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

The ÉPA at BALPEX 2013

The ÉPA was one of four philatelic societies that had its annual general meeting (AGM) in conjunction with BALPEX 2013 in Hunt Valley Maryland from August 30 through September 1, 2013. The ÉPA meeting of the Board was held on the evening of August 29th with nine members of the Board present.

BALPEX 2013 was well attended, with 59 exhibits, including 9 Irish exhibits composed of 31 frames of Irish material.  All of the Irish exhibits won an award, as is explained in detail in Ray Murphy’s column. The bourse included 60 stamp dealers, many with some very nice Irish material. All of our members found something desirable for their collections. The members of the Baltimore Philatelic Society were gracious hosts and arranged for an awards banquet on Saturday evening.

The Annual General Meeting of the ÉPA

The AGM was held on August 31, at 2:00 pm with 14 members present.  The following business was conducted,
with Richard Kelly presiding at his first AGM.

  • A moment of silence was held for three departed members:  Randall Burt, John McKenna, and Richard Crowe.
  • Members present introduced themselves.
  • The Minutes of the October 12, 2012 AGM were read by Secretary Sharkey and approved.
  • The Secretary’s report indicated that there has been a decrease of 16 members since August 2012.
  • The Treasurer’s report was read by Treasurer Clancy and indicated we are breaking even with finances.  He indicated that dues do not cover expenses, but contributions; auction revenue and journal ads bring us to about break-even. The report was approved.
  • President Kelly reported on the meeting of the Board. There will be no dues increase. He indicated that The Revealer is in good shape under Editor Malone; is in full color with ample ads (please support our advertisers!) He discussed various ways that are being used to increase membership and that all must share their passion for Irish philately. We need more volunteers in order to share the workload and bring in new ideas. Bob Kemper is our new Auction Manager.
  • Vice-President Ray Murphy reported on the revisions of Standing Rule 1 – Awards and proceeded to award the John J. Clark Award for outstanding service to the Association to Timothy O’Shea, our Special Offers Manager.
  • Old business – none.
  • New business – A lengthy discussion followed on ways to try to increase membership. These included the use of PayPal to pay dues; putting our auction online; improving our website and adding a members-only section; preparation of a CD on Irish philately, the use of Facebook and the distribution of stamps, supplies and copies of the Revealer to various stamp clubs.
  • The meeting concluded with a presentation by Bob Benninghoff on encouraging our members to put their collections into an exhibit. He offered some generous inducements for members who are both new and and experienced exhibitors who are showing for the first time. Watch for Bob’s article in the Revealer. Bob was thanked for his generosity.
  • The meeting was adjourned at 2:55 pm.

The highlight of the day was a presentation by our Treasurer Barney Clancy on Irish Propaganda Material. The display included stamps and labels issued for propaganda purposes prior to the establishment of the Irish State, as well as material or the recent past. Great interest for this material was shown by the audience.