The BOLSA DEL SELLO
History of the Cancelled Stamp Project
Bolsa del Sello's team
Luisa Martín-Cobos, Bolsa del Sello´s responsible
Emilia Rubio, volunteer
Maureen Elliott, AMASC Secretary General 2010-14 has asked me to write a short introduction explaining how I wrote the History of the “Bolsa del Sello”, which Sacred Heart School I went to and the date on which I wrote the article.
Well, I shall make it brief: I am an Alumna of the Sacred Heart School in Pamplona, in the north of Spain. I have always lived in Madrid and it was there that I joined the Alumnae Association of Chamartín, the school which my daughters attended and where my grandchildren now study.
I first took part in the AMASC Councils in Madrid in 1968 and in Magalluf (Majorca) in 1972. María Ignacia Areyzaga was the world President then, and thanks to her and to Maribel Barreiro I have always been familiar with the activities undertaken by AMASC. Later, I myself became National President of the Spanish Sacred Heart Alumnae Association (ASCE), and served two mandates (1975-1979 and 1979-1983).
During this time, Maribel Barreiro always kept me regularly and accurately informed of the activities of the “Bolsa del Sello”.
I took part in many AMASC Congress during the mandates of Patricia Horsley, Miriam Gray, Reiko Kobori and later, when I was Vice-President of OMAEC, I was in frequent contact with Maria Franca Migone, Maria del Carmen Gómez Madrazo and Trish Burns. I used to translate articles etc. into Spanish for Trish when she edited the AMASC Bulletin during Patricia’s Presidency. I also used to send her the AASC Chamartín magazine and I like to tell how Trish and I still laugh together when we remember how cross she was when she saw the drawing of a kangaroo in one of our magazines. She thought we were using it for publicity, and I had to explain to her that in Spain “canguro” (kangaroo) means a baby-sitter.
Thanks to my many years in the Sacred Heart Alumnae Association I had no difficulty in writing the History of the Bolsa del Sello. The only person I had to ask, in order to check that everything was accurate, was María Jesús Ubarrechena who is now AASC President in San Sebastian (Spain) and edited the AMASC Bulletin during María Ignacia’s mandate. It was she who told me about the reference to the Bolsa del Sello in the 1971 AMASC Bulletin.
María Victoria Beruete
THE “BOLSA DEL SELLO”
The Bolsa del Sello was started at the end of the 60s, when María Ignacia Areyzaga, an Alumna of San Sebastian (Spain), was AMASC President. Thus, it is an international enterprise.
AMASC was founded officially in May 1965, in Brussels (Belgium), at a meeting of the National Presidents of the Sacred Heart Alumnae Associations.
In 1966, the I International Council took place in Rome. The By-Laws of AMASC were voted and approved and the existing team saw its mandate prolonged to October 1967, the date on which the II International Council was to elect a new team.
The tragic death of the first President of AMASC, Baroness Coppée, in February 1967, did not interrupt the preparations and her team convoked the II International Council as agreed, in October 1967.
It was this Council, in October 1967, that saw the election of María Ignacia Areyzaga as President of AMASC, and the head office of the AMASC Executive Committee was moved from Brussels to Madrid (Spain).
María Ignacia promoted the creation of the Bolsa del Sello and a member of her team, Maribel Barreiro, an Alumna of Bilbao (Spain), assumed charge of the work and directed her team for many years with great dedication and generosity.
In the 1971 AMASC Bulletin we read: “At the Association’s office in Bilbao (Gran Vía, 7) the Bolsa del Sello continues its work, but now at international level. In addition to Rome, which always sends us their stamps, this year Paris and New Zealand have also sent theirs. Thanks to the cooperation of all our friends we continue to work non-stop and, in this way, we have raised 103.325,59 pesetas…” (approx. USD 850). (1)
In the Bolsa del Sello’s main office in Bilbao, used stamps from all the AMASC countries began to be received. The team’s work consisted in classifying and cleaning them, and then marketing them. The money raised was sent to the International President to enable Alumnae representatives from developing countries to attend and take part in the AMASC World Congresses.
The Bolsa del Sello has carried on its work for many years, with the same energy and with the same purpose. It continues today thanks to the efforts of countless Alumnae.
In 1990, with the inauguration of the retirement home “Residencia Santa Filipina” in Madrid, which is run by the ASCE Foundation, among the activities set up for the residents was another Bolsa del Sello. One of the new residents, Lourdes Pombo, an Alumna of SH Bilbao, with the help of other residents and volunteer Alumnae, took charge of the work. They prepared the stamps and then sent them to the office in Bilbao.
Maribel Barreiro visited the Residence on several occasions, congratulating them and encouraging them in their work. When Lourdes died, her successor was Carola Álvarez Arenas, an Alumna of Chamartín (Madrid), and for many years she led her team with great efficiency and selfless dedication.
It was at this time that Maribel Barreiro, after many years running the AMASC Bolsa del Sello asked the Chamartín Association to take charge of the main office. They accepted and Carola took on Maribel’s work. Stamps began to come in from many AMASC countries who now send their parcels to Madrid instead of to Bilbao.
At present (2012) the Bolsa del Sello has its office at the Chamartín Alumnae Association in Madrid. It is run by Luisa Martín-Cobos, who is an Alumna of both Palma de Mallorca and Chamartín, and Carola is still part of the team. They continue to receive used stamps - from the Alumnae Associations in Spain (ASCE) and from all the countries that form part of the world-wide Association (AMASC), carrying on their exemplary work. The money they raise continues to be sent, as always, to the ASCE National President who, in turn, sends it to the AMASC International President so that it can be used to fund the participation of Alumnae from developing countries at AMASC World Congresses.
In order to continue this endeavour many used stamps need to be received by the Bolsa - both from the Alumnae Associations in Spain and from the other countries that form AMASC.
Information supplied by Maria Jesús Ubarrechena, current President of AASC San Sebastian who, as a member of María Ignacia Areyzaga’s committee, edited the AMASC magazine during that Presidency
María Victoria Beruete