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 Post subject: Long-awaited coal miner stamp due in August
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Anthracite Region of PA
By Tom Ragan (Staff Writer)

Published: July 11, 2013

The issuance of a postage stamp has brought elation and happiness to supporters in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

"You just made my day. I did not know, I did not know," Wayne Namey said.

Namey, of Wilkes-Barre, didn't know that what he and several other people have been trying to do for the past 30 years finally occurred.

The U.S. Postal Service will issue a coal miner stamp in August to honor the men and boys who mined coal in Northeastern Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the country.

Namey, a union shop steward affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers of America 1776, is a representative for Wine and Spirits workers from Hazleton to Old Forge. He and others were planning an all-out push for signatures on a petition they were going to give to the Postal Service Committee in charge of selecting various 46-cent Forever stamps. The group was going to ask again for a coal miner stamp.

They won't have to now.

A campaign for such a stamp began about 30 years ago in a Wilkes-Barre elementary school, Namey said, and several people - including legislators - picked up on the idea.

"It is great to hear about the stamp that will honor our coal miners' heritage," Namey said.

Namey said he intends to go through with a festival at Wilkes-Barre Public Square on Labor Day to raise money for wounded veterans, the Huber Breaker Preservation Society and the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. He was also going to seek signatures for his coal miner stamp petition.

Namey's friend, Joe Pavlick, was a retired steel worker who passed away about six months ago but was very active in the cause to honor coal miners, Namey said.

Namey, Pavlick, Tina Sabatini of Exeter, Alma Berlot of Nanticoke, legislators U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, and state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, and others have been working to convince the Postal Service to issue a commemorative stamp honoring coal miners.

Barletta initiated a resolution last year to create a coal miner stamp that had 31 bipartisan co-sponsors.

"It's about time. It is long overdue for America's coal miners to get the recognition they deserve," Barletta said. "People in this area totally understand what they did and it is only a small token for what they did for our country. It's a tribute to the millions of miners to be recognized for their contributions."

Sabatini collected more than 4,000 signatures and handed them over to the Postal Service Committee in 2007. Sabatini's father died from black lung disease.

A postal bulletin says the stamp will be part of series of 12 stamps called "Made in America: Building a Nation" to be available sometime in August.

Eleven of the 12 stamp images were taken by photographer Lewis Hine, a chronicler of early 20th century industry.

Other stamps include an airplane maker, a man on a derrick, a millinery apprentice and a man hoisting a ball on the Empire State Building, a man at a linotype in a publishing house, a welder, a riveter, a powerhouse mechanic, a railroad track walker, a textile worker and a man guiding a beam on the Empire State Building.

There are five sheets available. Each one contains the same stamps but is anchored by a different selvage photograph. The coal miner's image is from the Kansas Historical Society., 570-455-3636

Scott K
"Watch Your Top"

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