SHP Constitution and By-Laws


of the



 Revised 1 December 2018

 Article I – Name

Section 1.   The name of the organization shall be the Society for Hungarian Philately.

Article II – Purpose

Section 1.   This Society shall be a non-profit organization whose purpose is to bring together persons with an interest in the postage stamps and other philatelic material of Hungary, and to generally encourage and promote participation in Hungarian philately.

Article III – Membership

Section 1.  Membership shall be open to any person sixteen years of age or over who is of good repute and interested in Hungarian philately.

Section 2.  Such person may become a member of the Society only after his application has been  approved by a majority of the Executive Board.  The election shall be by ballot of members voting.  All candidates shall make application in writing on a prescribed form endorsed by an active member in good standing. Applicants may chose to become a regular member or an on-line only member. Application for membership shall be accompanied by the annual dues. Refund to the applicant shall be made in the event of rejection of application.

Section 3.  Persons becoming members during the first 3 quarters of a calendar year shall be considered to be a member for that calendar year upon payment of the current annual dues.  All issues of the News for that year shall be sent by the Editor.  A new member joining in the 4th quarter will receive only the 4th quarter news and will be assessed a full years dues and will be shown as paid through the following calendar year.

Section 4.  Honorary membership may be conferred upon any person by the Society as a token of appreciation for outstanding service in the field of philately, or other reasons, upon recommendation and the approval of the Executive Board of the Society.  There shall be no dues charged for this membership.

Section 5.  The Executive Board, at its pleasure, may offer the position of Patron to a distinguished member.  This is a lifetime position and carries all the privileges of honorary membership including exemption from dues.

Section 6.  A member in good standing within the meaning of that term as used in the Constitution and By-Laws, is one who is not in default in the payment of dues or other indebtedness to the Society, and against whom no charges are pending.

Section 7.  Any person who has remained a member in good standing in the Society for the past thirty consecutive years shall be granted “Life Membership” status. As a token of appreciation for the many years of service and support, Life Members are no longer required to pay annual dues or fees to the Society.

Article IV – Officers

Section 1.  The officers of the Society shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer for a term of four years. They can be reelected; however, the President shall not serve more than three consecutive terms.

Section 2.  Eligibility.  Any member of the Society in good standing, who is 18 years of age or over, shall be eligible to hold the office of the President, Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer in the Society.  There is no age limit to hold any other office or to serve upon any committee.

Section 3.  The President shall preside at meetings of the Society, shall appoint all committees, and shall perform all the duties that ordinarily pertain to this office. The President shall conduct meetings of the Executive Board and shall be an ex-officio member of all standing committees.  The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the Society and as such shall be responsible for the appropriate direction and conduct of the affairs of the Society for the benefit of the members.

Section 4.  The Vice-President shall, in absence of the President, perform the duties pertaining to the office, assuming full duties and power.  In the event of the permanent disability or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall assume the office of the President for the remainder of the President’s term.  The resulting vacancy in the office of the Vice-President shall be filled as provided in Article X, Section 5.

Section 5.  The Secretary shall issue notices of Society business meetings, of elections and of other matters to be voted on as required by these By-Laws or at the direction of the President and the Executive Board.  The Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Society and the Executive Board and shall publish these proceedings in the News of Hungarian Philately (NHP).  The Secretary shall attend to all correspondence of the Society. The Secretary shall keep a record of the Society’s property.

Section 6.  The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due to the Society from dues, auction and sales circuit benefits, and other sources, and shall keep a record of all receipts and disbursements.  The Treasurer shall have authority to pay out money from the general fund for postage, stationery, and other necessary expenses, but not exceeding seventy-five dollars in any month without sanction of the Executive Board.  He/she shall keep a proper account of the financial position of the Society and shall report annually on this, as required, to the Executive Board.  The Treasurer shall fulfill any applicable Federal or State laws and is responsible for the annual incorporation filing. The Treasurer shall maintain the master register of the paid-up membership of the Society and will furnish copies of this list to the other board members.

