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From our Member Societies

Posted 2019-01-01 15:27:15

The Australian Air Mail Society

After the sad and premature demise of Ross Wood, the AuAMS is still organising people to fill the huge gap he has left. The new editor of The Australian Aerophilatelist will be Darryl Fuller. The new Australian delegate to the FIP Aerophilately Commission will be David Collyer in Sydney.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Australian Airmail Society and as part of their celebration we are hosting the Annual South Australian Philatelic Congress on the weekend of 6 & 7 October 2018.

Next year, the Australian Airmail Society and the South Australian Philatelic Council will again join forces to host a special aviation themed philatelic exhibition here in Adelaide on the 6th to 8th December 2019. This will be known as Aeropex 2019 and celebrates the centenary of the first England to Australia Flight by Ross and Keith Smith.
This will be held 6-8 December 2019 here in Adelaide. We have already organised some judges in overseas countries to collect and bring exhibits to Adelaideand hope to finalise the last few at next week's FIP Congress in Bangkok. When this is done the promotion of the exhibition will commence in earnest.We expect to put on a show with 300 - 350 frames of aerophilatelic, astrophilatelic and other philatelic classes with exhibits with aviation related subject matter.Eg airmail rates in postal history, aerogrammes in postal stationery, story of flight in thematics, etc etc.

. Aeropex 2019 - Press Release

. Aeropex 2019 - Prospectus

. Aeropex 2019 - Entry Form


     The Canadian Air Mail Society

- Obituary for Donald Holmes

Donald Holmes will be known to many aerophilatelists as the author of Air Mail: An Illustrated History 1793-1981. This beautifully illustrated, thoroughly researched book, was an attempt to introduce the general public to the fascination of aeropostal history, by means of a coffee table style book. Although published in 1982, it is still widely regarded as the best one volume history of the early air mail flights and services around the world.

Donald was also a regular contributor of letters and articles on a wide variety of topics, to the American Air Mail Society's Airpost Journal, and the Canadian Aerophilatelic Society's Canadian Aerophilatelist. In the years after this book was published, Donald moved from the U.S.A. to Scotland, then to England, to France, and then back to England. Donald was interested in not just the “facts” of history, but the significance of different events in the development of aviation and air mail.

One of his particular interests, was the relative importance of the Wright Brothers’ flights at Kitty Hawk on December 17th1903, and Wilbur Wright’s flight at Le Mans in France on August 8th 1908:

•  the Wright Brothers first flights in December 1903 received little attention at the time. - There was in fact great scepticism as to whether they had actually flown. In 1906, for example, the Paris edition of the Herald Tribune carried an article on the Wright Brothers with the headline “Flyers or Liars?”. In 1908, when there were delays before Wilbur Wright’s first demonstration flight in France, the press often referred to them as “Bluffeurs”.

•  it was the August 8th 1908 flight from Les Hunaudieres race track at Le Mans, when Wilbur Wright amazed the crowd with his ability to make controlled turns, that turned the Wright Brothers into international celebrities. - The Paris daily newspaper Figaro wrote that, “It was not merely a success, but a triumph; a conclusive trial and a decisive victory for aviation, the news of which will revolutionize scientific circles around the world.” When they returned to the U.S.A. in 1909 there were two days of festivities in Dayton.

Nowadays, however, the first flights on December 17th 1903 are frequently regarded as one of the most significant events of the 20th Century, but Wilbur’s flight on August 8th 1908 receives little attention. In a “Letter to the Editor” in the May 1999 Air Post Journal, Donald wrote that: “It seems to me that this easy to remember date 8.8.08 has been short changed in our awareness. This flight –Wilbur’s first flight in France – was the one that awakened the world to the importance of what happened at Kitty Hawk in 1903.” During his years in France, Donald became very involved with the Centenary celebrations for the 1908 flight being organized in Le Mans, and in the group Aero-Retro which built a replica of the Wright Flyer III that flew as part of the Centenary celebrations.

As part of the Centenary commemoration, and to try and raise awareness of Wilbur Wright’s flight at Le Mans, Donald wrote a second book: Wilbur’s Story - a Personal View of the Role of France in Wilbur Wright’s Life. It is profusely illustrated with reproductions of old postcards, etc, and provides a thoroughly researched and highly readable account of the events before and after Wilbur’s flight on 8-8-08. 

Donald was elected to the Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame in 2005, to honour “his dedication to aerophilately and aeropostal history”.

He is survived by his wife Lesley, and his daughter Carolyn.

Chris Hargreaves

- Centenary of Canada's First Air Mail Flight


     The American Air Mail Society

- AAMS Group on Face Book

Dedicated to the documentation, preservation, advancement and promotion of aerophilately worldwide through education, study, research and services.


Dear AAMS Member,

Thank you very much for your loyal membership in the American Air Mail Society.  You are the Society’s most important resource, whether you collect, conduct research, write, exhibit or sell. To those ends, the Society wants to provide you as much support as possible; as efficiently as can be done.  Over the last quarter century, tremendous changes have been made in the information technology and social media we all use.  To remain relevant, the Society must keep up.  Our Board recently approved the first steps; improving our website and the delivering an on-line version of APJ. After finishing those website improvements, we will then look at various options to deliver our amazing catalogues.  I will keep you advised of our progress.

In addition, as a first step into Social Media, AAMS has created a Group on Face Book.  This trial initiative should allow faster dissemination and better sharing of relevant information, as well as provide a channel for feedback from you.  I am surprised at the number of interesting events and articles, relating directly to our hobby, that come to my attention each day.  I think you might be interested in some these as well.  Once we understand the power to facilitate, collaborate and inform, I think you, and many other members, will help fly us to new capabilities and uses.  

On Face Book, search in “Groups” for American Air Mail Society.  Please read the Group Rules and answer the simple questions posed.  Once accepted into the Group, feel free to use the power of Face Book to keep us all informed on what you are doing and thinking about aerophilately.  When you do request to join, bear with us.  We are learning the ins and outs of managing the Group, so it might take a few days. 

I realize that many of you are not using Face Book, so I will ensure that significant information is also passed through more traditional means.  After a suitable test period, we will evaluate the pros and cons to decide on the long-term future.  Your opinions are essential to the plan.  Let me know what you think.

Warmest regards, 

Lee Downer