The Samovar

As the sun sets

Gary - 9/5/2009 at 09:33

Fellow Collectors,

I am placing this in the General forum because I think the world needs to see it. This is not a closed window view such as the Society forum.

All things must and do come to an end. This is now the case relative to my position as an officer and member of Rossica. The experience has been rewarding and frustrating at the same time.

I have been at or near the top of Rossica for over 25 years. I have seen the inner sanctum from inside as well as outside. The positions I have held include Journal Editor, Treasurer, Secretary Pro Tem, and President. There may have been a few other ad hoc positions during this period, but I cannot remember them all. I had to do these positions because nobody else wanted to volunteer. I picked the reins up off the ground and had to quickly keep the ship off the rocks. But that is unimportant.

You will more than likely hear a lot of the bad things I have said and done in the past, especially if you have a telephone and certain people know your number. May their false egos bring them fame and fortune at my expense! However, come January 1, 2010, it is off into the sunset I go. :roll:

Rossica has come a long way from where it was when I first came on board. What have we done on my watch that is worth noting? I could say I for many things, but do not think it is productive. So you are stuck with we. Please note that there is no particular order. If anybody can think of something else we did, please feel free to add it - Thanks. If I come up with more, I will do the same. Here are a few things.

1. We have a stable journal that is fairly close to schedule. It wasnt always that way and some years were in danger of not having a journal at all. But we made it.

2. We shifted to a color journal by wisely investing in a society printer. The results are outstanding and cheaper to produce.

3. We introduced the world to Rossica on the Internet. This has been one of my goals much to the disliking of people who can only think in the here and now. We have a first-class website.

4. We transitioned the society into the digital age. We have one leg in the paper world and one leg in the digital world.

5. To save on costs and increase available information to the members, we moved publication of the journal and all other items into the digital world. Currently, everything in our bookstore is available as a download over the Internet or on CD ROM. We can also print the document, but the cost is high. Pricing is very competitive on all items for sale. A spreadsheet is in this message for your use, since the information currently available is 1-2+ years old. Please refer to the spreadsheet for information and not to the Publications section at the website.

6. We went from having a Library but no Librarian for many years to having a great Library with a Librarian.

7. We introduced a Virtual Gallery to showcase exhibits at the website.

8. We introduced credit-card payment using PayPal for sales and dues.

9. We revamped how the awards are done for exhibitions.

10. We held Rossicapex 2009.

11. We were able to have the University of Florida devote a part of their site to publishing some back issues of the journal on the Internet, as well as the Prigara and Bazilevich.

12. We acquired the copyright to the Canadian Journal and also placed it on the Internet and made it available to all collectors at a very good price.

13. We were granted permission to digitally reproduce the epic Tchilinghirian & Stephen work Stamps of the Russian Empire Used Abroad.

14. We put into place a protection method for the society to avoid potential lawsuits regarding publishing of copyright information on the Internet as well as in the digital and other domains.

15. We introduced the appointed position of Membership Chairman to alleviate the overload on selected officer's plates. This provides them more free time to concentrate on their core functions.

16. We have made great progress in attempting to establish relationships with fellow collectors in what was the Soviet Union and having them recognize the efforts published in the West. We were on very shaky ground before the start of my watch, but are now in a better position.

17. We granted Honorary memberships to the Director of the A. S. Popov Central Museum of Communications in St. Petersburg and assisted in bringing its collection of Rossica journals up-to-date.

18. We granted Honorary membership to a member of the Presidium of the Executive - Union of philatelists of Russia.

19. We have a Memorandum of Agreement with Filateliya and Soviet Collector through Alexander Ilyushin of the SFR/UPR to freely translate and publish each others articles in our respective publications with the appropriate caveats.

20. When the Worldwide Society of Russian Philately (WSRP) was starting, Rossica members and myself in particular added almost all of the images used at the site. We worked with the site's webmaster as he came online. This information is basically still there today, although sadly the site has gone dormant.

21. We were granted the right to publish and sell the outstanding works of G. A. Ackerman regarding Air Mail and the Arctic. The exhibits supported by these works are in the Virtual Gallery.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Go forth and enjoy the hobby to the maximum!

Attachment: Rossica price list for 2009-2010.xls (50kB)
This file has been downloaded 436 times

Gary - 9/6/2009 at 08:40

You are welcome and I also must thank you!:)

jlechtanski - 9/6/2009 at 12:31

A great 25 years. Thank you.

Gary - 9/6/2009 at 16:20

Thanks John. I will miss your knowledge and ability to "google" the world.;)

ameis33 - 9/6/2009 at 16:33

I joined Rossica recently, but i`ve grown a lot my knownledge (still has to grow) here. The Rossica website is definitively great. Great forum, great resources, really devote to spread knowledge about russian philately. Great the virtual gallery (and one of the few available on the web, you can count them on a single hand). Very reasonable the fees you have to pay, and you get really much more than you pay. Pity to have lost some members. The evaluation in the end cannot not to be positive. Why should a people not collecting the russian area have joined Rossica for?
A friendly shake of hand and my personal greetings.

Unhinged - 9/6/2009 at 22:01

Quote: Originally posted by Gary  
All things must and do come to an end. This is now the case relative to my position as an officer and member of Rossica.

Gary, I do not understand, after so many years of service and membership, why are you leaving the society? I can understand deciding not be be an officer, but why are you no longer going to be a member? As you've listed in your post here, you have done much for the society, why would you abandon it?

Gary - 9/7/2009 at 04:22

It is probably best to let the sleeping dog remain in that position. Anything I may say could and probably would be immediately twisted around by a handful of people, if the society's censor did not remove or edit it first, to indicate derogatory and detrimental context. Suffice it to say that I have burned out on organized philately.

I wish all of you the very best in your pursuit of the hobby.

Gary - 12/31/2009 at 17:56

As the Time Square's clock counts down, so must I. It has been a real trip to be your President and one I enjoyed overall. Please remember that Rossica is what the members want and not what a group of "see me" people want. You need to tell the officers you elected what you want, how you want it, and when you want it. If they cannot respond, elect other people who can. Since the majority of the members collect stamps and do not exhibit, perhaps they want to see more options relative to stamps? Tell the officers you elected. Support them and volunteer to help.

You have my email address if you need to contact me. Otherwise, I am history as they say. I do hope this is not censored.

Happy collecting!:hoho:hoho:hoho:hoho


Jeff - 12/31/2009 at 23:26

One has to wonder if the sun is finally setting? :cool: