A History of the St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society Written by Michael D. Mueller and the late Mrs. Vivian W. Finne, both of the U. S. A., and followed by a chronology compiled by Ted Cookson of the U. S. A. This chronology was updated in mid-2021 to coincide with our society’s 45th anniversary year.
Our 20th Anniversary Anthology, edited by Dr. Russell V. Skavaril, included an excellent history of our society written by Mrs. Vivian W. Finne, the founding member of our organization.
Mrs. Finne passed away in 2002. It falls to me to write the history of our organization since 1996 for Thirty Years of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philately. Some readers of this book may be unfamiliar with the deeper story of our society, however. Therefore, I will first present an abbreviated and slightly edited version of Mrs. Finne’s history to provide an historical perspective.
From Mrs. Finne's History
"Asking a simple question can lead to unbelievable involvements and a wonderful collection of new friends. Such was the case for me in 1975 when I wrote to Linn's Stamp News and asked if there was a society specializing in St. Helena, a remote and little-known island in the South Atlantic.
"Soon after, I heard from Russell Skavaril, Alan Barasch, Edward Bannigan, Peter McCann and John Havill. They wanted to know what I found out as a consequence of my letter in Linn's. As it turned out, no society existed. However, Russ, Alan, Edward, Peter and John and I began writing to each other.
"At Interphil '76, I met with Edward and he urged me to take the first steps toward organizing a society-like activity for our small group of correspondents.
So, I gathered some philatelic material, wrote a letter to go with it, and started a Round Robin, which we later called a circuit…Trevor Hearl of England contacted me and offered to share his vast information about St. Helena.
"The St. Helena Study Group was formally launched in April 1977 with the issuance of a two-page newsletter…In May, a one-page bulletin listing our eleven members announced that Russ Skavaril would be director, I would be membership chairman…In July 1977, Vol. 1, No. 2 of the St. Helena Study Group Newsletter was mailed to the membership, which had grown to 25…The 18-page January 1978 issue of the Newsletter was packed with articles, Society news, information…A logo contest was underway…
"We felt the need to develop a constitution and bylaws. Similar societies were contacted and we obtained a variety of useful documents for study…the task fell to me to study the materials and formulate working drafts…A special committee was appointed to study the draft documents, the final drafts written by Russell Skavaril. These were approved and signed by the committee and became official on January 1, 1979. However, our Constitution and Bylaws did not go into effect until January 1, 1980 , when our first elected officers took office.
"At StampShow '79, held in Boston, our St. Helena and Dependencies Philatelic Society Newsletter, the name of our journal back then, received a silver medal in the national philatelic literature competition.
"A major event in our history was a society meeting at LONDON 1980 on May 7 at Earl's Court. Seventeen members attended from the British Isles, Canada, the United States, South Africa and Ascension Island. Russell Skavaril conducted a brief meeting, which was followed by a series of talks by members…In July 1981, the St. Helena Scientific Expedition of the Department of Geography, University College, London, departed for St. Helena, taking with it a bundle of cacheted covers for our society.
"Through the kindness of Governor Massingham, in 1984 we secured 30 first day covers of a set of four St. Helena postage stamps issued in January 1983 and featuring views of the island. The covers were autographed by Roland
Svensson, the artist who painted the scenes depicted on the postage stamps.
"The year 1986 marked our tenth year as a society. We celebrated with four major events: participation in AMERIPEX '86, creation of a group of six commemorative covers, introduction of major changes in our quarterly, and a revision of our Constitution and Bylaws…Roger B. West made nine cachet designs; the membership selected three for the covers…In July 1986 our quarterly was re-christened South Atlantic Chronicle…In 1987 Russell Skavaril, the editor of our journal, became seriously ill and found it necessary to step down…Luckily, Everett Parker volunteered to take over….
"Our first monograph was printed in 1991, under the supervision of President Jeffrey Vadheim. It featured two extensive research articles by Society members…published previously in the American Philatelic Congress Book… "The Postal History of St. Helena During the Napoleonic Exile" by Arthur E. Groten, M.D., and "St. Helena Boer Prisoners of War Censor and Camp Handstamps" by Russell V. Skavaril, Ph.D., and I.D. Lampart.
"Under the guidance of President Michael Mueller, several new activities have been adopted to recognize members who have made notable contributions to the society. Foremost of these is the creation of the Castella Award, bestowed to a member for outstanding service to the society. The award was given first in 1993, to Vivian Finne. Russell Skavaril was the recipient in 1994, Trevor Hearl received the Castella Award in 1995...
"In 1995 our society received an exceptionally generous gift from Honorary Member Allan B. Crawford—his stamp design file for the set of four "Lost Lifeboat" postage stamps issued in 1985. It was offered successfully by private treaty in 1996. The proceeds from the sale of the Allan B. Crawford "Lost Lifeboat" file provide a needed financial base."
As Mrs. Finne noted, we celebrated our 20th anniversary with a book—St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society's 20th Anniversary Anthology—for which the World Columbian Stamp Exposition awarded our society a $1,500 matching grant. I wrote the grant proposal; Dr. Peter P. McCann gave vital support during the application process. The members of our
society donated more than $1,700.
20th Anniversary Anthology Published in 1997
We had hoped to publish our 20th Anniversary Anthology in 1996 but it required more work than anticipated. Dr. Skavaril soldiered on month after month largely alone. Finally, it was published on September 1, 1997. Virtually everyone agreed that it was well worth the wait. Our 20th Anniversary Anthology was awarded a Gold in the philatelic literature competition at OKPEX '98 and a Vermeil at COLOPEX '98.
The sale of the stamp design file and donations to the 20th Anniversary Anthology Fund prompted our officers to seek tax-exempt status for our society. Member Sanford Smith, a lawyer, prepared and submitted the application. Shortly afterward the U. S. Internal Revenue Service granted our society 501(c)(3) status. In addition to exempting our organization from tax liabilities, this status encourages cash and non-cash donations from American members as such gifts can be itemized on tax returns as charitable contributions.
Website Created; Crawford Award to Taylor
Something new appeared on the cover of the South Atlantic Chronicle in October 1996: an invitation to visit our home page. The website, created by Dr. Skavaril, provided information about our organization and the philately of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Later, Dr. Skavaril added a sample copy of the South Atlantic Chronicle and details about our 20th Anniversary Anthology. Visitors could download an application to join our society.
Following the sale of the "Lost Lifeboat" file, a competition was held for best Tristan da Cunha article published in our quarterly during 1998 and 1999. In 2000, the Allan B. Crawford Award for Excellence in Philatelic Literature, a one-time award that included $100 in cash, went to Robin Taylor of the United Kingdom.
The Passing of Dr. Skavaril and Mrs. Finne
Sadly, Dr. Skavaril died in November of 2000. Mrs. Finne passed away in April of 2002. The losses left us numb. No one knew the society better than Russ and Vivian, or cared about it as deeply. They were the twin engines—the heart and soul—of our organization. Fortunately, we recorded much of what they knew about the history of our society in our 20th Anniversary Anthology.
We dedicated the April 2001 South Atlantic Chronicle to Dr. Russell V. Skavaril. Dr. Peter P. McCann, Mrs. Vivian W. Finne, and I as well as others contributed remembrances and appreciations. A little over a year later a photo of Mrs. Finne graced the cover of the July 2002 South Atlantic Chronicle. At the request of President Gale Raymond, I prepared the obituary, titled "Farewell Mrs. Vivian W. Finne, 77-01." Vivian was the first member of our society, formally established in 1977.
To a great degree, the history of our society from 2000 to 2005 is a story of loss. Several members who founded our organization, served as officers, contributed fine articles and/or had important connections to our islands passed away: Dr. Russell V. Skavaril (2000), Mrs. Vivian W. Finne (2002), Roland Svensson (2003), Quentin Keynes (2003), Rozell C. Smith (2005), Dr. Gene Scott (2005), Robert W. Richardson (2005), and Dr. Gale J. Raymond (2005) and others. It's been a tearful experience for those of us who knew and worked with them.
With so much loss we went through a quiet spell in our society, especially after the death of Dr. Skavaril. Vivian had largely withdrawn from society activities by then due to health problems. Bob Richardson, who had co-authored articles with Russ before striking out on his own, continued to contribute to our journal, as did Trevor Hearl, Robin Taylor and others. Our organization was little more than a quarterly, however. Like others, my primary focus was to provide material for our journal.
