How Can We Help? The Philas and PDC One-Stop Shop
It is in the interests of all Stamp Club or Philatelic Society (Clubs) officers to provide a programme each year for their club that is varied and interesting. Naturally, the more interesting the meetings and other proposed functions, the greater the possibility of attracting new members both to the club and to philately.
The larger the club membership, the more varied will be the members’ collecting interests, with a strong possibility that a suitable programme can be compiled without resorting to outside sources for display material.
Visitors are an important part of any philatelic function. Hence, it is essential to ensure our activities are widely publicised. Visitors can possibly be converted to new members, but visitors who have enjoyed their attendance can also become “walking advertisements”.
The greater the attendance at meetings, the greater the satisfaction derived by the person displaying his material.
To assist club officers in their respective roles, the Philatelic Development Council (PDC) and the Philatelic Association of NSW, Inc. (Philas) provide the following support services -
- listing of all club activities on the Philas website and in Philas News;
- provision of “Goodies” bags for such activities;
- club packs;
- material for club displays;
- visiting displayers program;
- provision of framed Australia Post material for prizes at special activities;
- providing a free half page advertisement in Philas News for any special club activity;
- display frames for exhibitions or special activities;
- provision of qualified State judges, if required;
- assisting with research;
- an excellent reference library;
- public liability insurance;
- provision of information brochures prepared by the Australian Philatelic Federation; and
- assistance with starting a new stamp club
With the development of the Philas website, more and more club information is being made available for instant access. This information is gathered from data previously supplied for the Stamparena website, direct contact with the club by the webmaster, and from the club programmes sent to Philas. Inclusion in the Philas website will automatically ensure inclusion on this website.
Philas News is published quarterly, being printed and distributed early in December, March, June and September. It contains a detailed listing of all club meetings for the next 4 months, and on the back page is shown all of the advised special activities. This information is taken from the club programmes as advised to Philas.
However, the information shown in both of these mediums is only as current as that provided by the club.
It is in the club’s best interests to ensure continuity of information by finalising their programs for the following year no later than mid-November with advice being sent to both the Philas webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mailing it to Philas. Don’t wait for the program to be printed, simply forward the draft. The printed copy can follow later.
Don’t let your club be one of those with large gaps in their future activities appearing in the December issue of Philas News. Some clubs overcome this problem by preparing their program for an overlapping 15 month period.
A similar problem exists where there are changes in the program. There have been many cases of visitors attending to see a particular display, only to be advised on arrival, that the program has been altered. It is again in your best interests to advise the webmaster and Philas of any changes as soon as they are known.
At present, Philas does not have an email address. It is expected that this situation will change in the near future, thus simplying advice of program details and changes. When this occurs, all clubs will be advised.
“Goodies” bags are provided free of charge upon request to clubs, generally to provide hand-out material for youths attending a special activity, although they are not restricted to that purpose.
Each “goodies” bag contains approximately 28 postal items, which can vary from time to time, but will usually comprise 7 or 8 First Day Covers and the remainder are postcards and unserviced maximum cards.
“Goodies” bags can also be issued to new members as part of a welcoming package.
The material included in these bags has been generously donated to us specifically for promoting philately. Under no circumstances is this material to be sold.
To obtain “Goodies” bags contact your Philatelic Development Officer (PDO) with preferably two months notice for preparation and delivery.
The Philas provides a number of benefits to those clubs affiliated with it. One such benefit is the Philas Club Pack.
These Packs contain 25 Sale by Tender lots, and are useful to assist Stamp Clubs in expanding the services offered to members as well as adding to their income. The Packs comprise world stamp lots (sets and singles) ready for sale at Club meetings.
These 25 items may be used in any number of ways. Primarily, they can serve as Sale by Tender lots, but they can also be used for Lucky Door prizes, handouts to new members, and encouragement awards to members for jobs well done.
Assuming that the Club Pack material is required as Sale by Tender lots, it is quite reasonable that it be used to supplement lots provided by the members.
The minimum value of any lot is $1.00. A pack can contain lots with a total value varying between $25 and $200. A minimum of two months notice is required for the supply of these Packs. There is some flexibility in the supply of packs should certain values be required. If you have a specific need, the more notice that you give, the better your chances of success.
With the long lead time, it becomes necessary to plan Club activities well in advance to ensure the timely arrival of the Packs. However, the long lead time can be overcome by placing “standing” orders, either by arranging for a Pack to be supplied on a regular basis, or by forwarding a cheque and having Packs provided progressively until the value of the cheque has been used up.
Club Packs are another way to either supplement the Club’s funds or provide benefits to its members.
How To Obtain a Club Pack(s)
Application forms are obtainable by writing to the Convenor, Philas Club Pack, at PO Box 220, Darlinghurst NSW 1300. The Application Form sets out the Terms and Conditions governing the supply of these packs.