Article V – Executive Board

Section 1.  The Executive Board shall consist of the elected officers of the Society, up to four Directors-at-large (who shall be elected in the same manner as the regular officers for a term of four years), the immediate past President shall be a member-at-large of the Board for one term and four advisory members (Newsletter Editor, Auction Chairperson,  and Society Historian) appointed in accordance with Article VI), and shall have full power at all times to act on all questions pertaining to the Society’s interest and welfare.

Section 2.  The Executive Board will also have the authority to amend the By-Laws, provided that (a) two-thirds of the quorum of Board members are in support and (b) the proposed changes are published in the NHP and general membership commentary is solicited with a set response time limit.  If objections are raised by the membership, the Board shall vote again.  This time, a unanimous vote of the Executive Board shall be required to place an amendment into the By-Laws; however, the vote of the Executive Board shall be final.

Section 3.  The Executive Board shall be the governing body of the Society and shall direct the management of its affairs. It shall be responsible for the finances and property of the Society, and for the enforcement of the Constitution and By-Laws. Any expenditure amounting to over fifty percent (50%) of the cash balance in the Society treasury shall be subject to approval of the general membership.

Section 4.  Meetings of the Executive Board shall be held at least once a year, either in person in which a regular meeting of the Society is held or via electronic communication, or at any time at the discretion of the President.  A report of the activities of the Board shall be made to the Society in the subsequent issue of the NHP.

Article VI – Appointed Officers

Section 1.  Appointments from active membership may be made at the discretion of the President with the concurrence of the Executive Board for the positions of Newsletter Editor, Society Historian*, Auction Chairperson, Sales Circuit Manager* or any similar office which may seem desirable, and such appointees shall continue in office at the discretion of the Executive Board. *Note that these two positions are currently in suspense.

Section 2.  The Newsletter Editor shall be responsible for soliciting, compiling, and editing the Society journal, which is the most important communication tool for the Society.  The size, format, and frequency of the issues shall be at the discretion of the Editor.  The opinions expressed in the journal shall be, in entirety, the opinions of the authors and shall not be viewed as the official view of the Society or any of its officers unless explicitly stated as such.

Section 3.  The Society Historian** shall be the custodian of the Society’s legal documents and philatelic library and shall, subject to the approval of the Executive Board, requisition purchase of material for the library.  He/she shall maintain a history of the Society, and shall be responsible for archiving a copy of the quarterly newsletter and other published material.  The Society Historian shall make available the Society’s library and philatelic reference materials to any member in good standing who shall bear all of the costs of duplication and postage for the use of such material.  ** This appointed office is currently inactive and vacant.

Section 4.  The Auction Chairperson shall have charge of all auctions held at the regular meetings of the Society or by mail, subject to the rules in Article XIV.

Section 5.  The Sales Circuit Manager** shall have charge of all materials submitted for the sales circuit, subject to the rules in Article XV.  **This appointed office is currently inactive and vacant.

Article VII – Removal of Officers

Any individual whose behavior is deemed injurious to the Society may be removed from office by the unanimous vote of the remaining members of the Executive Board. Due process shall be safeguarded by the Presidential appointment of three active Society members, who shall not be Officers, who shall examine the case.  The decision of this examination committee shall be final upon rendering the report to the Executive Board.  If the behavior of the President is in question, the panel shall be appointed by the Vice-President.  Any two members of the Executive Board may petition for a special Board meeting to initiate such action.

Article VIII – Committees

Section 1.  The Standing Committees shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Board, and shall continue in office at the discretion of the Executive Board.

(a.) Membership Committee shall comprise of the Secretary, Treasurer, and President. The Membership Committee shall review all applications for membership in the Society to insure eligibility of each applicant.  After such examination the Committee shall present its recommendation to the Executive Board for action.  Upon election the new member will receive a welcoming letter issued by the Secretary.

(b.) Philatelic Sales Committee shall comprise of the Auction Chairperson and the Sales Circuit Manager (currently inactive) as co-Chairpersons, and two members. The Philatelic Sales Committee shall be empowered to arrange for the purchase of, and sale of suitable philatelic material obtained on consignment or with Society funds, subject to approval of the Executive Board.