It is probably fair to say that Dr. Everett L. Parker, who served as President of our society from 1998 to 2002—and who has served as Editor of the South
Atlantic Chronicle since 1986—carried our organization on his shoulders in 2001.
Following the death of Russ Skavaril, Dr. Parker arranged for Dr. Alexander H. Schulenburg of the United Kingdom to become the new Webmaster. At first, Dr. Schulenburg continued the website as developed by Dr. Skavaril, updating the names and addresses of officers as needed. In 2004 and 2005, he expanded and fully updated our website. We now have a news section, a link to discussion groups, a mechanism for electronic payment of dues and information about current issues of our quarterly. It is a beautiful website that South Atlantic philatelists and enthusiasts everywhere can enjoy.
Secretary-Treasurer Position Created
Dr. Skavaril had served as Treasurer for many years. After Russ passed away, Everett arranged for Secretary John Havill to combine the responsibilities of Treasurer with the Secretary position.
Mr. Havill, one of the founding members of our society, tackled the very difficult task of making sense of boxes of financial paperwork posted to him from Columbus, Ohio, by Jason Manchester, a close friend of Russ Skavaril. Mr. Manchester helped Mary Skavaril, Russ' wife, sort through a mountain of society material. Eventually, John prepared a Treasurer's Report that was published in the South Atlantic Chronicle.
First British President; Society Self-Study
When the time came for President Parker to prepare for succession, Dr. Gale J. Raymond agreed to stand for the top position. No one knew that Dr. Raymond's health was starting to fail. Typically, our officers serve two, back-to-back, two-year terms, with elections held every two years. In 2003, Dr. Raymond requested that he be allowed to step down after one term. It was our good fortune that Ron Burn of England was prepared to stand for President. Mr. Burn, the first non-American President of our society, began his first term on January 1, 2004. He is now in his second term.
In 2002 it became apparent that we needed to rejuvenate our society. Dr. Raymond, Dr. Parker and I discussed the state of our organization and decided that a society self-study would be a good starting point. Dr. T. Philip Hicks, then Science and Technology Counsellor at the Embassy of Canada in Tokyo, agreed to serve as Chairman of the Society Self-Study Committee. The Committee surveyed the membership and produced a report, which was published in the October 2003 South Atlantic Chronicle.
The survey was a great success. Many respondents complimented the efforts of our Publications Editor, Dr. Everett L. Parker, and other officers. An important finding was the need to further develop our website. This finding laid the foundation for expansion of the home page by Dr. Schulenburg, with the participation of Ted Cookson, an officer who has taken special interest in the possibilities of our website. The survey also prompted several members to produce articles for our journal.
The Presidents Circle
In 2003 the Board decided to create a new entity: The Presidents Circle, a consultative body composed of former presidents and the sitting president. The Presidents Circle serves the officers and project leaders in an advisory capacity and, in the event of a crisis, is available to provide balance and leadership. Dr. Peter P. McCann, one of our former presidents, and the Immediate Past President of the American Philatelic Society, agreed to serve as the first Chairman of The Presidents Circle. The members of the Circle select the Chairman.
Despite the dark days of 2001 and 2002 the society moved forward. In May of 2002 we produced our second monograph: U.S. Consular Mail from St. Helena Relating to the Wreck of the Schooner Emily at Tristan da Cunha in 1836 and the Mysterious Behavior of Captain Benjamin F. Ash by Michael D. Mueller. The monograph, published for the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Island of St. Helena, opens with superb introductory articles by Trevor Hearl (on the consuls and forwarding agents at Jamestown) and Allan B. Crawford, MBE (on the shipwrecks at Tristan da Cunha).
The U.S. consular mail presented in the St. Helena quincentenary monograph provides the first information about the wreck of the Emily to come to light in 170 years. The shipwreck—a key event in the island's history—delivered Peter Green to Tristan. Mr. Green became a highly influential headman and established a new family name on the island.
The society published its third monograph early in 2004: A Diary of the Final Cruise of the RMS St. Helena to Tristan da Cunha, January 15 – 28, 2004 by Ted Cookson. The monograph documents in detail many interesting aspects of the final, regularly-scheduled voyage to Tristan by the Royal Mail Ship. In fact, our third monograph was a co-production by Mr. Cookson and the society. To a great degree, it was a gift from our Vice President to the membership.
Though the RMS St. Helena ceased service to Tristan da Cunha in 2004, the Royal Mail Ship provided a quincentenary cruise to the island group in 2006. Tristan da Cunha was discovered in 1506 by the Portuguese explorer Tristao da Cunha. The Royal Mail Ship made an extended visit to the islands, with landings at Tristan, Nightingale, Inaccessible and Gough Island. Among the 150 passengers were four members of the Gough Island Expedition of 1955-56 plus President Ron Burn, Director-at-Large Mike Faulds, and Director of Communications Dr. T. Philip Hicks.
Castella Award becomes Skavaril Award
Now we must backtrack and tell the story of how the name of our service award was changed from the Castella Award to the Skavaril Award. In brief, it was Russ Skavaril who came up with the idea to create an award for distinguished service to our society. It happened at the World Columbian Stamp Exposition at Chicago in 1992 when I showed Russ a reproduction of a Napoleonic medal that depicts on the back a scene on St. Helena. I'd bought the medal at the Invalides in Paris, with the idea that the society might use it in some way. As I wrote in my tribute to my friend in 2001, "In three heartbeats Russ put it all together in his mind, or nearly all of it. 'Let's create an award…for distinguished service to the society and we'll give this medal to the recipient,' he said." A week or so later he christened it "The Castella Award."
Russ believed that he was naming the award after the Portuguese navigator who discovered St. Helena. Unfortunately, the name of the navigator had been wrongly recorded as "Juan da Nova Castella" by an early writer about the island. "Castella" had been added by mistake. The error was perpetuated by others.
To make a long story short, suspicions began to surface amongst our history-minded members that the "Castella" portion had been wrongly added and that the correct name was simply Juan da Nova. Actually, if we are to insist on accuracy, the name of the Portuguese navigator is Joao da Nova.
Three of our members contributed thoughtful articles about the matter to the South Atlantic Chronicle: Dr. Alexander Schulenburg, a British historian who has spent time on our South Atlantic islands; Trevor Hearl of England, who worked on St. Helena some years ago and is widely considered the dean of St. Helena History; and American member J. Edgar Williams, a respected philatelist who wrote to Portugal's National Commission for the Commemoration of Portuguese Discoveries (CNCDP) about our Castella controversy. Mr. Jose Virgilio Pissarra of the CNCDP sent a reply to Mr. Williams indicating that the correct name is Joao da Nova.
Prior to his death, Russ had investigated the matter, reviewed the pros and cons, and decided that there was not sufficient evidence to decide if "Castella" had been wrongly attached to the name. Unfortunately, Russ died before the findings of J. Edgar Williams appeared in the South Atlantic Chronicle. For my money, the Williams article seemed to resolve the matter. After all, who would know better than the Portuguese experts about the names and discoveries of Portuguese explorers?
To bring about closure—and get my departed friend off an embarrassing hook—I wrote to Mr. Pissarra and asked a series of questions. His reply confirmed in multiple ways that "Castella" had been wrongly added to Joao da
Nova's name. Then I wrote an article for the South Atlantic Chronicle that (1) presented the history of the Castella Award, (2) revisited the articles by Dr. Schulenburg, Mr. Hearl and Mr. Williams, (3) discussed Mr. Pissarra's answers to my questions, (4) stated that the evidence was sufficient to declare that "Castella" was wrongly added, (5) suggested that Russ himself would most likely agree and (6) noted that the name of our service award needed to be changed.
The membership strongly supported the notion that we name the award after Dr. Skavaril. Several members pointed out that no one had done as much for our society. The Board approved. And that is how our service award came to be known as the Dr. Russell V. Skavaril Award for Outstanding Service to the St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society.
John Havill was the first recipient of the Skavaril Award (2001), followed by Robert Richardson (2003), James Kraemer (2004), Dr. Gale J. Raymond (2005) and Dr. Peter P. McCann (2006).
