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Celebrating Our 35th Anniversary 


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"Gateway to History"
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     The 35th Anniversary was an event to remember. The slogan for the Anniversary was Kept It! I thank the Anniversary Committee for putting the event together. Charlene Blair did an outstanding job as Chairperson. I thank Committee members Clarence McKnight, Betty Lewis, Jean Lewis, Betty Sessions and Rosina Major. The committee donated their time, talent and treasure to make the event enjoyable for all. I thank all the members who came from far and near to celebrate our Anniversary!

       The Bourse vendors on Friday had lots for items for sale. I purchased items from many of them to add to my collection. Betty Sessions set up a special display to honor our founder Dr. Esper Hayes. The workshops were great. I did a workshop on collecting, Jean Lewis did a workshop on reaching out to youth and Charlene Blair did a workshop on exhibiting. On Friday night we had fun showing our favorite stamp items. There were lots of photo opportunities in front of the ESPER banner.

           The Bus tour on Saturday was outstanding. The first stop was the Miles Davis Museum. When you go into the house, see the video and all the other items in the house, it was a moving experience. I have his stamp sheet and several First Day Covers (FDCs) with his stamp in my collection. The second stop on the bus tour was the Blues Museum. Walking through the museum and seeing all the Blues / Jazz greats was inspiring, Coltrane, Johnson, Monk, Armstrong, MA Rainey, Holiday just to name a few. I have all the Jazz singer stamps, the Jazz and Blues singer stamps and FDCs in my collection. We ate lunch at Sugar Fire BBQ which is right next door to the museum. The bus driver was a stamp collector, too. He gave us a mini tour of the city as we were returning to the hotel. We stopped for a photo opportunity at the Budwiser plant and then for some pretzels at a St Louis landmark.

         Prior to the Banquet on Saturday we took the group photo. A big thanks to Tony Thaxton for being our official photographer for the Anniversary.

At the Banquet I was surprised not once but twice with presentations. My thanks to Estelle Bell of the USPS for being at our Anniversary. She presented me with a large framed poster of the John Lewis Stamp. She also brought John Lewis stamp ceremony programs, stamp pins, Good Trouble wrist bands, Ruth Bader Ginsberg stamp ceremony programs and stamp pins to be given out. The Anniversary speaker (Alvin Parks, Former Major East Saint Louis, Illinois) challenged us to reach out to youth, to share the hobby and get them involved in stamp collecting. Hellen Felter (member Amsterdam, Netherland) could not attend the anniversary but she sent a special ESPER stamp sheet from the Netherlands. Clarence Mcknight framed and matted the stamps and that was presented to me. Thanks to Helen and Clarence I now have Framed ESPER Stamps and 35th Anniversary Stamps as a remembrance. Don Neal produced a special cachet for the Anniversary and each person received one. The cachet is available on the website for purchase.

      The Memorial Service on Sunday gave recognition to our members who had passed in the last five years. The Business meeting give some good ideas that we need to work on for 2024 and the future. Don Neal will be doing a special edition of Reflections for the Anniversary. The special edition will have more of the details of the Anniversary as well as many of the pictures taken during the event. It will be a great Anniversary keepsake. 

 Howard Ingram, ESPER President  

Hospitality Night
Vendor Bourse
Presentation and Workshop
My Favorite Stamp
Blue Carpet Event
Pictures by States
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From NJ- Don Neal, Clarence McKnight, Della Moses Walker and Asley Turnbull
From Tenn- Ernest Shinault, Nadine Shinault, Jane Mays (PA), Lynda Thompson and Mark Thompson 
From NC- Walter Faison, Robert Cox, Bea Cox, Dr. David Mielke, Sue Mielke, Dr. Mary Love and  Vivian Roscoe
From MD- Jean Lewis, Roger Lewis, Karen Bertha, Betty Session, Foster Miller, Dr. Norrece Jones, Jr. and
Farnese Hicks
From Mich- Phillip Williams and Corlisss Williams
From Al- Robert Gilmore and Rufus Gilmore III
From NY- Rosina Major and William Jordon
Members Group Pictures

Divine Nine brothers and sisters, Bea Cox, Charlene Blair, Asley Turnbull, Vivian Roscoe, Karen Bertha, Roger Lewis, Jean Lewis, Norrece Jone, Jr,, Corliss Williams and Philip Williams

Bea Cox, Charlene Blair, Asley Turnbull and Vivian Roscoe

 Robert Gilmore, Della Moses Walker and Rufus Gilmore III
 Charlen Blair, Walter Faison and Vivian Roscoe
House of Miles and National Blues Museum Tour
Blue Velvet Banquet

Seated (L-R): Sue Mielke, M. Rosina Major, Isa Hamilton, Rhonda Ingram, Howard Ingram, Cynthia Scott, Wilhelmina Bell, Vivian Roscoe, Beatrice Cox.

