A Stampede in San Antonio!

San Antonio, Texas, is just one of the place that is hooked in old craze of philately - the study of stamps, and stamp collecting for more than century. It had its beginnings besides the national consolidation of stamp collectors and enthusiasts.

This consolidation happened when stamp enthusiasts and collectors of the United States are gathered together in the year of 1886 to create the American Philatelic Society (APS). It is the home to the largest congregation of stamp collectors in the world.

At present, the APS has more than 44, 000 members. Because APS is a non-profit organization, the APS has kept alive for the years by the continuous donation and patronage from its sponsors, marginal revenue (almost like a donation) from the philatelic services they provide, and the receipt of the members' dues.

The organization aims to promote stamp collecting by developing modern ways and programs to enhance the benefit to stamp collectors. The society offers the philatelic services to the devoted stamp collectors and the public to assist their members in the exchange or trade of the stamps from their collections. The continued growth of the American philatelist community has promoted various activities organized by the APS.

The chapter of APS in San Antonio, Texas has known in the name of San Antonio Philatelic Association (SAPA), established in the year 1896. In fact, the SAPA is a life member of APS and under the umbrella of Texas Philatelic Association.

It is labeled in APS Chapter #388, and in Texas Philatelic Chapter #3. At present, the chapter has more than 130 members, who are participating in various activities. They even allow juniors, the ages between 12 and 18, to participate in the SAPA, if they have sponsoring parents to act on behalf of them.

In the year 1996, the SAPA has organized a stamp show in order to celebrate the centenary to share with the Texas Philatelic Association. The SAPA has introduced the first new reprints of coil stamps in the country, which is Labeled TEXPEX ?96.

The Texas Philatelic Association (TPA) is the umbrella organization for various philatelic groups in the state of Texas. The Texas Philatelic Association is one of the oldest philatelic associations in the country, which continues its operations even in the present day.

Its foundation, called the TPA foundation, was certified as Texas Non-Profit Foundation, Inc. established in the year of 1975. This was created to encourage the study and research of philately by creating the libraries, laboratories, and manage to pay for research grants and scholarships.

Subsequently, the membership in the TPA is equal to the lifetime membership of APS as well as the membership in SAPA transforms as a life membership of TPA and APS. This membership carries various benefits for philatelic enthusiasts, which include the bi-monthly official publication.

This publication is inclusive of columns like the list of upcoming events of TPA & other affiliated chapters, and it features the articles for the benefit of philatelists related to Texas area. Membership also helps the members to take steps toward the acquisition of desired stamps.

The TPA allows for the free advertisement of "want ads" as well as facilitate the auctions sale and purchase of stamps between the members. As a member of TPA, the philatelist will be invited to TEXPEX, the annual convention-cum-exhibition held in Dallas. It also means the access to the information cell, where he can get answers to the queries, provided by expert-philatelists associated with TPA.

The TPA allows the membership for individuals aged 18 and above. Junior membership is also available, like the SAPA; however, their parents should sponsor their participation on behalf of them. Membership in TPA is not geographically limited to Texas alone.

The San Antonio Philatelic Association continues as an active member of the APS as well as the TPA. The SAPA takes pride in the fact that it is one of the few clubs, which meet constantly every week. Meetings of the San Antonio Philatelic Association are held at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Santa Monica, Texas on every Fridays at 7:30 PM.

For each Friday of the month, there is a pre-assigned agenda for the club; the first Friday will be dedicated to business and presentation of the members. The second Friday will be for stamp auctions, while the third Friday is for the programs organized by the members of the club. The fourth Friday of the month, will be for the stamp bourse. The San Antonio Philatelic Association issues a bi-monthly newsletter called The Philatex.


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