In 2004 and 2005 Guy Marriott, an expert in the area of American and British copyright law, advised our Board on various copyright issues and helped decipher information provided by the U.S. Copyright Office. The primary finding was this: An author retains copyright if he or she is not paid for a work and if the author does not transfer the copyright in writing.
Thus we determined that the copyrights of all articles published in our quarterly and in our anthologies—and the copyrights of Ted Cookson’s monograph and our St. Helena quincentenary monograph—remain with the authors. None of the articles, monographs or other works (or parts therein) published by our society can be reproduced in print or in electronic form without permission of the author(s) or the legal heir(s) of the deceased author(s).
This is a very important point as it protects our authors, our quarterly, and our society should the society cease to exist. The point is worth repeating: No one
can reproduce anything we publish without the permission of the copyright holder(s). In our society, the copyright holders are the authors or their legal heirs. For further guidance, contact our Publications Editor.
Of note, the two articles that appeared in our first monograph were reprinted with the permission of the American Philatelic Congress.
The Recovery of Lost Members
We made a disheartening discovery in the summer of 2004. Our society had lost more than 80 members since 1999, most of them during the tumult and confusion that we experienced following the death of Dr. Skavaril. Losing 80 members is a terrible blow to a small society. Our total number of members has never exceeded 200.
We launched a search and recovery operation. I sent a hand-written, full-page letter (on society letterhead) to each one of the lost members, to their last known address, with a stamped and self-addressed return envelope. President Ron Burn assisted with the effort to contact lost members in Europe. Eventually, a dozen were recovered. More than one said he thought our society had gone under. Another dozen wrote and explained why they had left the society. Several were at an advanced age and decided it was time to sell their collection; some decided to move on to other collecting areas. Four of the lost members had died. We suspect that several others had passed away as well. Eleven letters were returned "Address Unknown."
The search and recovery operation was a great success. Several of the returned members have gone on to serve as officers or to serve on committees. They have contributed articles to our quarterly and donated significant amounts to the 30th Anniversary Anthology Fund.
Updating the Constitution and Bylaws
In 2005 Vice President Ted Cookson contacted the Board and pointed out that our Constitution and Bylaws needed to be reviewed and updated. New entities had been created (The Presidents Circle and the society website) and other
aspects of our society needed to be better addressed. President Ron Burn appointed Ted as chairman of the Constitution and Bylaws Review Committee.
Society Library Closed
We disposed of the society library in 2005 due to the lack of support for the library and the fact that the standard works relevant to the South Atlantic islands are readily available through the American Philatelic Research Library and other libraries. The proceeds from the sale of books amounted to $325. The remaining items were given away at Washington 2006.
The 30th Anniversary Anthology
In the summer of 2004 we decided to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of our society with the publication of a book. Although our society was not formally established until 1977, we consider 1976 to be the year that our organization began, as our early members initiated society-like activities that year.
Everett Parker and I estimated that we would need $4,000 to print 200 copies of the book. The Board approved $1,000 in support from society funds. In October of 2004 we began a campaign to raise $3,000 within the membership, expecting a tough slog to the finish line. We met our goal by the summer of 2005. However, it had become clear that we would probably need at least $5,000 ($4,000 from members and $1,000 from society funds) to produce a quality book (with acid-free paper and some color) in a relatively-short time frame.
Raising several thousands of dollars within a small, philatelic society is very difficult. By March 1, 2006, we had received over $7,500 in member donations. The generosity of our membership has been extraordinary. Two members donated more than $500 each. One donated $400. Another donated $360. Many sent checks for $100 or $50. Others supported the project with an early purchase. The extra donations allowed us to produce an even better book than originally planned. A list of the donors and the amounts donated was provided in the book.
The editors hammered away like a couple of wild-eyed John Henrys. For the beauty of the book, we must thank Dr. Parker. Somehow, in the midst of a hectic life, he found time to make it truly special. Thirty Years of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philately is a crowning achievement for the man who served as Publications Editor for our society for eighteen years.
My good friend Russ Skavaril wrote in the 20th Anniversary Anthology that it was my idea to produce the book. Once again I am to blame. This time around I led the fundraising effort, served as Chairman of the Article Selection Committee, and worked with the authors to provide text and illustrations to Dr. Parker.
Dr. Peter McCann, Chairman of our Editorial Review Board, provided important guidance in multiple ways. Peter has a wealth of experience in philately, philatelic publications, the running of philatelic organizations and the history of our society.
Many members contributed to the development of our 30th anniversary book. Ted Cookson, John Coyle, Robin Taylor, Robert Deakin, Dr. Eli Goodman and Ron Burn served as members of (or consultants to) the Article Selection Committee or as assistant editors. Dr. Philip Hicks, Allan B. Crawford, Trevor Hearl, John Ekwall, Sune Wilhelms, Dr. Peter P. McCann and I provided new articles. Several authors revised articles that appeared in past years in the South Atlantic Chronicle.
We started out referring to this book as our 30th Anniversary Anthology. However, it became much more than just an anthology. Our 30th anniversary book consists of new articles, revised articles and reprinted articles. It was Dr. Peter P. McCann who suggested that we call it Thirty Years of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philately.
We had hoped to include a cumulative index for the past 30 years of our quarterly and an index for the anthology. In lieu of an index, we are providing a table of contents for each of the 40 issues of the South Atlantic Chronicle published between January 1996 and October 2005.
South Atlantic Chronicle Award
The South Atlantic Chronicle award was created in 1994 to recognize exceptional articles published in our quarterly during a calendar year. The award went to James E. Kraemer of Canada in 1994, to Robert Richardson of the U. S. A. in 1995, to Dr. Russell V. Skavaril of the U. S. A. in 1996, to Rozell Smith of Canada in 1997 and to Roland Svensson of Sweden in 1998. Each received a certificate and one-year free membership in the society.
For reasons unknown, the award was not given in 1999. It was forgotten about altogether after the death of Russ Skavaril in 2000. Sadly, for several years, many excellent articles were not recognized. In 2005 the Board decided to resurrect the South Atlantic Chronicle Award. President Ron Burn appointed a committee to select recipients for 2004 and 2005. The members of the committee were Vice President Ted Cookson (Chairman), Director-at-Large Michael D. Mueller and President Ron Burn, with Publications Editor Dr. Everett L. Parker acting as special consultant to the committee.
The committee selected the following members to receive the South Atlantic Chronicle Award. For 2004, Michael Faulds of the United Kingdom for “Tristan and the Battle of the River Plate.” For 2005, the late Robert Richardson of the U. S. A. (our dearly missed Yorkshire-Yank) for “The St. Helena-China Connection.” Both articles appeared in our 30th anniversary book, Thirty Years of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philately.
Society Participation at Washington 2006
A major society project for 2006 was a presence at the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition. The international stamp show was held at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center from May 27 through June 3. We shared a society table with the Pitcairn Islands Study Group (PISG) and the Falkland Islands Philatelic Study Group (FIPSG). Members of the three societies worked side by side, greeting visitors, recruiting new visitors and selling society materials, often helping each other for the good of all three societies. In fact, our society succeeded beyond its wildest dreams at Washington 2006. Not
only were 27 new members recruited, but 65 copies of the 30th anniversary book, Thirty Years of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philately, were sold at the joint booth in addition to the 44 copies purchased by dealers and others on the convention floor. The highlight of Washington 2006 for Falkland Islands, St. Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha collectors and enthusiasts was a three-hour British South Atlantic Mini-Convention staged on the afternoon of June 2. This session featured six illustrated talks, of which two were given by members of our society. Michael Mueller presented “Fifteen Days on Tristan da Cunha” which also included an account of his experiences on both Ascension and St. Helena within the same calendar year. Swedish philatelist and auctioneer Stefan Heijtz presented “St. Helena Postal History 1678-1898,” which contained images from his award-winning exhibit.
During our celebrations in 2006 we did not forget the many loyal and dedicated members who supported our society over the years, especially those who have passed on. Russ, Vivian, Rozell, Bob Richardson, Roland, Quentin and Gale have already been mentioned. Many other special members have gone on to the great stamp show in the sky: Alec Page, Edward Hibbert, I.D. Lampart, Christopher Riding and George Crabb (2000) and others. They were all with us at Washington 2006. We wrote their names on our banner there.
