APS chapters reap new awards

The American Philatelic Society (APS) has revived its chapter newsletter and website competition, now known as the Star Route Awards.

Since the mid-1800s, the most challenging U.S. mail routes – often rural or sparsely populated areas – were known as “star routes.” The term originated soon after U.S. Congress established a private contract service to deliver mail with “celerity, certainty, and security,” APS Executive Director Scott English wrote in a June 4 blog post.

“In short, they did not care how the mail was delivered, rather that it was delivered. As part of the recordkeeping process, postmasters had to record celerity, certainty, and security in their ledger to indicate the mail was delivered by a private carrier. Before long, postmasters replaced those three words with three stars, and the routes became known as Star Routes,” added English. “Today, we know those routes more commonly as ‘Highway Contract Routes.’”

The APS, which boasts more than a dozen Canadian affiliates, is inviting each of its more than 400 chapter clubs to share their website and newsletter work as part of the competition that echoes the star routes’ “same tough terrains with that same mission,” English said.

The APS will accept chapter submissions until Aug. 5 at 5 p.m. (ET) via stamps.org/star-route.

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