Second Row (L-R): Jean Lewis, Karen Bertha, Clarence McKnight, Desdemona Faison, Charlene Blair, Yvette Major, Nadine Shinault, Betty Session, Betty Lewis, Lynda Thompson, Robert Gilmore, Corliss Williams, Della Moses Walker. Back Row (L-R): Ashley Turnbull, Dr. Mary Love, Tony Thaxton, Jr., Dr. David Mielke, Walter Faison, Foster Miller, Dr. Norrece T. Jones, Jr., Mark Thompson, Don Neal, Edward Bell, Earnest Shinault, Rogers Lewis, Rufus Gilmore, William Jordan, Robert Cox, Phillip Williams, Jane Mays.

Dr. Mary Love, Wihelmina Bell, Walter Faison, Desdemona Faison, Robert Cox, Bea Cox, Vivian Rosco, Dr. David Mieke and Sue Mieke.

Jean Lewis, Farnese Hicks, Mary Love, Foster Miller, Jr., Betty Session, and Howard Ingram

Nadine Shinault and ESPER's first president Ernest Shinault

Husband of Estelle Bell, USPS, Rhonda Ingram, Estelle Bell and Howard Ingram

Special Presentation to ESPER
Hellen Felter our member from the Netherland created our 35th Anniversary and ESPER logo into stamps. Walter Faison presented our President Howard Ingram and Vice President Charlene Blair with framed stamps designed by Clarence McKnight
ESPER's Awards
John Lewis Stamp Unveiling

Estelle Bell, USPS, Charlene Blair, ESPER's Vice President and ESPER's President Howard Ingram

Special Guest
Jahfi Studio, Drum and Dance Troupe
Sunday Memorial Presentation and Meeting Meeting

The Memorial Service on Sunday gave recognition to our members who had passed in the last five years. A candlelight service was held for all members who passed away. Over the last five, years, we have lost the following members our founder Dr. Esper G. Hayes 2019; Robert Fields, Virginia Chapter Directors 2021; our 4th President Warachal  E. Faison, MD 2022; North Carolina member since 2001, Lucille Hunter; New Jersey member since 2002, Horace Baldwin,

Ohio member since 2007; Janet King; New York member since 2012, Thomas Peluso; and Lowa member since 2016 Pete R. McClure. 

Members holding candles are Betty Lewis, Walter Faison, Rosina Majors, Don Neal, Della Moses Walker, Vivian Rosco, Jane Mays, Farnesse Hicks, Mark Thompson, Wihelmina Bell and Ernest Shinault

Mark Thompson, Lynda Thompson, Bea Cox and Ernest Shinault
Sue Mielke and Dr. David Mielke
Mark Thompson, Lynda Thompson, Foster Miller, and William Jordan
A few extra pictures from our 35th anniversary
Some door prizes won at our banquet.
Some scenic pictures and stop taken by Tony Thaxton, Jr and Ashley Turnbull
Message from Committe Chair
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I would like to thank the ESPER members that came to St. Louis, MO for our 35th Anniversary. Your support and presence made the event memorable and confirmed the impact that our organization can still make in the philatelic world. The committee was diligent and determined to celebrate with you while highlighting the accomplishments and the determination of ESPER and its members to stay present and share our hobby in a diverse and cultural way.  Charlene Blair, 35th Anniversary Chairwoman and ESPER's Vice President

Our 35th Anniversary Committe 

President, Howard Ingram, Vice President and anniversary Chairwoman Charlene Blair, Rosina Major, Clarence McKnight, Jean Lewis and  Betty Session. Missing is Betty Lewis.

Photo courtesy of Betty Session, Mary Love, Karen Bertha, Ashley Turnbull, Della Moses Walker, Tony Thaxton, Jr., Don Neal and Clarence McKnight

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