Theoretically, more than one pack at a time can be ordered, but it is preferred that the packs be made available one at a time. The packs take time to prepare, and there is a limit on the material available. Philas currently supplies approximately 55 packs a year.
The packs can either be mailed to the Club, or picked up from Philas House on a Tuesday or Saturday. Picking them up is more advantageous to the Club by avoiding the postage charge. Similarly, it is to the Club’s advantage to return any unsold items personally rather than incur the return postage cost.
Cost of the Pack to Clubs
Philas will price the material reasonably to achieve an adequate return for their effort. If less than the 25 items are taken by the Club, the cost to the Club will be the Philas reserve prices less 10%. Should the Club keep the whole pack, the Club discount will increase to 15%. The other significant advantage of this latter option is that there is no return postage to worry about. Experience has shown that most recipients of these Packs keep all of the items.
You do not have to be an Einstein at mathematics to realize that postage both ways could certainly neutralize any margin the Club may make from the sale of the Club Pack material, and hence the tendency for the Packs to be picked up rather than be posted.
This would seem to limit the availability of the Packs to city based Clubs.
However, assuming that the material is to be sold as Sale by Tender items, there is no requirement that the prices be those set by Philas. The Clubs are quite free to set their own selling prices, which may be higher or lower than the Philas reserve price. This freedom could improve the return to the Club considerably and thereby remove the problem of postage costs, thus permitting a much wider distribution of the Club Packs.
It is quite feasible that a Club may reduce the Philas prices if they wish to pass on benefits to their members.
Finalising the Deal
As each Club Pack is supplied, it will be accompanied by a Sales Sheet, which will have some of Part A completed. The Sheet Number, Lot Numbers and Total Reserve Value will be entered by Philas.
Should the Club decide to keep all 25 items, they simply finalise the Sales Sheet A section of the form, attach their cheque, and mail the form and cheque to Philas at PO Box 220, Darlinghurst, NSW 1300.
If the Club decides to retain less than the 25 items, i.e., some items are to be returned, then they need to complete the Sales Sheet B section of the form. The lot numbers and reserve values of the retained items must be entered and totaled, the 10% discount deducted, and a cheque drawn for the balance. If the unsold lots are to be returned by post, the parcel must be registered and insured for the reserve value of the enclosed items.
Club displays can be provided from the PHILAS COLLECTION, which includes recent Crown Agents issues, the R.A. Browne United Nations Collection, the Don Cox Eiffel Tower Collection, Melbourne 1956 Olympics and Memorabilia, 1980 Moscow Olympics, Argentina, Korea, Papua New Guinea thematic style, Richard Bates Stamp Designer, the Bruce Collection of NSW Postmarks, and NSW Post Office Last Day Covers.
Requests for displays should be directed to the Curator of the Philas Collection, and at least 2 months notice is required for a display. A second choice should also be indicated, as the first option may not be available.
If you have a last minute problem resulting in no display for a meeting, a telephone call to Philas may have surprising results.
The PDC is currently in the process of developing a pool of NSW collectors who have either given a display at club level, or entered an exhibition, and who are prepared to visit other clubs and societies in their local area, and if they wish, further afield. This pool will also include the titles of the various displays available for showing. As well as presenting their material, the displayers will usually give an introductory explanation of the display. This service will be known as the NSW Visiting Displayers Program. The final pool of available displays will also include those in the Philas Collection.
The Australian Philatelic Federation (APF) already has such a national program, titled Visiting Speakers Program. It is comprised of some of Australia’s leading exhibitors. These exhibitors have indicated that they are prepared to travel to display their material, sometimes interstate. This national program is accessible through the APF Philatelic Development Officer, Darryl Fuller.
Once operational this Program will be administered by the PDC, with all correspondence to the PDC Secretary.
Clubs and Societies wishing to participate should provide the Council with a list of topics that will be matched to participating displayers. Clubs may request a specific display, displayer or a class. Once provided with a list of possible displays it is up to the Club or Society to initiate and follow through with the contact. If a contacted displayer does not wish to accept the specific invitation, he has the right to decline it for any reason. There is no penalty for refusing an invitation.
To get the proposed listing started, a number of displayers have been invited to offer their services.
By having the opportunity to call upon a wider range of material will enable clubs to enhance the breadth of the displays available when preparing their annual programs.
There are also advantages for the displayer. Displaying your philatelic material to a larger audience is a very enjoyable experience. As well as receiving the appreciation of fellow collectors, it presents an opportunity to meet with people who have similar collecting interests, and don’t we all feel a sense of pride in other collectors taking a positive interest in our material?
If the displayer is required to travel extensively, reimbursement of travelling expenses plus overnight accommodation may be required.
Should you need any special prizes for your special activities day, the framed material offered by Australia Post may be appropriate.
If so, contact your PDO to request same. Alternatively, the PDO’s can be contacted through Philas.
Again two months notice is preferable to avoid disappointment.
