Discover the rich history of the Philatelists Association in Novi Bečej. From stamp collections to exhibitions, explore the passion for philately in Vojvodina

Association of Philatelists in Novi Bečej

In the territory of today's Vojvodina, which was part of the Habsburg Empire, the use of postage stamps began on June 1, 1850, while in Serbia it started on May 1 (13), 1866. Just a decade after the introduction of postage stamps, the first stamp collectors emerged. Individuals engaged not only in collecting postage stamps but also in studying them are called philatelists.

This trend or passion for collecting could not bypass certain residents of Novi Bečej and Vranjevo. Between the two World Wars, notable philatelists were Đorđe Brikner (Brückner Győrgy), a judicial clerk, and Franja Vajda Senior (Vajda Ferenc), a civil engineer and contractor. After World War II, individuals like Ištvan Švarc (Schwarz István), a Catholic priest, Imre Karolјi (Károlyi Imre), a carpenter, and Milan Knežev also possessed substantial collections of postage stamps.

In the late fifties and early sixties of the last century, the number of postage stamp collectors increased, paving the way for the establishment of the Philatelists Association of Novi Bečej, which happened in 1966. The association did not have its own premises, so meetings were held at Imre Karolјi's house and later at the Cultural and Educational Community, and even at the Fire Department hall. With the construction of the Workers' Hall (today's Cultural Center) in 1976, the Philatelists Association Novi Bečej finally obtained a permanent location. Meetings were held every Sunday morning, and numismatists regularly attended them. Since the association's founding with only about ten enthusiasts of postage stamps, the membership steadily increased, reaching 34 members in 1972, 66 in 1981, and about a hundred members by the end of the 1980s. In addition to distributing postage stamps and growing membership, the main activities of the association included issuing commemorative covers with special postmarks and organizing philatelic exhibitions.

The first exhibition organized by the philatelists of Novi Bečej took place in 1970, with the release of the first commemorative card with a special postmark. The exhibition was realized with significant assistance from the association in Senta, which provided its showcases to our association and had the largest number of exhibitors, contributing greatly to the success of the exhibition. The next exhibition was held from November 27 to December 3, 1972, in the hall of the People's University, but this time, the Novi Bečej association used its own showcases. Members of the association made the showcases, and funds for the purchase of materials were provided by socio-political and economic organizations.

The exhibition featured philatelists from the Hungarian town of Mindszent with 3 showcases, Senta with 7, and our association with 17 showcases. In addition to regular exhibitions of provincial towns under the name "TISAFILA," it is worth mentioning the third Yugoslav exhibition of philatelic pioneers in 1975, abbreviated as "JUPIFI '75," held in Novi Bečej. At that time, the transfer of mail was first carried out by plane from Novi Bečej to Novi Sad. The Philatelists Association Novi Bečej celebrated its fifteenth anniversary in a very impressive manner, marked by an exhibition of commemorative covers issued by the Association and the participation of the "25. maj" museum from Belgrade with its philatelic material.

In addition to the mentioned activities, philatelists from Novi Bečej, with varying degrees of success, participated in exhibitions in Ada, Senta, Novi Sad, Belgrade, and international exhibitions. The main drivers of all the association's activities were Husein Čamdžić, who, along with Dr. Mile Teofanovski, Ištvan Sekereš (Szekeres István), Radovan Popov, the brothers Ištvan and Jožef Pataki (Pataki István, Pataki József), Ištvan Neborovski (Neborovszki István), and Vitomir Vito Nikolić, significantly popularized philately in Novi Bečej.

During its existence, the Philatelists Association Novi Bečej marked all significant economic and cultural events in Novi Bečej on commemorative covers. The designs of commemorative postmarks and covers were mostly done by Milorad Josimović. Until the beginning of digital printing, the printing of covers was done in the former "1. maj" printing house in Novi Bečej, and later at the engraver Velemir Maletin's. Until the end of the 1980s, the work of the Philatelists Association Novi Bečej followed an upward trajectory, but later, it experienced stagnation, and by the mid-1990s, even its survival was in question. The association was registered until 2009 when the last commemorative cover was issued on February 16 (in collaboration with the Native Club of Novi Bečej and Vranjevo residents), according to record 76, with a special postmark commemorating the centenary of the death of Dr. Vladimir Glavaš and the opening of the "Glavaševa kuća" museum.

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