We follow the international news on all philatelic items, but especially on aero- and astrophilately : exhibitions, news from our members, flash-news on specific items (first flights etc.), obituaries, F.I.P. news, ... If you have any news you want to see published on these pages, please send us the information.

In the long history of aero- and astrophilately, we had great men promoting our hobby. F.I.S.A. wants to have these great aero- and astrophilatelists remembered in this chapter.
  • February 2020 : Major (Rtd.) Richard K. Malott

    Major (Rtd.) Richard K. Malott, CD, M.Sc., B.A. / 1927-2020

    Dick Malott was the foremost Canadian aerophilatelist for many years.

    Dick began collecting and researching Canadian air mails in the 1950s, and was able to interview several of the pilots who had made the pioneer flights. He developed outstanding collections of "Canadian Pioneer and Semi-Official Air Mail Flown Covers", and of "Canadian Interrupted Covers", which won 12 large and 5 small gold medals internationally, and many Canadian and American Air Mail Society awards.

    Dick was also very involved in organized philately. Among his many roles he was an international judge; Editor-in-Chief for the first edition of The Air Mails of Canada and Newfoundland - part of the 6th edition of The American Air Mail Catalogue; a Past President of the Canadian Aerophilatelic Society; and a former Chair of the American Air Mail Society's Awards Committee.

    Dick was elected a member of the Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame in 1996. He also received many other awards over the years, including election as a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada in 1986, as a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of London in 2005, and was presented with a Golden F.I.S.A. Pin “for his service and devotion to aero- and astrophilately”, by the Federation Internationale Des Societes Aerophilateliques in 2009.

    In spite of all his achievements and awards, Dick never seemed to slow down: he was a judge at ORAPEX in 2018, on the organizing committee of ORAPEX for 2019, and continued to support and encourage other philatelists. He will be missed by many people.

    A detailed philatelic biography of Dick Malott has been posted on The Canadian Aerophilatelic Society's website at www.aerophilately.ca

  • September 30th 2019 : Walter Hermann Sieger

    Hermann Walter Sieger Honorary Member of F.I.S.A. Hermann Walter Sieger died on September 30th 2019.

    On September 30th 2019 the well known philatelist and promotor Hermann Walter Sieger was put out from his longtime sickness. Sieger was Born in Schwäbisch-Gmünd on April 6th 1928 and was known for years worldwide with his Briefmarkenhaus Hermann E. Sieger. Originally mostly "Zeppelinpost", later on for thematic subscriptions and new stamps from all over the world.

    Consul Sieger was founder of the Bundes Philatelistischer Prüfer BPP 1958, as well as founder of the International Auditor Society AIEP 1954 and the International Association of Philatelic Journalists AIJP. Hermann Walter Sieger found his home in the Consilium Philatelicum des BDPh in 1994. Together with Dr. Heinz Jaeger, Honorary-President of BDPh, he was Vice-President from 2000 to 2015 and then became Honorary Member.

    Hermann Walter Sieger has always been an Honorary Member of F.I.S.A. for his work in Aerophilately. The Board of F.I.S.A. gives his condolences to the family.

  • July 30th, 2019 : President Lee Downer (AAMS) passed away

    It's a sad day for the American Air Mail Society with the passing of President Lee Downer in July 2019. Despite his battle with a brain tumor, Lee continued to take his duties seriously and worked tirelessly in his final days and months to implement programs and changes to help carry the AAMS into the future.

    One of those duties was preparing the digital version of the Airpost Journal for email circulation. Although the email had my name on it, the message was Lee's. That job is now mine. I just spent about three hours on the phone with Constant Contacts' technical support and hope I got this right. I expect I can get it sent out this month and hope I can remember how to do it again next month.

    Lee will be missed but I know through recent communications that David Ball is stepping into the president's role. I hope we'll all support him as he assumes the duties.

    Vickie Canfield Peters, Editor of the AIRPOST JOURNAL

  • May 2018 : Ross Wood passed away.

    Past-President of F.I.S.A., Ross Wood from Australia, died on May 31st 2018.

    Vale: Ross Wood FAP (1945 – 2018), by Glen Stafford, Australian Philatelic Society.

    I am having extreme trouble writing this Vale for Ross Wood, as he was a very close personal and philatelic friend. I met him for the first time in 2000 when he judged my novice class exhibit at Philatelic Society of Rockingham and Kwinana Districts. Along with John DiBiase, he encouraged me to be involved with organised philately. He encouraged and mentored me in organised philately over the following 18 years.

