2017 Annual General Meeting of the Éire Philatelic Association
The 2017 Annual General Meeting of the ÉPA was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in conjunction with the Milwaukee Philatelic Society’s MILCOPEX 2017, on September 15-17.
Our AGM was brought to order by President Rich Kelly with a moment of silence for two deceased members, Brian O’Loane (0872), and Paul Bento (2328). Rich reminisced about the many contributions and collecting interests of our past ÉPA President Paul Bento.
After determining that a quorum was present, members approved the Minutes of our last AGM, held at Garfield Perry in March 2016. The Secretary reported that the membership is 348, and that prospective members may now join the ÉPA online and pay through PayPal.
Two ÉPA Chapter meetings were held in conjunction with Sescal and Westpex, both in California. At the latter meeting, member Barry Cousins gave an illustrated talk on the early issues of the Irish Republic.. Our Vice-President for Europe, Brian Warren, was elected President of the Federation of Philatelic Societies of Ireland. Congratulations Brian. We are considering several locations for our next AGM, and the details will be announced soon. Finally, the ÉPA is celebrating its 50-year affiliation with the American Philatelic Society, being charted as Unit 21 of the APS on April 30, 1967.
President Kelly reported on the September 14th meeting of the ÉPA Board. We have a new printer for our quarterly journal The Revealer, now in full color and in a new mailing wrapper. To save space, our list of available publications has been moved to our website (see under ÉPA Resources, then Publications). Our finances are stable but our journal could use more ads. A new ÉPA book, Sinn Feín Christmas Postal Service, by Heinz-Juergen Kumpf, is now available through the ÉPA. Another ÉPA-sponsored book on official Irish mail will be published next year. We are considering a number of improvements to our website, including access by tablet and mobile devices, as well as the posting of Irish stamp exhibits. In addition, our auction, under Bob Kemper, continues to show more member involvement. Many improvements have been made and the lots are very reasonable. Donation lots are always welcome. The ÉPA is a bargain compared with many organizations, with annual dues only $20 (for U.S. members). Please help us recruit new members. Finally, President Kelly thanked the members of the Board and many volunteers for their service and dedication. However, he stressed that our membership is aging and we need more volunteers, especially those with computer skills. Please help the ÉPA and volunteer!
Vice-President William O’Connor presented two ÉPA (non-exhibit) awards:
Liam Malone - the Vincent A. Linnell Award for the best article in a single volume of The Revealer, SE Watermark Postage Due Varieties.
Barry Cousins – the Thomas E. Field Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to Irish philately, such as his publications on the early issues of the Irish Republic.
Our next general meeting is planned for BALPEX in Fall 2018.
Director Robert Benninghoff gave an interesting and well-illustrated presentation entitled Ireland in the Great War and the Struggle for Independence. Thanks Bob.
John B. Sharkey
September 18, 2017