In mid-2006, after compiling the 52-page Tristan da Cunha quincentenary monograph, which represented the combined April-July 2006 issues of the South Atlantic Chronicle, Dr. Everett Parker of the U. S. A. resigned as publications editor. He had served in that position for 18 years since mid-1988 and had edited 72 issues of the South Atlantic Chronicle during that period. At this point Director-at-Large Dr. T. Philip Hicks of Canada volunteered for the position and went on to edit the next five issues of the society’s quarterly, from October 2006 through October 2007.
Below are some of the annual highlights of our history from mid-2006 to the present, as compiled by former president Ted Cookson, now of the U. S. A.:
Bradley W. Brunsell of the U. S. A. was appointed as treasurer in October 2006 after longtime Secretary-Treasurer John L. Havill of the U. S. A. asked to be relieved of his duties. Mr. Havill had served as secretary since 1994 and as treasurer since 2001. Mr. Brunsell had served previously as vice president and director-at-large and still served as mailing coordinator. In his first message in the South Atlantic Chronicle (henceforth “SAC”) Mr. Brunsell began recognizing contributing members, which led to a marked increase in such donations over the years.
Trevor Hearl of the United Kingdom, the dean of St. Helena history who had been a member of our society since 1979 and who wrote nearly 90 articles for the SAC, passed away January 24, 2007. John T. Harrison of the U. S. A., who had been a member since 1997, died February 19, 2007; and Carl Dapp of the U. S. A., who had been a member since 1978, died April 18, 2007. Director-at-Large Dr. John A. Leonowich of the U. S. A., a member since 1980, passed on May 21, 2007. Articles of remembrance for both Mr. Dapp and Dr. Leonowich were published in the January 2008 issue of the SAC, and a remembrance of Mr. Hearl was included in the April 2008 issue of the SAC. The accomplishments of Honorary Member Allan B. Crawford, MBE of the United Kingdom, who died on March 5, 2007, were celebrated in a 17-page article written by Director-at-Large Mike Faulds and published in a special July 2007 commemorative issue of the SAC. Mr. Crawford had made a substantial material donation which provided critical financial support for our society in the mid-1990s. Stanley Baldry of Canada, who had been a society member for nearly a decade, passed away on August 26, 2007. The October 2008 issue of the SAC carried a remembrance article.
Vice President Ted Cookson’s 10-page monograph, "St. Helena Sightseeing … and a Surprise!” was laid out by Publications Editor Dr. T. Philip Hicks during the first quarter of 2007. It was distributed to society members as a gift from Mr. Cookson along with the April 2007 SAC.
Using the paradigm which proved so successful at Washington 2006, our society operated a joint-society table with PISG and FIPSG at the American Philatelic Society’s StampShow 2007 in Portland, Oregon August 9-12, 2007.
Five new members joined our society, and one former member rejoined. The joint-society table concept, begun at Washington 2006, was utilized for six consecutive years, from 2007 through 2012, at the American Philatelic Society’s StampShow, the largest annual show in the U. S.
In the October 2007 issue of the SAC, Director-at-Large John Coyle of Australia announced that he had developed an online version of his cumulative index for the SAC and other publications of our society. The useful index, which is still accessible today, includes every article published, giving title, author, volume, issue and page numbers in addition to the whole number applied to the issue. It is searchable by author, title or volume/issue and can be both filtered and printed from a browser.
On November 24, 2007 Chairman of the Presidents Circle Dr. Peter P. McCann of the U. S. A. signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists at the 89th Philatelic Congress of Great Britain in Croydon, South London, England. Dr. McCann, a founding member of our society and former president, vice president and director-at-large, was responsible for changing the name of the society from the St. Helena and Dependencies Philatelic Society to the current name in 1987.
The previous recipients of the Dr. Russell V. Skavaril Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to the St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society announced that the 2007 recipient was Robin Taylor of the United Kingdom. Mr. Taylor, a member of our society since 1978, is a prolific writer on Tristan da Cunha philately and history who has written and self-published a lengthy multi-volume monograph.
On January 1, 2008 Vice President Ted Cookson succeeded Ron Burn of the United Kingdom as president. Mr. Cookson, who had previously served as director-at-large and acting secretary, emphasized his intention to better match the society’s revenues with expenses. He also mentioned in the April 2008 issue of the SAC that he was looking into the possibility of digitizing the entire run of the SAC. Director-at-Large John Coyle of Australia succeeded Ted Cookson as vice president and also succeeded Dr. T. Philip Hicks as publications editor. In addition, on January 15, 2008 Tom Bowman of the U. S. A. was appointed secretary of the society after he volunteered to fill this position which had remained unfilled since the resignation of John Havill in mid-2006. The directors-at-large included Mike Faulds, Dr. William L. Mayo of Australia, Lucy Prentice of Canada, Ron Burn, and Dr. Everett Parker.
Treasurer Bradley W. Brunsell’s first financial report was published in the January 2008 issue of the SAC. Also in that issue was the first published use of the “SHATPS” acronym in an article written by Ted Cookson. Usage of the term became frequent in subsequent SAC issues during Mr. Cookson’s four-year tenure as president, and later the acronym was incorporated into the society’s Internet domain name. The first page of the Boer War exhibit created by Bernard du Plessis of South Africa was published in the April 2008 issue of the SAC. Pages from this award-winning exhibit were published in at least nine subsequent issues.
In May 2008 the board of directors accepted the recommendations of a four-man constitution and bylaws study committee chaired by President Ted Cookson. The committee, appointed during Ron Burn’s presidential tenure, included Vice President and Publications Editor John Coyle, Presidents Circle Chairman Dr. Peter P. McCann and Director of Communications Michael D. Mueller. While no changes were proposed to the constitution, four changes to the bylaws were approved. The break point for eliminating the position of vice president if the membership were to shrink was reduced from 150 members to 100 members. The number of directors-at-large was increased from “three or four” to “four or five.” The restriction on holding more than one society office simultaneously was eliminated. Finally, the webmaster, appointed by the president, was made a voting member of the board of directors. These bylaws amendments took effect from October 1, 2008; and on that date the revised bylaws were posted online on the SHATPS website.
SHATPS operated a joint-society table with PISG and FIPSG at the American Philatelic Society’s StampShow 2008 in Hartford, Connecticut August 14-17, 2008. One new member joined the society at the show.
The SHATPS London 2010 Fund was opened in October 2008 with a $2,000 goal. The fund was meant to cover the printing of a society flyer, a one-quarter share of a table at Festival of Stamps in London, England (henceforth “London 2010”), a society meeting, and the production of a monograph following these events. By December 2008 the fund had already exceeded $750.
In the third quarter of 2008 Director of Communications Michael D. Mueller resigned his post after 16 years of service. On October 23, 2008 Dr. T. Philip Hicks of Canada was appointed to fill this position.
Former president Ron Burn, the society’s first non-American president, was the 2008 recipient of the Dr. Russell V. Skavaril Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to the St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society. Pages from President Ron Burn’s Tristan da Cunha exhibit were published in the October 2008 issue of the SAC, and pages from this exhibit were published in at least two subsequent issues. Life member Lucy Prentice of Canada was given the SHATPS Award of Appreciation for her exemplary and continuing support of our society.
President Ted Cookson designed and printed SHATPS information flyers and sent them to the postmistresses on St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. These were mailed out to standing order customers in late 2008 and early 2009 in a bid to recruit new members for the society.
Louis A. Repetto of the U. S. A., who had been a member of our society since 2003, died January 7, 2008. John O. Guyer of the U . S. A., who had been a member since 1994, passed away November 8, 2008. Robert Lodge of the U. S. A. passed on December 21, 2008. He had been a member of our society since 1992.
After having maintained a constant dues level for 17 years, the first dues increase since 1992 took effect from January 2009. In order to safeguard the society’s future financial health, the board of directors also determined that it would be necessary to reduce the frequency of the SAC from quarterly to only
three times annually. This reduction continued for three years, from 2009 through 2011. To facilitate the flow of information during this period of lessened SAC frequency, in early 2009 President Ted Cookson encouraged all SHATPS members to join the free “Atlantic Islands” Yahoo! group, and he began posting his SAC president’s messages online there in advance of their appearance in print. Later, due to a Yahoo! technical glitch, in the spring of 2009 a “South Atlantic Islands” Yahoo! group was established by President Ted Cookson to replace the previous group.
