Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding Stamps and Postmark

Royal Wedding Stamps

 Canada Post issued booklets and souvenir sheets on April 29, 2011 to commenorate the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. Two stamp designs featuring engagement photographs of the couple were used. 


 Domestic "Permanent"  and $1.75 international letter rate denominations from souvenir sheet

 Royal Wedding Postmark

On April 29, 2011, Canada Post made available a Royal Wedding postmark featuring Westminster Abbey at over 140 Post Offices  between April 29 and July 8 so that collectors could have their "collectibles stamped with a special postmark in honour of the Royal Couple's big day."

The Brampton, Ontario cancellation is shown below:

Royal Wedding First Day Cover : Brampton, Ontario

Thursday, April 28, 2011

1952 - Present : Queen Elizabeth

1953-54 : Karsh Period

1954-1963 : Wilding Period

1962-1967 : Cameo Period

1967-1974 : Centennial Period

1972-2000: Post- Centennial Period

Commemorative stamps (1952-1966)

Commemorative stamps (From 1967)
Tommy Douglas :
Canada's "Greatest Canadian"

Tommy Douglas (1904-1986) was a Scottish-born Baptist minister who became a Canadian social democratic politician. Douglas led the first socialist government elected in Canada, serving as Saskatchewan's premier for 17 years from 1944 to 1961. The extensive achievements of Tommy Douglas are summarized at the Tommy Douglas Research Institute's web site. Douglas is recognized as the father of socialized medicine in Canada.

In 1961, Douglas resigned as premier to lead the federal New Democratic Party. He served as leader of the NDP until 1971 when he became the party's energy critic until his retirement in 1979. He was made Companion of the Order of Canada in 1980.

It is interesting to note that RCMP security officers shadowed Douglas from the late 1930s until at least 1981. In 2004, Tommy Douglas was voted "The Greatest Canadian" in a national CBC Television poll.

In 2012, Canada Post Corporation issued a Tommy Douglas commemorative stamp.

In September 2010, Keiffer Sutherland, grandson of Tommy Douglas, unveiled the Tommy Douglas statue in Wyeburn, Saskatchewan.

Christmas Card from Tommy Douglas, M.P.

Tommy Douglas served as a federal Member of Parliament for over 24 years.

House of Commons, December 7, 1978

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mail to Hungary 1956-57

In 1956, Hungary was a communist state under the control of the Soviet Union. On October 23, 1956 , a demonstration of university students in Budapest led to an uprising against Soviet rule. The short-lived revolution was put down by the Soviet military with the loss of more than 2,500 lives. More than 200,00 Hungarians fled the country, 35,000 of whom came to Canada.

In this post, two covers mailed to Hungary in 1956 and 1957 are shown which illustrate the political turmoil in Hungary.

The first cover was mailed from Oshawa to Mikohasa, Hungary on October 24, 1956, the day following the the student protests in Budapest which sparked the revolution. The letter was returned to the sender as postal service to Hungary had been suspended.

Oshawa to Mikohaza, Hungary, October 24, 1956
Mail service suspended and letter returned to sender

The second cover was mailed in June 1957, several months after the revolution had been crushed. The letter was not admitted into Hungary because its contents did not conform to regulations. No further information regarding the regulation infringement was provided to the sender of the letter.

There are times when covers in less than ideal condition are still worthy of inclusion in a collection. The stamps on the cover shown below were cut out by a collector. The stamps themselves are of little significance compared to the Hungarian instructional markings.

The cover was mailed from Vancouver and addressed to Budapest on June 5, 1957. The removed stamp was likely the 15 cent Gannet definitive. Since the letter was returned to the sender, a 5 cent fee was charged for this service. The stamp cut out to the left of the T 5 cents handstamp was probably a 5 cent postage due stamp.

Vancouver to Budapest, June 5, 1957

The reverse of the cover bears the significant markings:

Hungarian Handstamp:

Szabaly Ellenes [Against Regulations]
Non Admis [Not Admitted]
Retour [Return]

Canadian handstamp

Undeliverable Mail Office, Montreal June 12, 1957

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1972 Christmas

Candles photographed by Ray Webber of Toronto were reproduced on the postage stamps issued for Christmas 1972. According to the Canada Post Office press release, "the pure bright flame of the candles reproduced on the Christmas stamps can bring serenity and hope to anyone who has joy in his soul. "

The stamps were issued on November 1, 1972 untagged, Winnipeg tagged, and General tagged sheets.

6c and 8c stamps

According to the Post Office, the design of the 6¢ and 8¢ stamps could symbolize Man at the centre of the earth and the four cardinal points.

10c and 15c stamps

The six candles on the 10¢ stamp could represent constellations. As for the 15¢ stamp, the candles could stand for the planets, or the universe and the days of creation, or the seven defenders of Christianity: Saint George of England, Saint Denis of France, Saint Andrew of Scotland, Saint David of Wales, Saint Patrick of Ireland, Saint James of Spain and Saint Anthony of Italy. Some may decide that the two boxes, and brass vase represent the gifts of the Wise Men to the Child, that the porcelain containers suggest purity by their whiteness or that the pine boughs symbolize life and spring.

First Day Covers

Canada Post Office Publicity First Day Cover

To Lisbon, Portugal (8 cents international printed matter rate)
Mosdossy Cachet

Shering Corporation

Canada Envelope Company


The Royal Canadian Army Chaplain Corps


Canada Post Office Official First Day Covers


David Pritchard


Domestic Printed Matter

Winnipeg to Chatham, December 11, 1972
6 cents printed matter rate
Winnipeg tag

Toronto to Montreal, December 10, 1972
Untagged stamp paying the 6 cents printed matter rate

The letter was undeliverable and returned. The charge was 6 cents, the printed matter rate.


The charred cover below from Midland (December 18, 1972) to Scarborough was damaged in transit according to the Scarborough post office handstamp.

Domestic Letter

Huron Park to Toronto, November 7, 1972
8 cents domestic letter rate
Franked with an untagged stamp

Winnipeg to London, November 23, 1972
8 cents domestic letter rate
Franked with a Winnipeg tagged stamp

Ottawa to London, December 14, 1972
8 cents domestic letter rate
Franked with a General tagged stamp

Domestic Registration

Bancroft to Mississauga, December 9, 1972
$1.30 paying 20 cents letter rate (2-4 oz.) + $1.10 registration fee for $200 indemnity

Domestic Acknowledgment of Receipt

The AR fee at time of mailing was 15 cents.

Registered mail from Prince George to a Prince George address, January 3, 1973
Acknowledged January 4, 1973

Air Mail to the United States

Vancouver to Grand Rapids, December 5, 1972
10 cents air mail letter rate to the United States

International Surface Printed Matter

The first weight international surface printed matter rate was 8 cents.

Montreal to Fidenza, Italy, November 22, 1972
8 cents international surface printed matter rate

International Printed Matter Air Mail

The first weight international printed matter rate (Other Articles) was 12 cents.

Toronto to Delhi, India, December 13, 1972
12 cents "Other Articles" rate

International Air Mail Letter

Victoria to London, England, November 18, 1972
15 cents international air mail letter rate