OTTOMAN AND NEAR EAST PHILATELIC SOCIETY (ONEPS)

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, June 1, 2024, as recorded by Allan Smith, Secretary

Present: Richard Rose (President – outgoing), Will Kearney (Treasurer, pro-tem), Allan Smith (Secretary, pro-tem), Marisa Galitz (Webmaster), Adel Kanaan, Akthem al-Manaseer, Neil Kearney, Marwan Nusair, Denis Doren, Bob Stuchell, and Steve Schumann (guest).

We began with the Treasurer’s report, which will be posted on the website. In summary:
Our bank balance one year ago was $7819.16.
Income for the year was $2399.69 from dues, plus $100 for new checking account deposit.
Expenses were:
Administrative, $223.42
Web services, $570.
Cost of The Levant, $2100.
Bank balance as of June 1, 2024: $7425.43 (a decline of $393.73 for the year).
We currently have 98 dues-paying members, plus a few complimentary memberships.

The first order of business was to confirm new officers to fill vacancies on the society’s board. Without objection, Adel Kanaan was confirmed as President, Akthem al-Manaseer as Vice-President, Will Kearney as Treasurer, and Allan Smith as Secretary. Richard Rose (past President) will continue as Editor of The Levant, and Marisa Galitz as Webmaster. NOTE: The society website, oneps.net, has been inactive for over a week. It should be active again soon. Marisa will seek a new service provider.

Adel and Akthem expressed a desire to send recruitment letters to people they know, including a Membership Application form. Such forms are normally to be found on the society’s website, which is currently undergoing repairs. The Secretary and Treasurer will be given a back-up pdf of the application to give to the two officers.

Richard suggested that emails should be sent to all members announcing the addition of new members, and encouraging members to recruit others who share our interests. Adel pointed out that two types of members are particularly needed: advanced collectors, and young collectors. The younger ones should receive encouragement and guidance from the more advanced and knowledgeable ones. Akthem added that we need to explain the benefits of membership to those we invite to join. At present, benefits include a subscription to The Levant and access to the members-only portion of our website, which has an archive of past issues. In future, benefits may also include Zoom presentations by members.

We will have an in-person meeting at the upcoming NOJEX stamp show, to be held at the Hilton Hotel in Hasbrouck Heights NJ the last weekend of September. We will probably meet on Saturday the 28th. Members may also have a chance to meet at the APS summer show in Hartford CT (August 15-18), and at the international stamp show in Boston in 2026. There was mention of the idea of our having a table at Boston 2026. Akthem will inquire about the cost of having a table, and about the contribution a society would normally make for participating.

The perennial topic of increasing the membership dues was raised, but the discussion was deferred to see whether Akthem could arrange for a less expensive printer. Bob asked how much had been contributed in the past year by “sustaining” members (those paying more than the required amount). Will answered, $312. Richard said that sustainers would continue to be listed in The Levant and thanked for their contributions.

Marisa knows someone who has created an interactive index to the archives of the Czechoslovakia collectors society, and will ask whether he or she could do the same for ours. This would enable readers to search the archive by topic or by author – another benefit of membership.

Meeting adjourned.