    Ross Wood provided outstanding services to organised philately in many executive capacities. Some of his roles included the following:

    he served for 38 years at the Philatelic Society of WA (PSWA) in the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee Member; 25 years on the Western Australian Philatelic Council (WAPC) in the positions of President, Vice President, Public Development Officer and Secretary; 17 years with the Australian Philatelic Federation (APF) in the positions of President, Vice President, Immediate Past President and Secretary. Ross was the APF’s Aerophilately Commission Delegate – a role he had held for the past 15 years. Ross was also the longest serving APF executive.

    At the international level, Ross had been the current President of the FIP Aerophilately Commission in addition to being an internationally qualified judge for both FIAP and FIP exhibitions in the areas of Postal Stationery and Aerophilately.

    From 2009 to 2015, Ross served as the President of FISA (Federation of Aero and Astro Philately) and had been a FISA Board Member since 2009, representing Australasia.

    Ross had been the long-time editor of several philatelic publications including: PSWA’s Stamp Hinges journal for 30 years; the WAPC’s Stamp Groper journal for 21 years; and, more recently, The Australian Aerophilatelist for the Australian Airmail Society.

    Ross must have known how to squeeze more than 24 hours into each day, because he had also found time to hold more than ten exhibiting / judging workshops at the state and national levels. He had run Aerophilately exhibiting workshops at the national level, such as the one held during the Canberra 2010 show. Also at the international FIP level during Melbourne 2013, PhilaKorea 2014 and Singapore 2015. Ross also championed the successful introduction of the new state-level ‘Subject’ class in recent years.

    In 1997, his strong contribution to the WA philatelic world was recognised with Ross being awarded the EM Hasluck Medal – the highest philatelic award in WA. He had also been awarded life membership in both the Western Australian Philatelic Council and the Philatelic Society of WA.

    In 2016, Ross was awarded the highest honour that Australian Organised Philately can give with an APF Fellow of the Australian Philatelic Order (FAP).

    To top it off, for those of us who had the pleasure to know him as a personal friend, he was not only a collector, judge and exhibitor; he was a tireless worker, volunteer and a top bloke. We had many jovial late nights together in various places around the world discussing stamps, horse racing and his beloved Collingwood Football Club.

    Ross, you will be sadly missed by the whole philatelic community.

    Glen Stafford

    F.I.S.A. offers its condolences to the family.

  • April 9th, 2018 : Dr. Karlheinz Herdt

    Reiner Stimm, President of APCD, reported on April 15th that Dr. Karlheinz Herdt passed away on April 9th, just before his 86th birthday.

    Dr. Herdt was Honorary Member of APCD. He was President of the "Zentralen Arbeitskreises Luftpost - ZAKL)" in the DDR, and was a well known national and international as an author, exhibitor and judge.

    APCD and FISA will always have the best remembrances and we will always remember him.

  • February 2017 : Dr. Hans Langisch

    I.L.A., the Interessengemeinschaft Lufthansa Aerophilatelie e.V., has to announce the death of its Vice-President Dr. Hans Langisch.

    Dr. Langisch was a indefatigable philatelist and visited almost every philatelic fairs with the “ILA-Aktiven”. He was always ready to help other collectors and was the right hand in preparing the magazine “Rundschreiben” of the society. Quite and humble, he was always there when needed.

    I.L.A. will always remember him and offer sincere condolences to the family.

  • July 2016 : Roland Felix Kohl, Past-President of F.I.S.A.

    Roland Felix Kohl was born in Dresden, Germany on March 3, 1921 of a Swiss mother and German father. He completed his basic education in 1939. Always interested in aviation, airplanes and dirigibles, he wanted to become an aeronautical engineer. When he started to collect stamps as a youth he reflected his penchant for aviation by seeking stamps related to that field. His ambitions took a change in 1941 when he was drafted into the German Army. Trained as a telegrapher, he was serving in that capacity when his unit was transferred to the Russian front and was wounded during fighting around Latvia, evacuated back to Germany, treated and recovered. While convalescing in Dresden he survived the February 13, 1945 horrific bombing that virtually destroyed that city. With his mother, he escaped to Leipzig where his sister, Yvonne, lived. However, she had moved to the outskirts of Nuremberg and so Roland and his mother found transportation there. Reunited, they awaited the arrival of the U.S. Army which they joyfully welcomed. When he sought to continue his education, there were no classes for Aeronautical Engineering and he enrolled in the Civil Engineering program. Upon graduation in 1952, he got a job as an engineer working for the U.S. Airforce rebuilding damaged/destroyed airports.