(c.) Nominating Committee shall comprise of a Chairperson and two members. The Nominating Committee shall be chaired by the senior-most past President who is not eligible or running for re-election. The Nominating Committee shall be appointed three months before a scheduled election.  It shall prepare a slate of officers and Executive Board members, which shall be presented to the general membership to be voted on in the first quarter of the election year. The choice of the Nominating Committee need not be considered as final, and nominations for the officers may be made by any Society member in good standing in writing to the Executive Board prior to the mailing of the election ballots.

(d.) Program and Exhibition Committee shall comprise of a Chairperson and two members. The Program and Exhibition Committee shall promote the exhibition of Hungarian material at philatelic meetings and shall work with the local organizing committee to achieve maximum Society participation.

(e.) Publications Committee shall comprise of the Newsletter Editor as Chairperson and two members. The Publications Committee shall be responsible for on-going publication of the NHP journal, auction listings, the Directory of Members, and monographs based on Hungarian philatelic subjects.  The financial expenditures of the Publications Committee shall be approved by the Executive Board.

(f.) Membership Drive and Publicity Committee shall comprise of the Secretary and two members. Membership Drive and Publicity Committee shall be responsible for promoting the interests of the Society and actively campaigning for new members.  The maintenance of an electronic communications network and Internet web-site shall be the responsibility of this committee.  The financial expenditures of the Membership Drive and Publicity Committee shall be approved by the Executive Board.  Applications for new memberships shall be sent to the Society’s post office box address and shall be processed by the Membership Committee.

(g.) The Representative to the American Philatelic Society shall be a designated elected officer who is a member of the APS and he/she shall maintain the Society’s affiliation and cooperation with the APS.

Section 2.   Additional committees may be similarly appointed and governed as may seem desirable or useful to the welfare of the Society.

Article IX – Meetings

Section 1.   Regular meetings shall be held once each year at a time and place to be determined by the Executive Board. Meetings may be conducted in person or by electronics communications media provided that minutes are kept by the Secretary, published in the NHP, and conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.  The Secretary’s and the Treasurer’s reports shall be included in the minutes of the meeting submitted for publication in the NHP.  In case of an electronic meeting, a response call to order will constitute participation and will count towards the quorum, which shall be two-thirds of the Board membership.  Meetings may also coincide with the Society’s participation in a philatelic show at a time and place determined by the Executive Board.

Section 2.   Special meetings may be called by the president at his discretion, or based on the recommendation of the Executive Board, or upon petition of 20% of the members in good standing.

Section 3.   The order of business at all regular meetings shall be:

  1. Call to order by the President
  2. Old business
  3. Report of the Executive Board
  4. Report of Committees
  5. New business
  6. Adjournment

Article X – Elections

Section 1.  Elections shall be held every fourth year.

Section 2.  Nominations for Officers and Directors-at-large shall be made in accordance with the procedures listed in Article VIII, Section 1(c).

Section 3.  Election shall be by written, mail-in ballot sent to the Society’s address. Tellers shall be appointed by the Executive Board to collect and count the ballots, and transmit the results to the presiding officer, who shall thereupon declare those nominees receiving the greatest number of the votes cast, elected to the respective offices.

Section 4.  Those elected shall take office immediately.

Section 5.  If a vacancy occurs in any elective office, it shall be filled for the remaining term by an appointee of the Executive Board until the next regular election, except as provided in Article IV, Section 4.

Article XI – Quorum

Section 1.  Six (6) or more active members shall constitute a quorum at any regular or special meeting of the Society. Decisions on all questions, except in matters distinctly specified in the By-Laws, shall be by majority vote of those members present.

Section 2.  Four (4) or more members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum.

Section 3.  A majority shall constitute a quorum at all Committee meetings.

Article XII – Annual Dues and Other Fees

Section 1.  The annual dues, based upon the recommendation of the Treasurer, shall be in the amount voted by the Executive Board at the annual meeting, and shall be payable to the Treasurer, in advance, on or before January 31. A member may pay dues in advance for up to (3) years at rate currently established.

Section 2.  Any member whose dues remain unpaid on the first day of April of the current year first shall be notified by the Treasurer that his/her account is in arrears; if dues are not paid in thirty days, all privileges of membership shall be suspended, resulting in his automatic expulsion from the Society.

Section 3.  Reinstatement of members whose membership has expired for non-payment of dues may be made only by a vote of the Society and after payment of all arrears.

