By Jerry Gerald FitzSimmons, Secretary/Treasurer of the Rotary on Stamps Fellowship
Attracted by a new stamp issued in 1955 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Rotary International, the American Topical Association formed a study unit to gather Rotarians who shared an interest in stamps. This partnership allowed Rotarians to connect with one another and exchange ideas, which led to the first publication of Rotary International on Stamps Handbook in 1957 filled with various stamps created by the group. In 1971, the group was officially recognized as a Rotary Fellowship expanding their reach to an international level.
Since 2001, our fellowship has featured a booth at every RI Convention with a stamp picking table, cachets for each convention and issued personalized stamps. The 2005 Convention in Chicago celebrated both the 100th Anniversary of Rotary International and also the 50th Anniversary of the Rotary on Stamps Fellowship.
Our group also promotes how clubs and districts around the world are using stamps to highlight and celebrate their achievements. Below are some recent examples:
- In Togo, a combination sheet of four stamps and a souvenir sheet were issued to pay tribute to the work of local Rotary clubs, specifically recognizing a new school in Yara Kabyl.
- In India, a special envelope cachet and cancel were issued by District 3000 to commemorate the Rotary Foundation Centennial. The envelope displays photographs of Paul P. Harris and Arch C. Klumph.
- In the Netherlands, two new stamps were issued, one for the RI Convention, and one for the Rotary Foundation Centennial.
- In France, the Rotary Club of Beziers Sud issued a stamp as part of their fundraising efforts for retinal and medical research.
The Rotary on Stamps Fellowship is dedicated to promoting the hobby of topical philately as it pertains to Rotary International and provides an opportunity for fellowship and service. We continue to produce six full color bulletins each year and our album, catalog, and encyclopedia are updated annually and produced in full color. Learn more about us on our website and join us in our stamp collecting and sharing adventures.
Throughout the month of June, we’ll be celebrating Rotary Fellowships Month by sharing inspirational services stories from various Rotary Fellowships. We hope these stories inspire you to join or start a Rotary Fellowship.