    An old friend who had emigrated to New York before the war returned to Germany on business and tracked Roland down. He convinced Roland to come to America. Aided by his aunt and family who lived in New York, he found a place to live and got a job working for Amman and Whitney the famous bridge builders. With a team of other engineers, he designed the huge cable anchorage for the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

    Roland met a lovely Swedish girl, Kerstin, in New York, fell in love, and married her in January 1958. They lived happily in the city, both became U.S. citizens. In 1962 they decided to return to Europe and Roland quickly found jobs working for American engineering firms rebuilding industrial plants and refineries in Germany. In 1970 he was offered a job as Chief Engineer for the Zurich International Airport. He and Kerstin were delighted to move to Switzerland. Unfortunately, Kerstin’s health deteriorated and eventually she died of cancer in May 1995.

    All through the years after the end of World War II, Roland enlarged and maintained his philatelic collection and became active in several philatelic organizations. While at an International Philatelic Exhibition in Thailand, he fell in love with the country and after Kerstin’s death purchased a 12th floor condominium on the beach in Patong, Phuket. He was there on December 26, 2004 when the historic tsunami hit. Fortunately he was located in a sturdy 30 story building and was an observer of all the chaos that ensued.

    Eventually, he developed glaucoma and macular degeneration and hearing loss. Unable to get good health care he decided in 2011 to return to the United States and live with his first cousin, André and his wife Sally in Delaware. Succumbing to various ailments, he passed away peacefully on July 11. 2016. He was 95 years old.

  • 2018 : Obituary Donald Holmes

    Donald Holmes will be known to many aerophilatelists as the author of Air Mail: An Illustrated History 1793-1981. This beautifully illustrated, thoroughly researched book, was an attempt to introduce the general public to the fascination of aeropostal history, by means of a coffee table style book. Although published in 1982, it is still widely regarded as the best one volume history of the early air mail flights and services around the world.

    Donald was also a regular contributor of letters and articles on a wide variety of topics, to the American Air Mail Society's Airpost Journal, and the Canadian Aerophilatelic Society's Canadian Aerophilatelist. In the years after this book was published, Donald moved from the U.S.A. to Scotland, then to England, to France, and then back to England. Donald was interested in not just the “facts” of history, but the significance of different events in the development of aviation and air mail.

    One of his particular interests, was the relative importance of the Wright Brothers’ flights at Kitty Hawk on December 17th1903, and Wilbur Wright’s flight at Le Mans in France on August 8th 1908:

    • the Wright Brothers first flights in December 1903 received little attention at the time. - There was in fact great scepticism as to whether they had actually flown. In 1906, for example, the Paris edition of the Herald Tribune carried an article on the Wright Brothers with the headline “Flyers or Liars?”. In 1908, when there were delays before Wilbur Wright’s first demonstration flight in France, the press often referred to them as “Bluffeurs”.

    • it was the August 8th 1908 flight from Les Hunaudieres race track at Le Mans, when Wilbur Wright amazed the crowd with his ability to make controlled turns, that turned the Wright Brothers into international celebrities. - The Paris daily newspaper Figaro wrote that, “It was not merely a success, but a triumph; a conclusive trial and a decisive victory for aviation, the news of which will revolutionize scientific circles around the world.” When they returned to the U.S.A. in 1909 there were two days of festivities in Dayton.

    Nowadays, however, the first flights on December 17th 1903 are frequently regarded as one of the most significant events of the 20th Century, but Wilbur’s flight on August 8th 1908 receives little attention. In a “Letter to the Editor” in the May 1999 Air Post Journal, Donald wrote that: “It seems to me that this easy to remember date 8.8.08 has been short changed in our awareness. This flight –Wilbur’s first flight in France – was the one that awakened the world to the importance of what happened at Kitty Hawk in 1903.” During his years in France, Donald became very involved with the Centenary celebrations for the 1908 flight being organized in Le Mans, and in the group Aero-Retro which built a replica of the Wright Flyer III that flew as part of the Centenary celebrations.

