In October 1994, CPC members gathered in Minnesota to celebrate 25 years of the Christmas Philatelic Club. On a bright and sunny Thursday, October 20, 1994, CPC members boarded a bus in Minneapolis and travelled to Harmony, Minnesota, for the First Day of Issue of the United States contemporary Christmas stamps.

The CPC had conducted a letter-writing campaign since 1990 to have the United States Postal Service issue its Christmas stamps in Harmony, the birthplace of the Christmas Philatelic Club.

The town of Harmony welcomed its visitors in style. Christmas decorations were out all over town. Lampposts were trimmed for Christmas along the main street and many of the businesses had replicas of Christmas stamps painted on their windows. The Post Office had a lovely Christmas tree in its lobby with garlands adorning the Main Office. At 11 a.m before the ceremony, the women of Greenfield Lutheran Church prepared a delicious lunch for those in attendance who took time out to eat.

The First Day Ceremony was held at Filmore Central High School. When CPC members arrived, the place was already alive with excitement. Close to one thousand people had turned out for the Ceremony. As one entered the gymnasium, the Community Band played Christmas carols. On stage the Club was represented by President, Robert Haslewood. In the audience were two members of Ken Mackenzie's family (founder of the Club) -- his children Ken Mackenzie Jr. and Ruth Anne Pechacek. Also representing CPC was Santa Claus, (a.k.a. Anthony B. Anthony), who was handing out autographed pictures which people later turned into collector's items by adding the Santa Claus stamp and a first day cancel.

Speeches were given by local dignitaries, members of the USPS, Mary Ann Owens of the Stamp Advisory Committee and CPC President Robert Haslewood. Christmas carols were sung by Nancy Evenson. One speaker was the CEO of Harmony Enterprises where Ken Mackenzie worked while in Harmony. He spoke of Ken and how Ken founded the Christmas Philatelic Club. After the ceremony, attendees had the dignitaries sign the First Day Ceremony programs which had been given out.

Others went into the cafeteria where long tables had been set up all around the room. The Post Office occupied tables along both sides: one side to sell stamps, the other side was for cancelling. Many people were selling different cacheted covers especially designed for this first day of issue. Collectors could buy the cacheted covers, affix stamps of their choice and have a first day cancel applied on the spot. Christmas Philatelic Club 25th Anniversary Covers with a First Day Cancel and Souvenir Cards were among the items being sold.

Before CPC members boarded the bus back to Minneapolis, a few members took some time to walk down the main street of Harmony and admire the shops that had decorated their store windows for Christmas. We stopped at the Post Office and requested some unofficial first day cancels.


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