Metro Detroit Chapter of UPNS hosts international philatelic exhibit
WARREN, Mich. - The Metropolitan Detroit Chapter of the Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society (UPNS) organized a memorable international exhibit UKRAINPEX, over the weekend of October 7-8. It turned out to be one of the best ever convention-exhibits hosted by the society. Hundreds of folks stopped in over the two days to become acquainted with the stamp and coin collecting hobbies. Nine new members were recruited and dozens of young people from the local school of Ukrainian studies also dropped by and showed considerable interest in the exhibits, which featured 40 frames of materials.
Sales of commemorative show covers - envelopes designed by renowned Canadian artist John Jaciw and canceled with special U.S. Postal Service cancellations - were very brisk, as were sales of philatelic items and books.
At the members' meeting held on Saturday afternoon, October 7, the society's president, Dr. Ingert Kuzych, was able to highlight some of his new administration's accomplishments in its first year.
- After a slide of several years, there has been a turnaround in membership. Since January of 2000, some two dozen people have joined the society (not counting the new recruits picked up at the show). The society is once again approaching 300 members.
- A regular publication schedule has been set up. The Trident Visnyk newsletter continues its bi-monthly reporting and the second issue of the Ukrainian Philatelist journal issue will appear before the end of the year.
- The UPNS website at www.upns.org is up and running and has received universal praise.
- The society has established good relations with other philatelic societies; several volumes dealing with Ukrainian philately have been donated to the library of the prestigious Collectors Club of New York; publication exchange agreements have been set up with the Canadian Society of Russian Philately, the British Society of Russian Philately, the Czecho-Slovak Philatelic Society, the Ukrainian Philatelic Society in Austria and the Ukrainian Philatelic Society of Germany.
- A joint research effort has been undertaken with the Canadian Postal Museum and The Ukrainian Weekly to survey the passage of mails between Ukraine and North America during the Cold War.
Various projects were discussed for the coming year. Goals for 2001 include: continuing the drive to recruit new members, celebrating the society's 50th anniversary next year by getting a special logo designed and perhaps getting special "personalized" UPNS stamps prepared by Canada Post, trying to get an anniversary commemorative envelope or postal card released by Ukraine Post (an inquiry letter requesting such a special release has been dispatched), trying to complete work on needed stamp catalogues: one on classic Ukrainian stamps, the other on Plast stamps; and attempting to obtain non-profit status for the society.
Discussions on the location of next year's gathering were also held, but no final decision was reached.
The Saturday night banquet featured a presentation by Mr. Jaciw describing some of his award-winning coin designs. Next came the announcement of exhibit winners by the show's judges, Jerry Tkachuk and Andrew Martyniuk.
The evening was closed out by Dr. Kuzych, who presented six special Maksymczuk Awards for distinguished services to Ukrainian collecting. This year's awards went to: Hryhoriy Lobko and Andrew Martyniuk, respectively, author and translator of a catalogue of modern Ukrainian provisional stamps; Lubomyr Onyshkevych, editor of the society's newsletter; George Slusarczuk, former society president and for many years its treasurer; Val Zabijaka, also a former president and a long-time auctioneer of Ukrainian collectibles; and the Metro-Detroit Chapter, for assembling such an excellent show. Show organizer Roman Maziak accepted the plaque on behalf of the entire chapter.
The strong turnout at UKRAINPEX demonstrated the vigor of the collecting hobbies in North America. Dr. Kuzych reported many people complimenting him on the "Focus on Philately" articles that appear monthly in The Ukrainian Weekly and that have helped generate renewed interest in stamp collecting. He said he plans to continue writing these features, but he invited other members to also contribute guest articles on their areas of interest.
The Ukrainian Weekly, November 19, 2000, No. 47, Vol. LXVIII