    As part of the Centenary commemoration, and to try and raise awareness of Wilbur Wright’s flight at Le Mans, Donald wrote a second book: Wilbur’s Story - a Personal View of the Role of France in Wilbur Wright’s Life. It is profusely illustrated with reproductions of old postcards, etc, and provides a thoroughly researched and highly readable account of the events before and after Wilbur’s flight on 8-8-08.

    Donald was elected to the Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame in 2005, to honour “his dedication to aerophilately and aeropostal history”.

    He is survived by his wife Lesley, and his daughter Carolyn.

    Chris Hargreaves

  • September 2015 : Dr. Teddy Dahinden

    Dr. Teddy Dahinden was born on January 6th 1926 in Switzerland.

    He was the initiator and strong promoter of Astrophilately. As founder and President of the Society of Space Philatelists in Zürich in 1969 he organised the first 3 WERABA specialised Space Philately Exhibitions in Zurich and Luzern 1970-73.

    In 1976 was elected President of the Swiss Philatelic Federation, chairing it for eleven years, where he continued the promotion by succeeding in the acceptance of the new Class Astrophilately.

    He was also a great Thematic collector. His exhibit “The Dog: Man's Friend and Helper”, built together with his wife Henrike, reached several Large Gold medals.

    He was Director and FIP Vicepresident.

    Dr. Dahinden passed away on the September 12th 2015 at the age of 89 years.

    Source: FEPA News

  • April 2015 : Avedis Ketchian

    The Aerophilatelic Society of Argentina reports that on Thursday, April 28 passed away our former vice president, Avedis Ketchian as a result of an accident on the street that could not be recovered.

    He was 79 years old and was President of Sociedad Argentina de Aerofilatelia (Aerofila), FIP Juror Aerophilately Class, and a leading exhibitor of Aerophilately. It is an unfortunate loss for Philately and their many friends. Our condolences to his beloved family. Rest in peace.

  • December 2010 : Kuno Sollors, Past-President of F.I.S.A.

    2010 - December : Kuno Sollors Kuno Sollors (1932-2010) of Germany was aerophilately's historian. A big man with a big heart and a big laugh, he promoted aerophilately throughout the world.

    Following his vice presidency under Roland Kohl, Kuno served as president of FISA (International Federation of Aerophilatelic Societies) from 1998 to 2007. He reached out to airmail clubs and societies worldwide, encouraging them to join and partic-ipate in the federation. He traveled to many exhibitions and worked tirelessly to promote the collecting of airmails. He sought to increase recognition for aerophilately at the local, national and international lev-els. Since joining AAMS in the early 1960s, he worked to bring FISA Con-gresses to North America in con-junction with AAMS conventions.

    Kuno authored major aerophilat­elic works on labels of German avia-tion events and zeppelins. His book, Zeppelin, Parseval & Andere Luftschiffe, was based on his collection and called the "Sollors" catalog by collectors. He contributed as an editor to various airmail catalogs, including American Air Mail Catalogue and the Michel Zeppelin-und Flug-post-Spezial-Katalog. He was a former president of the Arge Zeppelinpost, researcher, judge and dealer. Kuno received many honors during his lifetime, including the FISA Gold Pin in 1990, FISA Gold Medal in 1995, George W. Angers Memorial Award in 1996 and Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame in 2005.

    In addition to collecting aero labels, Sollors assembled one of the great aerophilatelic libraries. For his lifetime collecting achievement, Kuno assembled and prepared on annotated pages a collection of the history of aerophilately and astrophilately, including its personalities, exhibitions, special events, FISA activities, souvenirs and photographs. This collec­tion is unique and tells the history of the field in a unique way. Without his tireless efforts to find the documents and details, most of this history would have been lost. A portion of his exhibit on aerophilatelic activities in North America has been exhibited in the Court of Honor during a FISA Congress in the United States.

    Kuno had a special connection to the United States. As a young man, he embarked on an adventure that took him from Germany to El Paso, Texas. While working, he grew to love the southern landscape and the TexMex culture. He made lifelong friends, perfected his English and learned American humor. Kuno was charismatic, a great storyteller who enjoyed sharing ideas and laughter, especially over a beer. He took his knowledge, love of life, and charm with him as he tirelessly promoted his love of aerophilately and its community.

    — Cheryl Ganz, The Airpost Journal, January 2011