Section 4.  Any member who has resigned his membership, and who was a member in good standing at the time of his resignation, wishing to be reinstated as a member will need to reapply for membership.

Article XIII – Expenditures

Section 1.  Minor expenditures, not to exceed seventy-five dollars in any one case, may be authorized to the Treasurer by the President of the Society. All other expenditures shall be approved by the Executive Board, subject to the limitation imposed in Article V, Section 3, of these By-Laws.

Section 2.  By two-thirds majority vote at any meeting, funds of the Society may be expended for the purchase of books, paper, furniture, etc., for the use of the Society members subject to such conditions as the Executive Board may establish. Stamps for distribution to members by auction, sales circuit or new issues subscription may also be purchased by a similar vote under the direction of the Executive Board. No members of the Society or its Executive Board may receive salaries or reimbursement for travel or lodging expenses in conjunction with the business of the Society. Out-of-pocket expenses for postage and office supplies are considered minor expenses and are reimbursable. Costs for the publication of the NHP as well as other Society literature are considered as expenses of the Society treasury.

Section 3.  In the event of the dissolution of the Society, requested by unanimous vote at any meeting, disposal of all Society assets will be made in accordance with Connecticut law.

Article XIV – Auction

Section 1.  All sales of stamps or articles by auction, excepting those owned by the Society as a whole, shall be subject to a commission, the amount of which shall be determined by the Executive Board based on the recommendation of the Auction Chairperson, collectible from the buyer as well as from the seller. Commissions from the auctions shall be payable to the Treasurer at least twice during the calendar year.

Section 2.  Members may submit stamps, books, or other articles of interest to the Society Auction Chairperson, for sale to the highest bidder, and in doing so waive all rights of protest against his decision. In case of disputes, the decision of the Auction Chairperson shall be final.

Section 3.  Non-members may be accorded the privilege of auction bidding at the discretion of the auctioneer.

Section 4.  No member whose dues are in arrears on or after June first of each year shall have the privilege of participating in auction sales.

Section 5.  The Society or the Auction Chairperson shall accept no responsibility for the inaccurate descriptions of the items or the authenticity of the material, although customary care shall be taken to assure the accuracy of the time with the sellers’ descriptions.

Article XV – Sales Circuit*

Section 1.  *These two sections are currently suspended (inactive). The Sales Circuit Manager shall operate the circuit in accordance to the rules for the circuit promulgated in the NHP. These rules are modeled on the sales circuit of the American Philatelic Society. Members of the Sales Circuit are responsible for bearing the cost of postage and insurance for the circuit. Sellers shall be charged 15% commission. Commissions from the Sales Circuit shall be payable to the Treasurer at least twice during the calendar year.

Section 2.  Members may submit stamps, books, or other articles of interest to the Society Sales Circuit Manager for sale, and in doing so waive all rights of protest against his decision. In case of disputes, the decision of the Sales Circuit Manager shall be final.

Article XVI – Termination of Membership

Section 1.  The membership of any member whose conduct is injurious to the Society or who is out of harmony with the principles of the organization, may be terminated by two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Board, at a meeting of the board called for that purpose, provided that said member shall have been given at seven days’ notice in writing of such pending action. Said member may be represented at the hearing before the executive board by a member in good standing, who shall act as counsel. Said counsel may have the right of appeal to the Society.

Section 2.  Termination Causes. Failure to settle philatelic indebtedness for auction or other philatelic material purchases by any member after proper notification methods have been utilized and documented shall be just cause for termination.

Section 3.  Resignation. The resignation of any member of the Society shall be in writing, addressed to the secretary, and shall be accepted by the Executive Board, provided that all indebtedness of said member of the Society has been paid.

Article XVII – Parliamentary Authority

Except as otherwise provided for in the Constitution or By-Laws of the Society, Robert’s “Rules of Order, Revised” shall be the authority on questions of parliamentary law and proceedings.

Article XVIII – Auditing of Accounts

The account of every officer handling funds of the Society shall be audited annually by two members of the Society appointed by the executive board and at any other time that the board shall so direct.

Article XIX. Dissolution

The Society may be dissolved by the unanimous vote of the Executive Board at any regular or special meeting.


UPDATED 12/1/18