The first SHATPS income statement produced by Treasurer Bradley W. Brunsell, covering the period until September 30, 2008, was published in the February 2009 issue of the SAC. Mr. Brunsell was selected as the 2009 recipient of the Dr. Russell V. Skavaril Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to the St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society.
The first pages of the St. Helena exhibit created by Stefan Heijtz of Sweden were published in the June 2009 issue of the SAC. Pages from Mr. Heijtz’s award-winning exhibit were published in at least six subsequent issues.
Once again SHATPS operated a joint-society table with PISG and FIPSG at the American Philatelic Society’s annual StampShow. The show was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania August 6-9, 2009. The South Atlantic Chronicle under Publications Editor John Coyle and Publisher Dr. Everett L. Parker was awarded a silver ribbon in the philatelic literature competition.
A dozen new members joined SHATPS during the first eight months of 2009. It is likely that a majority of these new members became aware of our society because they had received a direct mailing. President Ted Cookson had obtained a list of American Philatelic Society (APS) members who had expressed an interest in collecting South Atlantic islands in their APS membership applications, and he arranged to mail a flyer directly to those individuals. These mass flyer mailings were made from StampShow in 2009, 2011 and 2012. This was done so that the envelopes would also serve as first day covers of U. S. stamps which had been issued at StampShow. In addition, in late October 2009 SHATPS sent flyers to the postmistresses on St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. The postmistresses agreed to mail out a double-sided, single-page SHATPS flyer to their standing order clientele. Small posters were also included for posting on the public bulletin board in the main post office on each island.
By April 1, 2009 donations to the SHATPS London 2010 Fund exceeded $1,400, and this figure had risen to $1,500 by mid-August of that year. The society auction conducted by former president Dr. Everett L. Parker which closed on December 1, 2009 cleared $482.
After the 2009 election, the directors-at-large included Dr. Everett Parker, Klaus-D. Hahn of Germany, Alf Taylor of the United Kingdom, Genie Murphy of the U. S. A., and Dr. Stan Atherton of Canada.
Contributions of over $2,900 to the SHATPS London 2010 Fund allowed the society to participate fully at London 2010, which was staged May 8-15, 2010 at the Business Design Centre in London, England. We occupied one-fourth of a premium table at the exhibition. The table was shared with three other philatelic societies: FIPSG, PISG and the Polar Postal History Society. Our society’s second international meeting was held on the afternoon of May 13 at the Hilton London Islington Hotel, located adjacent to the Business Design Centre. The meeting, open to the public, was attended by 26 members and guests.
The program featured six illustrated talks by SHATPS members. Society member Wilf Vevers of the United Kingdom led off, exhibiting portions of his extensive Ascension postal history collection in frames and speaking on “Ascension Censored Mail during World Wars I and II.” Immediate Past President Ron Burn of the United Kingdom exhibited portions of his extensive Tristan da Cunha postal history collection in frames. The title of his presentation was “Some Postal History Covers from Tristan da Cunha.” Former director-at-large Mike Faulds of the United Kingdom was next, exhibiting portions of his extensive collection of Tristan da Cunha postal history and speaking on “Interim Mails of Tristan da Cunha.”
After an intermission during which bookseller Miles Apart offered a selection of South Atlantic-related books for sale, SHATPS member Ian Mathieson of the United Kingdom gave a presentation titled “An Overview of the Friends of St. Helena (FOSH).” Then SHATPS member Stefan Heijtz of Sweden, whose interest in St. Helena lies in pre-1900 postal history, gave a narrated PowerPoint slide show on “St. Helena Postal History 1677-1899.” Former president Michael D. Mueller of the U. S. was the final speaker, narrating a PowerPoint slide show titled “Eight Months on St. Helena, Three Weeks on Ascension, and Fifteen Days on Tristan da Cunha.” While this was a fascinating travelogue about Mr. Mueller’s 1999 South Atlantic sojourn, the talk was also about his mental journey.
The international meeting, chaired by President Ted Cookson, then of the U. S. and Egypt, concluded with the presentation of three society awards and the announcement of a society gift. Former director-at-large Mike Faulds announced that SHATPS member Robin Taylor of the United Kingdom was the recipient of the 2010 Allan B. Crawford Memorial Award for Excellence in Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Literature. This award was funded in the amount of $100. The Quentin Keynes Memorial Award for Excellence in St. Helena Philately, funded in the amount of $100, was given to Stefan Heijtz by former president Michael Mueller. Former director-at-large Guy Marriott of the United Kingdom announced the Trevor Hearl Memorial Gift to the Museum of St. Helena. This GBP 100 award was partially funded by individual SHATPS members. Finally, the 2010 Russell V. Skavaril Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to the St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philately was given to Guy Marriott of the United Kingdom by Immediate Past President Ron Burn.
As the London meeting concluded, former president Mike Mueller presented to President Ted Cookson the Presidents Circle Award, given for exceptional leadership in organizing the society’s second international meeting. This was the first time that the Presidents Circle Award had been bestowed.
Former president Dr. Peter McCann was given the Alfred F. Lichtenstein Memorial Award on May 26, 2010 by the Collectors Club of New York at their annual awards banquet.
Again this year SHATPS shared a joint-society table with PISG and FIPSG at the American Philatelic Society’s annual StampShow which was held in Richmond, Virginia August 12-15, 2010. The South Atlantic Chronicle under Publications Editor John Coyle and Publisher Dr. Everett L. Parker was awarded a bronze-silver ribbon in the philatelic literature competition. One new member joined our society at the show.
Beginning this year members were able to pay their SHATPS dues via PayPal finally when President Ted Cookson volunteered to serve as PayPal agent for the society. The first PayPal payments were received in September 2010. Director-at-Large Klaus-D. Hahn received the 2010 South Atlantic Chronicle Award for his article, “The Quest at Tristan da Cunha 1922 (Part 2),” which was published in the February 2010 issue. The selection committee was comprised of three present and past SHATPS publications editors, John Coyle, Dr. Everett L. Parker, and Dr. T. Philip Hicks. Incidentally, Mr. Hahn also served as the moderator of our organization’s Yahoo! group.
President Ted Cookson and Publications Editor John Coyle began working on a project to digitize the entire run of the SAC and all SHATPS publications and to make this data accessible from a DVD via computer software written by Mr. Coyle. Former president Michael D. Mueller kindly lent some of the back issues of the SAC required for scanning. On September 23, 2010 Webmaster Dr. Alexander Schulenburg of the United Kingdom submitted his resignation.
A 40-page London 2010 Festival of Stamps monograph, edited by former publications editor Everett L. Parker, was published as a special supplement to the June 2011 issue of the SAC.
During the second quarter of 2011 Michael D. Mueller’s PowerPoint talk, “Eight Months on St. Helena, Three Weeks on Ascension, and Fifteen Days on Tristan da Cunha,” was made available online as both an audio track and an audio-visual Flash presentation. Mr. Mueller’s talk had been delivered on May 13, 2010 at the second international meeting of the St. Helena, Ascension and
Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society in London, England.
For the fifth year in a row SHATPS shared a joint table with PISG and FIPSG at the American Philatelic Society’s StampShow, which was held August 11-14, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. At that show the table of the Society of Australasian Specialists/Oceania happened to be situated next to ours, so the barrier was removed and the two tables were operated as one. While SHATPS did not acquire any new members at this event, our publications were displayed and the St. Helena flag was shown. The South Atlantic Chronicle under Publications Editor John Coyle and Publisher Dr. Everett L. Parker was once again awarded a silver-bronze ribbon in the philatelic literature competition.
Director-at-Large Klaus-D. Hahn and Director of Communications Dr. T. Philip Hicks proposed the creation of SHATPS special interest groups (“SIGs”) in the June 2011 issue of the SAC, and in the October issue of the SAC they reported on the results of their mid-2011 SIGs e-survey.
