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Home > THE SOCIETY > Identity and activities







The Hellenic Philotelic Society (H.P.S.) was established in 1925 and is the older and the largest philatelic institution in the country with multifarious activities within Greece and abroad.


Its achievements during the past years are highlighted in the following paragraphs.



1.  With a Memorandum addressed to the Ministries of Communication, Finance and Education in 1926, the H.P.S. had suggested the policy which should dictate the rules for each new stamp issue, in a way that none could ever be characterised as speculative.


2.  The H.P.S. had proposed Bill no. 4581/1930 on forgeries, for the protection of collectors which was an international legal avant-garde text and an example for the rest F.I.P. member countries.


3.  A working group of the H.P.S. compiled the entries on "stamp" and "philately" in the Great Hellenic Encyclopaedia, the Encyclopaedic Lexikon and the Elios (=Sun) Encyclopaedia and managed to attribute and establish in the Greek language foreign philatelic terms, such as philately and its derivatives, watermark, tete-beche etc.


4.  With its recommendations in 1931, the stock of the old stamps kept by the Ministry of Finance were destroyed by fire, except from certain sets safeguarded for the Postal and Philatelic Museum, when the time would come for its foundation. With this action the confidence of the international philatelic community on the value of the Greek stamps was established and, consequently, same could never be possible to be thrown in the market (as it had happened in the past), draining the State Revenue and discrediting the Hellenic State.


5.  It has published, in Greek and French, two volumes of a monumental work dealing with the classical Greek issues (Large and Small Hermes Heads etc).


6.  It publishes the bimonthly bilingual journal "PHILOTELIA", without interruption since 1924. This journal has bread many generations of Greek and foreign philatelists and has spread Hellenic philately internationally, the result being its recognition today as one of the best specialised philatelic magazines worldwide.


7.  The H.P.S. established the "Philatelic Library" counting today 60 monographs in English, French and Greek language, thus creating important scientific interest of the foreign philatelic circles on Hellenic philately.


8.  It is a philatelic educational centre and important research centre as well, interested in the dissemination of philatelic knowledge with lectures, papers and philatelic lessons with the foundation of the Study Circle and various Working Groups.


9.  In 1966, the H.P.S. organized for the first time in Greece a National Philatelic Exhibition under the name FEGE '66, with the participation of foreign collectors with collections of Hellenic philatelic interest from 12 countries, which had international impact and was the forerunner of HELLAS institution.


10.  In 1984, it organised the National Philatelic Exhibition HELLAS '84, with the participation of collectors from 13 countries, following the standards of FEGE '66.


11.  For the success of HELLAS institution, the HERMES CLUB was established. Members of the Club are Greeks and foreigners, friends of HELLAS having as a target its moral and financial support.


12.  In 1999, with the occasion of the 75th anniversary festivities of the journal "Philotelia", in co-operation with the Benetatos Cultural Centre of Psychico Municipality, the H.P.S. organized a philatelic presentation with collections of its members under the title "The postal communications and the historical concurrence in the Helladic area: Philately as a supplementary interpretative tool". 


13.  The activities of H.P.S. had essentially contributed to the establishment of the Hellenic Philatelic Societies in New York (1942), Great Britain (1960), Chicago (1968), Germany (1976), Melbourne (1978) and Washington (1986). The above active philatelic organizations with many members of Greek origin and foreigners publish five philatelic journals dedicated to the Hellenic philately and the study of the Greek stamp.


14.  The H.P.S. has planned and is implementing with the Hellenic Philatelic Societies abroad the ambitious program UTOPIA, having as its aim the tracking, classification and collection, with the help of a computer, of the articles and studies on Hellenic philately published in the foreign philatelic press. The program is an international innovative project which is followed up with interest by the international philatelic community.


15.  The H.P.S. has established since 1984 an annual honorary distinction, awarded at a special ceremony, acknowledging the services and thus offering moral reward to individuals or institutions with notable philatelic activities in the past.


16.  Since 1984 too, the H.P.S. has established the annual award "Stephanos Macrymichalos" for the best article published in "Philotelia" the preceding year, in honour of the journal's founder.


17.  In June 2001, the H.P.S. presented its web pages in Greek and English (www.hps.gr). Today, the H.P.S. web pages act as a reference point of Greek philately.


18. In November 2001, in H.P.S. premises an experimental internet auction in cooperation with a leading auctioneer from Switzerland took place. Its great success, which was considered a world first, led to its repetition several times since. 


19.  In January 2004, "Philotelia" journal changed face with newly designed cover and colour pages. In its last six World Exhibition participations (2007-2013), "Philotelia" was awarded six Large Vermeil medals.


20 In February 2005, the H.P.S. organized the National Exhibition with international participation "Philotelia 2005", in the City of Athens Cultural Centre.


21 In January 2008 the acquisition of a storage place in Gerakas was concluded.


22.  In co-operation with the Scientific Association of Lavrion, in October 2009, the H.P.S. co-organized the National Exhibition with international participation "Lavrion 2009".


23.  The European Academy of Philately (AEP) honoured "Philotelia" with the 2010 Philatelic Press Award.


24.  In October 2011, the H.P.S. celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first Greek stamp by organizing the Athens Symposium.


25.  In November 2011, the H.P.S. appeared on Twitter (@hpsgr). 


26. In June 2013, "Opus", the annual volume of the European Academy of Philately (AEP) was released, devoted this time to Hellenic philately. 22 out of the 23 articles that comprised the volume were original research by H.P.S. members.


27. In the autumn of 2013, the H.P.S. organized the National Exhibition with international participation "Hellas-Cyprus 2013". The exhibition took place in the House of Cyprus in the premises of the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Athens.  



The prestige of the H.P.S. as the oldest and largest Philatelic Society of the country gave the opportunity to the State to seek for its services in establishing the State's philatelic policy.


- Since its establishment and up until a few years ago, a representative of the H.P.S. participated in the Advisory Board of Ministry of Transportations (now Hellenic Post) for the issues of the new Greek stamps.


- The H.P.S., following an invitation of F.I.P., had been representing Greece up until the establishment of the Hellenic Philatelic Federation in 1947. 


- The national broadcasting system has occasionally provided air time for philatelic programs which were prepared under the supervision of the H.P.S.


- The confidence inspired by the Hellenic Philotelic Society with its activities and knowledge provides the opportunity to help efficiently with expertisations not only to its members but also to those who wish to disperse their collections by public auctions.


- The important research and publishing work of the H.P.S. was achieved by the contribution of its members without any allowance from the State, except in the case of FEGE '66 and HELLAS '84, which were effected with the cooperation of the Hellenic Tourist Organisation and the Hellenic Post.


- In 1984, the Ministry of Culture, recognizing H.P.S. cultural targets, contributed to its work with a symbolic amount.


- In 1975, the H.P.S. was honoured by the Athens Academy for the Society's scientific work.


- For its philatelic work, the H.P.S. was honoured by the Hellenic Philatelic Federation in 1981 and by the European Philatelic Federation in 2000. 


- For its publishing activity, the H.P.S. has been awarded so far with 100 medals in International Philatelic Exhibitions.


- The H.P.S. today houses its activities in its own premises in central Athens thanks to members' donations and maintains the richest philatelic library in Greece.



© Hellenic Philotelic Society 2001