’Connor, Timothy O’Shea

Thanks were given to all who have served and continue to serve the ÉPA.  Tax forms were filed at the State and Federal levels for the fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-20

The Treasurer thanked Jean Benninghoff for her efforts as co-Treasurer, Bob Kemper – Auction Manager, and Bill O’Connor for their fund-raising activities.  Sixteen members were dropped for non-payment of dues (2019), and additional members may have to be dropped unless their 2020-21 dues are paid.  Revenue from dues ($600) and ads ($1100) were down compared to last year, but $3200 was received in revenue from the auctions and sales of donated items, for a net profit of $6040.

It was noted that dues only cover 40% of association costs and 50% of our revenue comes from our auctions.

President Murphy reported on our virtual Board Meeting of October 2, 2020.  Highlights are:

EPA website – there are some problem areas and new features have to be added.

Auction – very successful but consignments and donations are badly needed for continued revenue.

Revealer – members are receiving the Revealer up to two months late due to Post Office problems – we may consider tiered dues memberships, hard copies and digital copies.

APS Articles of Distinction – ÉPA will consider the winner of the Linnell Award for submission.   The Sarasota Stamp Club has a similar program.

Future AGMs – we are scheduled for NOJEX 2021 if not cancelled.  If cancelled, virtual AGMs.

Auction Manager Bob Kemper thanked all for their support.  Since our last AGM we have had five auctions, with about 4000 bids, 1630 lots sold with a revenue of $4323. Consignments generate 56% of the revenue with donations generating 44%.  However, we have only had 25 consigners in the past six years.  More consigners and more quality material are needed for our auctions.  Donations may be used for a tax deduction.  Email Bob Kemper for additional information (epa-auction@roadrunner.com)

Awards Committee Chair Mike Canavan announced two ÉPA Awards.  The Vincent A. Linnell Award for the best Revealer article (Vol. 69) was awarded to Hal Vogel, for his three-part article on Ernest Shackleton and his polar explorations.  The Thomas E. Field Award for contributions to Irish philately was awarded to Richard Kelly.  Rich’s contributions cross the entire spectrum of Irish philately.  A gifted leader and skilled communicator, Rich spearheaded the improvement of our web site, our standing rules for awards, our transfer of the Library to the Spellman Museum and other contributions.

Old Business.  John Sharkey will work with Phil Kane on the re-scanned Revealer project, as well as improvements to our web site.

New Business.  Karl Winkleman invited members to join his chat room “Irish Philately”, held via Skype every Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm Eastern.  This is a wonderful way to improve your knowledge of Irish philately.  Email Karl for an invitation to join at ww2censor@gmail.com.

Phelim O’Neill indicated that the Pandemic may have a positive effect on our hobby, as many have spare time to work on their collections.  The more members that we attract, the more participants in our auction.  Karl pointed out that we must attract younger members through social media; they represent the future of the ÉPA.

Concluding Remarks by President Murphy included the following:

Ray thanked Rick Kelly for his leadership and service as the Association’s longest-serving President.

We must grow our membership; potential members are the 20% of the U.S. population with Irish roots.

We must advertise who we are and what we do.  Through, for example, postal exhibits and articles in specialty journals (postal history journals, Revenue Society, FD Cover Society, ATA (topicals and thematics), censored mail group, APS etc.).  Always refer readers to our web-site.

We must continue to support our auction; dues only partially support our activities.

Finally, we are always looking for volunteers to support this great society.  Please email Ray Murphy with your suggestions (rayhmurphy@prodigy.net).

Rich Kelly made a motion to adjourn and the meeting ended at 3:23 pm (EDT).


The meeting was followed by an excellent PowerPoint presentation by Bob Benninghoff entitled “Border Between Two Irelands”.  The presentation will be available for viewing on the ÉPA web-site http://www.eirephilatelicassoc.org.


Respectfully submitted,

John B. Sharkey

ÉPA Secretary

October 12, 2020

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