The conclusion of the project to digitize the complete run of the SAC and its predecessors plus all additional SHATPS publications was announced in the October 2011 issue of the SAC. President Ted Cookson had scanned some 3,000 pages while Vice President John Coyle had written software allowing users to search for an article of interest using a database similar to the SHATPS online index. Now all articles ever published by SHATPS could be accessed by any member with DVDs containing the digital files and software. The complete package was offered to members from early 2012.
In order to better facilitate communication between the various members of the society’s board of directors, Director-at-Large and Secretary-Elect Klaus-D. Hahn instituted a SHATPS-Admin Yahoo! Group on December 1, 2011. This innovation represented a vast improvement over sporadic email correspondence as it allowed messages to be distributed to all board members instantaneously.
The SHATPS Book Fair auction, which consisted of 58 lots generously donated by former president Michael D. Mueller, netted $425 for the society.
President Ted Cookson was the 2011 recipient of the Dr. Russell V. Skavaril Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to the St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society.
Colin Wenborn of the United Kingdom, who had been a SHATPS member since 1979, died on December 15, 2011. Godfrey Mellor of the United Kingdom, who had been a member since 1987, also passed away during 2011. Secretary Tom Bowman stepped down as of December 31, 2011 due to personal commitments.
After the 2011 election, the new officers for 2012 included President and Publications Editor John Coyle and Vice President and Director of Communications Dr. T. Philip Hicks. Klaus-D. Hahn assumed the office of secretary vacated by Tom Bowman. The directors-at-large were Guy Marriott, Dr. William L. Mayo, Genie Murphy, and Dr. Stan Atherton.
In the February 2012 issue of the SAC, President and Publications Editor John Coyle noted that SHATPS began the year in a sound financial position. 2012 dues were raised $4 for all members. However, publication of the SAC was resumed on a quarterly basis with immediate effect.
Publicity flyers produced by Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn were sent to the Tristan da Cunha postmistress for distribution, and President John Coyle facilitated distribution of the flyers to dealers, stamp clubs and societies in Australia. Later Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn and Vice President and Director of Communications Dr. T. Philip Hicks created a SHATPS advertisement for a Stanley Gibbons auction catalogue. Secretary Hahn established a SHATPS Yahoo! group which boasted 21 members as of February 2012. During the summer of 2012 Secretary Hahn designed and implemented a completely new SHATPS website, www.shatps.org, and assumed the position of webmaster. Secretary Hahn wrote a stub article on SHATPS for Wikipedia and posted it online in September 2012. Finally, by the end of 2012, Secretary Hahn had also compiled a list of email addresses for most SHATPS members.
Vice President and Director of Communications Dr. T. Philip Hicks and Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn published a major article in the August 2012 issue of the SAC defining and offering SIG options and seeking SIG leaders.
For the sixth year in a row SHATPS shared a joint table with PISG and FIPSG at the American Philatelic Society’s StampShow, which was held August 16-19, 2012 in Sacramento, California.
Skavaril Award winner and founding member and former director-at-large James E. Kraemer died June 30, 2012. A remembrance article was published in the February 2013 issue of the SAC. Peter L. Halik, who had been a SHATPS member since 2000, died on April 21, 2012. Sir William Marshall, who had been a member since 2009, also passed away during the year. William H. Littlewood, who had been a SHATPS member since 1995, passed on December 21, 2012. A retired foreign service officer, Mr. Littlewood had visited all three of our islands. In addition to helping to man the joint society table at the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition, Mr. Littlewood also donated funds for various society projects.
In January 2013 Immediate Past President Ted Cookson created DVD copies of the complete run of the SAC and John Coyle’s copyrighted SHATPS cumulative index software and mailed these to the U. S. Library of Congress and 26 philatelic libraries in nine countries in Africa, Australia, Europe and North America. To save on postage, this was done in conjunction with DVDs containing similar journals from PISG and the United Kingdom-based Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands Society. It was hoped that this joint society philatelic library donation project would create more awareness of SHATPS in general and of the quality of some of the articles published by the society in its quarterly and other publications.
As of February 2013, Vice President and Director of Communications Dr. T. Philip Hicks and Secretary and Webmaster Klaus-D. Hahn reported that, although 12 SIGs had been formed, only three of those had leaders so far. Secretary and Webmaster Klaus-D. Hahn sought link exchanges between the SHATPS web site and other sites with a common interest.
Alfred E. Underberg of the U. S. A. passed away on January 30, 2013. He had been a member of our society since 1977 and had helped to man the joint society table at the American Philatelic Society’s StampShow on more than one occasion. Founding member and former president John Havill died on February 20, 2013. A remembrance was published in the May 2013 issue of the SAC.
The society auction conducted by former president Dr. Everett L. Parker which closed on December 15, 2013 cleared $488. Thanks was given to former president Michael D. Mueller, who generously donated 30% of the sale proceeds from his book lots to the society.
After the 2013 election, the directors-at-large were Guy Marriott, Dr. William L. Mayo, Thomas R. Murphy of the U. S. A., Kenneth E. Stewart of the U. S. A., and Michael D. Mueller.
Dr. Robert P. Turk, who had been a member since 2006, died on January 16, 2014.
Secretary and Webmaster Klaus-D. Hahn added a new webpage to the SHATPS website where members could voluntarily advise the society of their collecting interests.
In November 2014 a SHATPS flyer created and printed by Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn was forwarded to the Ascension and Tristan da Cunha post offices for distribution to their standing order clients. This flyer was also distributed to collectors of St. Helena stamps by Harry Allen, the well-known philatelic wholesaler and retailer based in the United Kingdom. Finally, the flyer was sent, along with a SHATPS marketing letter, to members of the American Philatelic Society who had expressed an interest in our three South Atlantic islands.
A technical amendment to the society’s bylaws was approved by the board of directors. A change in candidates’ election notice dates was necessary to accommodate the current SAC publication cycle since the first quarterly issue of the year was now February rather than January as was the case when the publication was last a quarterly. This bylaws amendment took effect from November 29, 2014.
The society auction conducted by former president Dr. Everett L. Parker which closed on December 15, 2014 cleared $570. Thanks was given to former president Michael D. Mueller, who generously donated 50% of the sale proceeds from his extensive book and paper ephemera lots to the society.
President and Publications Editor John Coyle developed a Microsoft Access membership database to record all required details of members, including names, addresses and records of dues payments, later found to include GDPR regulations; and this database continues to run in parallel to Secretary Klaus Hahn.
President and Publications Editor John Coyle was the 2014 recipient of the Dr. Russell V. Skavaril Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to the St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society.
During the course of 2015 the SHATPS advertising flyer was further distributed by Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn to members of the Pitcairn Islands Study Group, the Falkland Islands Philatelic Study Group, and the West Africa Study Circle. In addition, marketing letters were mailed along with the flyer to members of the Polar Postal History Society of Great Britain who collect Tristan da Cunha.
In the May 2015 issue of the SAC President John Coyle congratulated Secretary and Webmaster Klaus-D. Hahn for recruiting six new members and for re-instating another member in a single quarter. Mr. Hahn accomplished this by advertising SHATPS in the publications of similar-interest societies, through the use of flyers, and via his own business website.
In June Barbara Kuchau of the U. S. A. volunteered to assume the post of interim treasurer after Treasurer Bradley W. Brunsell asked to resign for personal reasons. A Skavaril Award winner and member since 1985, Mr. Brunsell served as treasurer for nearly nine years, 2007-2015. He had also served as mailing coordinator since 1989 and was both vice president 1998-2001 and director-at-large 2002-2006. Due to his extensive service to SHATPS, the board of directors voted to extend honorary life membership to Mr. Brunsell. The board also accorded the same honorary life membership status to Dr. T. Philip Hicks, who served the society admirably in so many capacities since he joined in 1996. Dr. Hicks was vice president, director-at-large, publications director and director of communications. In addition, he served on several important committees which advanced the society’s purposes.
Paul H. Gault of the U. S. A. died February 27, 2015. A member since 1995, Mr. Gault was instrumental in arranging for the sale of the bound SAC copies of deceased founding member and former president Russell V. Skavaril to the society. Former president Ted Cookson in turn broke down those volumes and scanned the many individual pages as a part of the SAC digitization project.
