Writing Awards Announced

Themal, Zubatsky, Sommers Win AFDCS Ward Writing Awards

Harry Themal, David Zubatsky and Paul Sommers are the winners of the 2014 Philip H. Ward Award for Excellence in First Day Cover Literature, presented annually by the American First Day Cover Society. In addition, Gary Dickinson was cited for his work.

The first-place winner was Themal’s “Jackie Kennedy’s Artcraft Cachet,” which appeared in the December 2014 issue of First Days, the official journal of the AFDCS. Themal details the personal involvement of the widow in getting exactly the design she wanted for first day covers of the John F. Kennedy stamp that she distributed to friends and family.

Zubatsky received the first runner-up prize for “Sandra Haimerl: A Biography and Catalog of Her Handdrawn and Printed Cachets” in the June 2014 issue of First Days. “World War II Cover Artist Abram Legallez” by Sommers won second runner-up, after appearing in the April 2014 issue of the journal.

The Ward Committee also gave a special recognition award this year to Gary Dickinson for his ongoing series in First Days on Canadian first day covers and his numerous monographs on Canadian first days published by the British North American Philatelic Society. “His work has opened Canadian first days to collectors everywhere,” the committee wrote.

Back issues of First Days are available for $4.00 each postpaid within the U.S. from Jeffrey Bennett, 1601 River Farm Drive, Alexandria, Va. 22308. A searchable electronic archive of every issue of First Days from its inception in 1955 through 2014 is available on DVD for $79 postpaid. In addition, AFDCS members also can download back issues since 2011 for free on the AFDCS website.

The awards were presented Americover 2015, the annual show and convention of the AFDCS, which this was held in Columbus, Ohio, in August.

The award is named in honor of Philip H. Ward (1890-1963), the distinguished Philadelphia stamp collector, dealer and journalist who was a pioneer in the field of first day covers. The award was instituted by the AFDCS in 1964. All articles appearing in First Days are automatically considered for the award; articles in other publications may be submitted for consideration.

Information about the Ward Award can be obtained from the Ward Award chairman, Mark Goodson, 202 W. Temperance Street, Ellettsville, IN 47429, or bgdsn@comcast.net.

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