Polonus Celebrates Diamond Jubilee

The Polonus Philatelic Society will celebrate its 75th anniversary at CHICAGOPEX 2014, an American Philatelic Society (APS) “World Series of Philately” show, on November 21-23, 2014, at the Westin Chicago Northwest Hotel, located at 400 Park Blvd., Itasca, IL. In addition to holding its annual meetings, Polonus members will exhibit the finest collection of Polish stamps and postal history. Expectations are this will be the largest exhibition of Polish philatelic material outside Poland.
The Polonus Philatelic Society, consisting of an international membership, is the oldest and largest philatelic society dedicated to the promotion and study of Polish philately in the English language. Founded in February 1939 by Chester Mikucki, when fifty-four enthusiastic people responded to his call to meet at the Polish Veterans’ Home in Chicago, Polonus has grown from a “local club” to one of the foremost specialty societies in international philatelics. The name of “Polonus”, as Dr. Leon P. Kozakiewicz reported, comes from Kopernik (Copernicus) who registered at the University of Padua, Italy as: “Kopernik, nationality – Polonus”, which is Latin for “Polish”.
• The purpose of the Society, as outlined when organized and continues to this day, is:
• To promote and encourage philately in general and of Poland in particular;
• To foster good relations, fellowship and cooperation among philatelists;
• To provide means for discussion, exhibits and lectures;
• To aid in the detection and prevention of forgeries and fraud in philately;
• To promote an understanding of Polish culture, literature and history through philatelic means.
The Polonus Bulletin, the official publication of the society, has been published continuously since 1942 and consists of over 550 issues containing hundreds of articles on both generalized and specialized facets of Polish philately. Polonus has also published excellent monographs, such as, “Poland #1”, “Scout Post in the Warsaw Uprising”, “Polish I Corps in Russia”, etc.
Polonus was instrumental in the issuance by the U.S. Postal Service of the 5¢ Poland Flag Stamp, the first of the Overrun countries series stamps of 1943; the 4¢ and 8¢ Paderewski stamps of the Champion of Liberty series of 1960; the Poland Millennium stamp of Christianity in 1956; the 8¢ Copernicus stamp of 1973; and the Pulaski postcard of 1979.
The highlight each year is the annual philatelic exhibition and membership meeting held in conjunction with and APS “World Series of Philately” event in a different part of the country each year. Prior to 2005, Polonus sponsored philatelic exhibitions in Chicago known as POLPEX, at which cacheted covers, special cancellations, souvenir sheets, etc., were issued in keeping with the theme of the show. This material, sought by collectors, fits well into Polonica collections.
Membership benefits include: a website, www.polonus.org, featuring award winning exhibits, a Polish-English dictionary of philatelic terms, a digital version of the Bulletin, and related philatelic information; mentoring by experienced Polonus exhibitors; Study Groups, such as, POW Camps, Aerophilately, etc.; access to a Philatelic Research Library; expertizing services; and discounts from participation dealer-members and on POLPEX show memorabilia.
If you collect the stamps of Poland, specialize in any facet of Polish philately or Polonica, or are of Polish descent and interested in the culture and history of Poland, the Polonus Philatelic Society is for you. If you are in the proximity of Itasca, IL on 21-23 November, plan to attend CHICAGOPEX 2014 (free admission and free parking) and visit the Polonus Society Table to learn more about becoming a member and to receive a free packet of Polish stamps. If you are not able to attend CHICAGOPEX 2014, contact Polonus at info@polonus.org for a free sample Bulletin (digital version).
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