Dr. William L. Mayo of Australia, who had been a SHATPS member since 1982, died June 12, 2015. A remembrance was published in the February 2016 issue
of the SAC. Dr. Mayo served as a director-at-large 1996-2003 and 2006-2009. He wrote six articles for the SAC; and a seventh article, about his ancestor, Commodore Isaac Mayo, was ghostwritten for Dr. Mayo by Michael D. Mueller.
In the November 2015 issue of the SAC President John Coyle mentioned the society’s intention to publish a 40th Year Anniversary Book.
The society auction conducted by former president Dr. Everett L. Parker which closed on December 15, 2015 cleared $123. The lots mostly consisted of books and paper ephemera from the Michael D. Mueller collection. Mueller made an outright donation to SHATPS of the proceeds of several lots.
In the 2015 election Dr. Everett Parker was elected president and Ray Lloyd of the United Kingdom was elected vice president. Interim Treasurer Barbara Kuchau became treasurer. The directors-at-large were Kenneth E. Stewart of the U. S. A., Thomas R. Murphy, Francois Friend of South Africa, Alan Squires of the United Kingdom and Dr. John Woolven-Allen of the United Kingdom.
Lucy Prentice of Canada, who had been a SHATPS member since 2001 and who wrote an article for the SAC about her 1999 trip to Ascension and St. Helena via the RMS St. Helena, died on January 6, 2016. She had served as a SHATPS director-at-large 2006-2009 and had been a strong financial backer of the society over the years. Ms. Prentice’s support was recognized through an award of appreciation which was presented to her in 2008.
Secretary and Webmaster Klaus-D. Hahn and former vice president Dr. T. Philip Hicks of Canada co-authored an interesting, informative and well-illustrated article on St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha which was published in the March 2016 edition of The American Philatelist, the journal of the American Philatelic Society. A boxed snippet accompanying the article contained information about joining SHATPS.
As was the case at Washington 2006 and at the American Philatelic Society’s annual StampShow from 2007 through 2012 (in Portland, Hartford, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Columbus and Sacramento), SHATPS shared a table with PISG and FIPSG at World Stamp Show New York 2016 which was held May 28-June 4, 2016 at Javitz Convention Center in New York City. SHATPS flyers designed and produced by Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn were distributed at the show.
Forty Years of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philately, a 154-page collection of new, revised and reprinted articles co-edited by Publications Editor John Coyle and former president Dr. Peter P. McCann, was published on May 20, 2016. The book, which celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the society, was available for purchase at World Stamp Show New York 2016. A flyer created and printed by Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn was used to advertise the new book.
Treasurer Barbara Kuchau, who joined our society in 2015, died unexpectedly on October 11, 2016 after serving on an interim basis and then on an official basis for about 16 months in total. Kuchau had also initiated the SHATPS Facebook page and served as moderator. After her passing, Bruce L. Petersen assumed the post of treasurer and Joseph Frasketi, Jr. took over as Facebook moderator. Dr. Paul Fred Edinger served as deputy treasurer from this time until his resignation in 2017.
Using Microsoft Word, Publications Editor John Coyle and Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn designed a SHATPS letterhead in 2016 for the use of all officers.
The society auction conducted by President Dr. Everett L. Parker which closed October 15, 2016 cleared $167, thanks to former president Michael D. Mueller’s vast collection of small island ephemera material. Mueller generously donated 50% of the proceeds of his lots to the society.
Early in 2017 Dr. Eli Goodman designed a 34-cent United States Postal Service custom stamp which incorporated the SHATPS logo. Dr. Goodman served our society as vice president 1994-1997, as director-at-large 1984-1988 and 2002-2006, and as director of communications 1998-2004.
In January 2017 Publications Editor John Coyle edited and made available a 104-page monograph, Tristan da Cunha: A Listing of Ships’ Visits Between 1901 and 2016. This document was a newly-updated version of Robin Taylor’s monograph number 18.
Later, on May 10, 2017, a second edition of the monograph was released with corrections and additional information.
In late summer SHATPS began offering customizable South Atlantic-themed mugs and mouse pads which could be ordered through Secretary Hahn.
In October 2017 Alan Squires joined Joseph Frasketi, Jr. as co-moderator of the SHATPS Facebook group.
Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn distributed his first quarterly email newsletter in November 2017. Filled with useful society updates, the newsletter also contained the credentials allowing SHATPS members to download the SAC themselves from www.shatps.org as an electronic file in the form of a PDF (portable document format).
The society auction conducted by President Dr. Everett L. Parker, which closed on December 31, 2017, saw a record number of bidders. The auction cleared $116 for the society.
After the 2017 election, President Dr. Everett L. Parker, Vice President Ray Lloyd, Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn, and Treasurer Bruce Petersen continued in office. The directors-at-large were Huw Avon of the United Kingdom, Mike Faulds, Francois Friend, Alan Squires, and Dr. John Woolven-Allen.
On January 22, 2018 Publications Editor John Coyle published a third edition of Tristan da Cunha: A Listing of Ships’ Visits Between 1901 and 2016, based on Robin Taylor’s original compilation. This was offered for sale by the society both as a book and as a PDF. A PDF flyer created by Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn was used to advertise the new book.
Peter W. Knightes of the U. S. A. died on January 7, 2018. An appreciation written by his long-time friend, Dr. Eli Goodman, was published in the February 2018 issue of the SAC. Knightes, who had been a society member since 1981, served as auction director 1982-1095, vice president 1986-1990, and director-at-large 1990-1993. He authored 29 articles for the SAC and co-authored a additional three articles.
In February 2018 Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn created two picture postcards with St. Helena and Tristan da Cunha themes. These were distributed to new and current members along with the SAC.
During the second quarter of 2018 the society made arrangements to conform with the dictates of the European Union‘s General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR), the implementation date of which was May 25, 2018. This
In June 2018 Ray Lloyd of the United Kingdom, who had been serving as vice president, assumed the presidency upon the resignation of President Everett Parker. Director-at-Large Francois Friend of South Africa became vice president. In late summer John Laurie of the U. S. A. joined the board as a director-at-large.
In June 2018 Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn created an Ascension-themed picture postcard. This was distributed to new and current society members along with the SAC.
Between 2018 and 2020 Mr. Hahn also designed six SHATPS South Atlantic island-themed postage stamps and three postal stationery items, all printed by Deutsche Post. The stamps and postal stationery were offered to society members for a small fee, either in mint condition or mailed to the recipient in his home country. When mailed from Germany, the stamps were affixed to one of the attractive SHATPS picture postcards.
SHATPS flyers designed and produced by Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn were distributed, along with a SHATPS marketing letter, by Mr. Hahn and former president Ted Cookson to American Philatelic Society members who had expressed an interest in our three South Atlantic islands.
Jackie Shmueli of Israel died in October 2018. A remembrance written by his long-time correspondent, Dr. Eli Goodman, was published in the February 2020 issue of the SAC. Schmueli had been a society member since 2011.
In October 2018 Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn created a SHATPS PDF advertising brochure which was made available on the society’s website.
Prolific writer Robin Taylor of the United Kingdom died on October 30, 2018. A remembrance by his friend, Mike Faulds, was published in the February 2019 issue of the SAC. A total of 64 of Taylor’s deeply researched articles on various
aspects of Tristan da Cunha were published in the SAC between 1994 and 2018. Publications Editor John Coyle included a list of the titles of these articles in the February 2019 SAC. Taylor had been a member of the society since 1978.
In November 2018 Francois Friend resigned as vice president following a tragic family accident. President Ray Lloyd appointed Graeme Robertson of the United Kingdom to serve out the remainder of Mr. Friend’s term of office.
The society auction conducted by former president Dr. Everett L. Parker which closed on December 1, 2018 cleared $75.
In the February 2019 issue of the SAC, Publications Editor John Coyle included an article on succession planning for our society. At the request of President Ray Lloyd, Mr. Coyle listed the various tasks of the editor and treasurer and the skills required of each.
During the course of 2019 President Ray Lloyd, charged with the disposal of deceased member Robin Taylor’s Tristan da Cunha collection, did so on an ongoing basis via two auction houses, ebay, and the SHATPS “TdC2” special interest group.
Sybil Innes of the United Kingdom, who had been a SHATPS member since 1983, died on November 2, 2019. Over the years Ms. Innes had written three articles for the SAC. She collected St. Helena postcards produced by Mr. A. L. Innes, a photographer on the island.
