2021 North Carolina Postal History Society Annual Awards
The North Carolina Postal History Society recently announced the winners of two coveted annual awards for significant work in the field of postal history. Each of the winners authored articles in the society’s quarterly journal, North Carolina Postal Historian.
The prestigious A. Earl Weatherly Award for North Carolina Postal History Research was given to Darrell Ertzberger for his extensive research into the subject of North Carolina Rural Free Delivery which resulted in a significant update of the published RFD information for the state. His principal effort was a two-part article that included a listing of all the known RFD offices and their routes, dates of establishment, as well as descriptions of the postal markings each office used based on a survey of known RFD covers. His listing in the first part identified RFD routes and years of operation from 1896 to 1903. This was a partial listing, with the full listing to 1911 placed on the society website under the Article Library page, and represents an extraordinary achievement in postal history research. The second part of his article listed and illustrated all the known postmarks used on the state RFD routes. A third article in the society journal highlighted North Carolina’s participation in the RFD postal carriers’ use of Christmas cards to residents along their routes. All three articles can be viewed in the online library of society journals. The two-part articles are listed in Issues 150 and 152, while the remaining article is included in Issue 149.
The Society announced co-winners of its North Carolina Postal History Society Literature Award for articles published in the last completed volume of the North Carolina Postal Historian. One co-winner was Larry Baum for his “North Carolina Antebellum and Confederate Advertising Covers: Spotlight Wilmington.” The article included a sumptuous gathering of illustrations of advertising covers from a variety of sources. In addition, the author compiled censuses of North Carolina advertising designs by type and by town. The article can be viewed on the society website in Issue 149. Co-winner Mark S. Schwartz contributed “The Colony Was Lost but the Stamp Remains,” a study of the 5 cents gray blue Virginia Dare stamp issued at Manteo, North Carolina on April 18, 1937. Mark explores the genesis of the stamp, acknowledging that the sketch for the central design was rendered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The author then provides illustrations of a number of interesting and unusual covers featuring domestic and foreign uses of the stamp. The article can be viewed on the society website in Issue 151.
The North Carolina Postal History Society made the awards at CHARPEX, the annual show hosted by the Charlotte Philatelic Society and Fortnightly Collectors Club held July 25-25 at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Board of Directors Meeting via Zoom for 2020
Minutes of the NCPHS Board of Directors Meeting: October 1, 2020, by Zoom.
ATTENDING: Frank Hall, Dick Winter, Stefan Jaronski, Timothy McRee, George Slaton, Scott Steward, Alan Vestal, and Harry Albert. A quorum of the Board was present.
The meeting was called to order at 7:10 p.m. by Frank Hall.
The 2019 minutes of the NCPHS Board of Directors Meeting held at Charpex 2019 on July 27, 2019, were unanimously approved upon a motion by Mr. Steward and a second by Mr. Slaton.
Mr. Hall introduced the newest board members – Mr. Jaronski and Mr. McRee and thanked them for their willingness to serve on the NCPHS Board of Directors. Mr. Hall then formally thanked Mr. DiPaolo and Mr. Lightfoot for their many years of service to the NC Postal History Society.
Harry Albert presented the Treasurer’s Report for the year ended December 31, 2019. He stated that the Society continues in sound financial condition thanks once again to our sustaining members, who contribute additional funds to support the society above the regular annual dues. The cash balance as of September 22, 2020, was $13,305.42. Mr. Albert also presented to the Board the Secretary-Treasurer’s budget for 2021. Mr. Vestal offered a motion to approve the budget for 2021 projecting an operating deficit of $9, or essentially break-even. Upon a second by Mr. Jaronski, the 2021 operating budget was unanimously approved. At this time, Mr. Winter complimented Mr. Albert for the timely presentation of financial and membership data throughout the year.
As of September 22, 2020, the current membership is 132, an increase of ten members since the previous year’s report. However, the report shows that there are 8 remaining unpaid memberships which are still being carried on the rolls. Upon a motion by Mr. Jaronski and a second by Mr. Steward, the Board unanimously approved the inactivation of any unpaid member prior to the publication of the next quarterly journal.
Mr. Winter presented an update on the North Carolina Postmark Catalog in addition to a written report titled “Status of North Carolina Postal Historian”. The digitalization of the catalog began in October 2005. Presently, all 100 counties are complete in addition to six major post offices (Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Wilmington). Updates for new postmarks and corrections to the database are about one-third completed (29 counties and two major post offices). Mr. Winter estimates that it will take approximately one year for the completion of this part of the project. Mr. Winter suggested that the Board consider how to make the North Carolina Postmark Catalog Update a more permanent record at its 2021 board meeting. The entire board expressed profound gratitude to Mr. Winter for his many years of hard work on this significant catalog.
Mr. Steward then gave an update on the status of the Society’s website. Mr. Steward reported that the North Carolina Postmark Catalog Update page is the most popular page on the Society’s website. Website traffic, however, has hovered around 4k hits from November 2019 through September 2020, a significant drop from the 16k – 18k hits during the last half of 2018. At the time of this report, there is no explanation for the decrease.
Mr. Hall then discussed a couple of options for international members. By acclamation, the board approved the dues for an international member at a rate of $25 per year for a printed subscription or $15 per year if choosing a digital only subscription.
Mr. Hall next recommended that the board appoint a special committee to review the NCPHS awards and to formalize the criteria for such awards including the A. Earl Weatherly Award, the NCPHS Literary Award, and the exhibition award. The Board appointed Mr. Winter, Chair; Mr. Crumbley, and Mr. Jaronski to the NCPHS Awards Committee. The committee was requested to submit a report to the President by January 5, 2021.
At this time, Mr. Slaton gave an update on the program to distribute printed quarterly journals for a year to eleven NC regional libraries. Mr. Slaton noted that the COVID-19 pandemic essentially closed the libraries for the better part of the trial subscription year. However, Forsyth County Public Library has already made the decision to become a regular member of the society. For the remaining ten libraries, Mr. Slaton presented three options to the board for consideration. The options are as follows:
1. Contact each library by letter extending the trial membership for another year with evaluation following the trial period.
2. Cease subscriptions.
3. Encourage current members to adopt a library.
After a discussion, Mr. Slaton moved; and Mr. Vestal seconded a motion to extend the trial memberships for one year with an evaluation at the next board meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Under new business, Mr. Steward requested photos of the board members for posting on the website.
Mr. Hall thanked Mr. Steward for setting up the remote board meeting and helping directors get connected via Zoom. The expectation is that the next board meeting will be in Charlotte during CHARPEX in late July 2021. If Charpex is not held again due to the pandemic, then a remote meeting will be planned using Zoom.
The meeting adjourned at 8:36 p.m.
Prepared by Harry Albert, Secretary-Treasurer