Clubs are offered a free half page advertisement in Philas News for all special activities. This will appear in the issue which precedes the activity.
To take advantage of this offer, your request and relevant information should be emailed to email@example.com preferably 2 weeks prior to the cut-off dates, viz, 1st December, March, June and September. Alternatively, mail the ad outline to the Philas News Editor at PO Box 220, Darlinghurst NSW 1300.
The information can be formatted or unformatted. If the former, every endeavour will be made to use your format. If unformatted, the ad will be prepared for you.
The opportunity to display a variety of material at any function open to the public can assist in attracting new members, the lifeblood of our hobby. All of the display frames available from the PDC hold 15 sheets, three rows each of five sheets, and the three types available are -
- free standing aluminium edge double sided frames;
- double sided “A” frames requiring a table as a base; and
- single sided frames requiring a table as a base.
Free Standing Aluminium Edge Double Sided Frames
There are 26 frames available and they are stored in a trailer, currently located at the Blackwattle Bay Campus of the Sydney Secondary College, in Glebe.
The whole trailer can be borrowed, or a limited number of the frames with a corresponding quantity of mounting poles and feet. Collection of the frames is from Glebe. If less than the full trailer is required, you will need either a utility, high roof van or station wagon to carry same.
“A” Frames and Single Sided Frames
These are stored at Philas House, 17 Brisbane Street, Sydney, and can be collected from that address.
There are 20+ double sided “A” frames and 15+ single sided frames.
Again, you will need either a utility, high roof van or station wagon to carry same.
The actual frame sizes in millimetres are
- free standing aluminium edge double sided frames (in the trailer) 1027 x 997
- double sided “A” frames requiring a table as a base; 1230 x 927, and
- single sided frames requiring a table as a base 1220 x 1020.
These sizes will assist in the selection of the transportation vehicle to be used.
Who Can Borrow These Frames ?
They are available to any philatelic Club or Group affiliated with Philas.
Applications from other bodies, such as schools, cultural or community groups, as well as individuals will be considered.
What are the Charges ?
The use of the PDC display frames is free to any Club or Group affiliated with Philas.
A donation would be appreciated from other users.
Return of the Frames ?
This is to be negotiated between the PDC Frames Officer and the borrower.
Upon returning, it is most important that any damage to the frames or any malfunctioning should be reported. This will enable rectification, thereby not disadvantaging future borrowers.
How are the Frames Borrowed ? Applications should be forwarded to your PDO or the Secretary. This application should include the following information –
- Name of the requesting group or individual;
- Name of the requesting group or individual;
- Location of the function;
- Contact name and hours of availability;
- Contact details (email address, telephone numbers, postal address);
- Period the frames are needed for;
- If the trailer is required, the type of vehicle that will be towing same; and
- If a non-affiliated group, the anticipated donation to be made to the PDC.
Applications will be passed to the Frames Officer, who will be in contact with the requesting body to arrange for pick-up.
To avoid disappointment, it is suggested that as much notice as possible be given.
If you are holding a competition either at a club meeting or a special activity, and you require one or more qualified State Philatelic Judges to provide an independent assessment of the material, contact Philas or your PDO. Requests for National Level Philatelic Judges should be directed to the APF.
David Collyer is the Research & Publications Officer for the Philas Library, and is prepared to assist collectors to research their collections. David will not do the research for you, but will point you in the right direction.
David can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For full details regarding this excellent reference library, click here.
Philas has arranged an umbrella Public Liability Insurance cover to include all affiliated clubs. This policy covers
- All regular meetings as well as special events, such as Open Days, Exhibitions, Trips, Stalls, Barbecues and the like, organised by the club;
- All visitors to any meeting or event, including overseas members.
- Junior members are covered free of charge.
The policy is in force from 15 January each year and is currently subject to an annual premium of $2.00 per senior club member. Following receipt by Philas of the annual premium, a Certificate of Currency will be issued for the club.
The Australian Philatelic Federation Ltd (APF) has produced a number of information brochures
- Why collect stamps? - “A window on our past. Present and future”
- Why Join a Stamp Club? - “Stamp clubs put the life into your hobby”
- I have just inherited a stamp collection. Where do I go from here? - “Stamp collections go beyond value”
- I have Rediscovered Stamp Collecting. Where do I go from here? - “Stamp collecting - a hobby for life”
- Where do I get stamps for my Collection? - “The fun is in the chase”
- Beyond Australia - “Stamp collecting offers a world of interest”
These brochures answer many of the questions often asked, and can be useful in answering members’ questions, and as handouts at special activities involving members of the public. Supplies of these brochures can be obtained direct from Philas or through your PDO.
If you are planning a new Stamp Club, contact Philas for assistance and guidance from the New Club Pack which is available.
In your programme planning, do not overlook the assistance that can be provided through any of the above services. They have been designed by Stamp Collectors for Stamp Collectors.