The society auction conducted by former president Dr. Everett L. Parker which closed on December 1, 2019 cleared $62.
In the 2019 election Ray Lloyd was elected president and Graeme Robertson was elected vice president. Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn and Treasurer Bruce Petersen continued in office. The directors-at-large were Huw Avon, Mike Faulds, John Laurie, Daniel Ascension of France and Neil Croll of Canada.
In mid-January 2020 President Ray Lloyd appointed Lee Bryant of the United Kingdom to assume the post of director-at-large which had been vacated abruptly by Neil Croll.
In March and April 2020, during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, President Ray Lloyd ran the Tristan da Cunha TdC2 special interest group blog for 51 days, posting various items from his collection. A discussion of World War II censored mail resulted in the discovery of the name of the censor aboard the Queen of Bermuda. Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn published an interesting article on this topic in the August 2020 issue of the SAC.
In May 2020 a new SHATPS advertising flyer with a Tristan da Cunha theme was created and printed by Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn. These were distributed to members of the Pitcairn Islands Study Group and to members of the Tristan da Cunha Association along with the journals of those organizations.
Dr. T. Philip Hicks passed away on September 28, 2020. Dr. Hicks joined SHATPS in 1996 and held the following society posts between 2002 and 2015: Director-at-Large 2002-2006; Director of Communications 2005-2015; Publications Editor 2006-2007; and Vice President 2012-2015. A remembrance written by Publications Editor John Coyle was published in the February 2021 issue of the SAC. Between 2003 and 2015 fifteen of Dr. Hicks‘ articles were published in the SAC, including seven articles written with others.
Joseph J. Frasketi, Jr., a SHATPS life member, died on October 29, 2020. Mr. Frasketi, who joined SHATPS in 1977 and who became interested in Ascension Island philately due to his having worked as U. S. postmaster on that island in the 1970s, had served as the SHATPS Facebook moderator since 2016 and then as co-moderator, with Alan Squires, since October 2017. Between 1978 and 1985 seventeen of Mr. Frasketi‘s articles were published in the SAC. During his time on Ascension and afterward Mr. Frasketi produced a number of covers and labels to commemorate various events related to the Ascension Island tracking station and anniversaries of space flights and launches.
The SHATPS-Admin Yahoo! group ceased to be available as of December 15, 2020 when all such Yahoo! groups were discontinued by Yahoo! The group had allowed our society’s officers to communicate easily with one another for over nine years.
President Ray Lloyd decided to resurrect the South Atlantic Chronicle Award. The committee he appointed included Dr. Everett Parker and John Coyle, both of whom had served as president and publications editor, and former presidents Mike Mueller and Ted Cookson. The committee selected recipients for 2019 and 2020.
Francois Friend received the South Atlantic Chronicle Award for 2019. The selection committee cited Friend’s article, "St. Helena – George V Silver Jubilee Varieties," which was published in the November 2019 issue of the SAC.
Neil Robson was the recipient of the South Atlantic Chronicle Award for 2020. The selection committee cited Robson’s article, "Tristan’s 1954 Fivepenny – Its Design Source Discovered!," which was published in the February 2020 issue of the SAC. This remarkable article pointed out that the background design of the five-pence potato patches stamp was based on one of Allan Crawford’s potato stamp essays while the foreground design element, three women islanders riding their donkeys, was lifted from a photograph which had accompanied an article published in a 1949 edition of the British photo-weekly, Picture Post.
Secretary and Webmaster Klaus-D. Hahn received the Dr. Russell V. Skavaril Award for Outstanding Service to the St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society.
At the request of President Ray Lloyd, Secretary Klaus-D. Hahn created an administrative email group for the use of the board of directors. This replaced the now-defunct SHATPS-Admin Yahoo! group.
In the February 2021 issue of the SAC, Publications Editor John Coyle announced that he had modified his SHATPS publications archive software for Windows. Version two enables the accessing of all SAC issues through cumulative number 171 of November 2020. The ever-useful index allows the user to access every article published, giving title, author, volume, issue and page numbers in addition to the issue’s whole number. It is searchable by author, title or volume/issue and can be both filtered and printed from a browser. Mr. Coyle mentioned that the software would be available for download from the society’s website (perhaps by midyear) and that it would be offered free to those members who had purchased version one of his software previously.
In February 2021 President Ray Lloyd, with the approval of the SHATPS board of directors, formalized the appointment of Klaus-D. Hahn as webmaster. As an appointive officer, under the society’s bylaws Mr. Hahn will have no fixed term of office but will serve as a voting member of the board.
In February the board of directors considered a proposal by former president Ted Cookson meant to encourage membership growth in the hope of achieving more participation in society activities. Under the plan, SHATPS would have begun offering the SAC as a PDF for free for a period of a year or so and, from then on, for only a very modest charge. The board voted narrowly against adopting the proposal.
Faced with growing postage expenses, in March 2021 the board of directors voted to raise annual dues by $2 only for those members who receive a paper copy of the SAC via post. The dues increase, the first since 2009, will take effect for membership payments made for the 2022 fiscal year which begins October 1, 2021. The new dues levels will be $29 for those members living in the U. S. and Canada and $34 for those members living elsewhere. The dues for electronic members will remain fixed at $15.
In order to safeguard the society’s future financial health, the board of directors also voted to discontinue the distribution of complimentary paper copies of the SAC via post to various institutions in the South Atlantic islands and around the world. President Ray Lloyd tasked past president Ted Cookson with contacting a dozen such entities to which SHATPS has been sending paper copies of the SAC to offer the alternative of a PDF edition sent quarterly via email.
In addition, the board voted to cease offering life membership featuring paper copies of the SAC. However, life membership will still be possible for members who would prefer to receive the SAC via email as a PDF.
Finally, the board also approved the provision of PDFs of the entire run of the SAC to the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) for use in its digital collections database, APRL Digital. The most-recent three years of our quarterly journal will be shielded from public access and will only be available to SHATPS members using a password. The provision to APRL Digital of most SHATPS monographs was also approved. Former president Ted Cookson arranged to transmit the relevant electronic files to the APRL in March 2021. Associated with the American Philatelic Society, the APRL facility is situated in the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, not far from the sprawling campus of Penn State University.
President Ray Lloyd appointed Alistair Burrows of England to serve out the remainder of the term of Director-at-Large Daniel Ascension, who had vacated his seat.
In March Alan Melville of South Africa responded positively to President Ray Lloyd who had reached out to him, seeking permission for SHATPS to borrow Mr. Melville’s copy of Robin Taylor’s 20-volume Tristan da Cunha monograph for scanning purposes. As it turned out, Mr. Melville’s Tristan da Cunha collection and related library were then in transit to HR Harmer, the well-known New York City auction house. Upon receipt of Mr. Melville’s holdings, HR Harmer kindly offered to digitize Robin Taylor’s Tristan da Cunha 2,038-page monograph for SHATPS using its in-house high-speed automatic document scanner. The multi-page PDF digital files were transmitted to past president Ted Cookson who compiled them onto a single master disc and added additional files, such as Robin Taylor’s 64 SAC articles plus a number of tributes to Mr. Taylor which had been published in the SAC. Various society-related documents were also included. Scores of copies of this interesting and unique 45th anniversary gift were prepared for distribution to all SHATPS members. Distribution was accomplished by placing the disc inside the August 2021 issue of the SAC when it was posted in mid-July 2021. The disc was posted directly to SHATPS paperless members who receive their SAC via PDF download.
The SHATPS Facebook group boasted 694 members as of July 1, 2021.
As Michael D. Mueller penned in his original society history, which was compiled for publication in Thirty Years of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philately, the fact that we are celebrating our 45th anniversary in 2021 “is a tribute to all of the men and women – collectors and non-collectors – from around the world – who joined our society over [the] decades and supported it in various ways. From serving as an officer, to writing articles, to leading and serving on committees, to donating money for special projects, to simply sending in dues year after year. Indeed, many hundreds of collectors and enthusiasts have supported our little ship with the long name over the last  years. We have sailed far. To all those who have made our remarkable voyage possible: ‘Thank you! Thank you one and all!’”