Monday, August 9, 2010
From the George Washington Masonic Stamp Club:
The George Washington Masonic Stamp Club will meet Saturday, September 4 during the Baltimore Philatelic Exhibition taking place Labor Day weekend at the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, Maryland.
245 Shawan Rd. in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Phone: (410) 785-7000.
Parking is free. Use “BALPEX” for special room rates.
BALPEX Show – Three Day Admission: $5.
Fiday, September 3: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, September 4: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, September 5: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Details and map here.
The brethren will be found in Salon-E. The agenda:
1:30 to 2 p.m. – Assemble, trade Covers, and socialize.
2 p.m. – Call meeting to order.
2 to 3 p.m. – Meeting.
Speaker: Walter Benesch, GWMSC President, on “The Masonic Cowboy Stamps.”
Cover Chairman Mike Aulicino will do a GWMSC Cowboy Stamps cover with the special BALPEX pictorial postmark dated September 4, 2010, that will be available by ordering in advance, or while supplies last. Contact Mike at michael.aulicino(at)gmail.com
President’s Message for August-September:
The end of summer 2010 is swiftly approaching, which means we are getting close to our annual summer/fall meeting at BALPEX. The GWMSC will be meeting in Salon E, 1:30 to 3:00 on Saturday (my excuse for a late president’s message - I just found out our time and place). Lunch and dinner are on your own. The hotel restaurant a little costly for some members, but good quality. Less expensive alternatives are close by.
Since we have so many new members, here is a little information about BALPEX. It is an American Philatelic Society Accredited National Level Exhibition. Or, in meaningful words, it is not only a stamp show, but an exhibit of major collections in a competition. You will see things on exhibit you will never see anywhere else! Of course they are educational, but what is more important is they are fun. The exhibit is sponsored by the Baltimore Philatelic Society (BALPEX), Inc. The GWMSC has been having its summer meeting there since the 1970s or earlier. The show will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend. If you are just coming for the meeting and a little of the show, great, but it is a wonderful way to spend Labor Day weekend if you have the time and energy. Children are admitted free (unsure of the age limit) and they have a special activity room for meeting philately experts, and collecting free stamps donated by the members. The usual entrance fee for adults is around $10.
For Maryland Masons, this is just across from the road that takes you to the Grand Lodge of Maryland. The address is: 245 Shawan Rd., Hunt Valley, Maryland. (Exit 20E off I-83 north of I-695.)
I know we have missed some possible First Day Covers this year, but I understand that our Cover Chairman will have something special as a giveaway at the meeting. Hopefully it will be related to the program: “Masonic Cowboy Stamps.” Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative set called “Cowboys of the Silver Screen” with four heroes of my and older generations: William S. Hart, Tom Mix (my mother’s favorite), Gene Autry (my personal favorite), and Roy Rogers (once called America’s favorite). Where they all Masons? If so, of which lodges? Is that information lost? Hopefully you will find out at the meeting. It will be a fun program.
As usual this will be an open meeting. Bring guests, friends, children, etc. We will of course have our door prize and cover sales before and after the program. We will vote on any new applications prior to the program, so bring in some membership applications. Hope to see many of you there.
Walter P. Benesch, President, GWMSC
Hold Sunday, February 27, 2011, on your calendar for the conferral of the Master of Philately for any Life Member present who has not already received the degree. Details and map here.
Please keep me posted of any e-mail address changes for you or any other Life Member by contacting me at GWMSC1956(at)gmail.com
Trivia: Modern Day “Hidden Masonic Symbols” from the American Revolution: October 16-19, 1981, was the Yorktown Bicentennial Celebration for the 200th anniversary of Rochambeau’s Surrender at Yorktown, which ended the American Revolution. A small Royal Arch symbol watermark, along with the initials “JRA,” appears on eight of the 11 official First Day of Issue covers released by the Yorktown Bicentennial Committee in 1981. This was not a Masonic plot, but was simply a mark left by the YBC’s Philatelic Chairman, yours truly, on the commemorative envelopes he’d designed and produced for the YBC and the Virginia Independence Bicentennial Commission. Nearly 50,000 total covers were produced there, including covers for the Rhode Island Heritage Commission’s reenactment of the March to Yorktown. Would these then be considered Masonic covers? That’s a matter of opinion. Probably yes, but primarily because of those Freemasons actually involved in winning American independence (and somewhat because of the Masonic symbol).
Yours in Freemasonry,
John R. Allen, Secretary