Canada 150 Stamps Issued: Final
Two Stamps Honor Ties to
Olympics and Paralympics

Canada’s close associations, traditions, and triumphs in the Olympic and Paralympic Games are celebrated on the final two stamps revealed in the Canada 150 series.

The permanent (domestic first-class) stamps, like the previous eight, are in the shape of a maple leaf. The last two stamps in the set were unveiled today in a ceremony in Vancouver. All 10 officially went on sale today, June 1, in a variety of formats. The stamps celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial by presenting landmark achievements and personalities since the centennial was marked in 1967.

Both stamps unveiled today show gold medal-winning alpine skiers: Alexandre Bilodeau, of Montreal; and Lauren Woolstencroft, 35, of North Vancouver.

The modern Summer and Winter Olympics and Paralympics are held every four years. Canada has hosted one Summer Olympics — Montreal in 1976; and two Winter Olympic Games — Calgary in 1988 and Vancouver in 2010. Vancouver also hosted the 2010 Winter Paralympics and Toronto hosted the 1976 Paralympic Summer Games.

The ceremony today focused on the importance and legacy of Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic movements.

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Two Stamps Honor Ties to
Olympics and Paralympics”

June 2017 American Philatelist Available Online

The June issue of The American Philatelist is online for APS members to view. Here are some of the highlights:

Machin by Douglas Muir. This month marks the 50th anniversary for the simple, yet so complex, Machin series of stamps from Great Britain. The author offers an account of the Machin heads’ first appearance and this year’s special anniversary commemorative stamp issue.

My Lifetime Stamp Pursuit by Matthew Healey. The iconic Machin stamps, named for the sculptor who helped create them, were first issued almost at the exact time the writer was born. When he was old enough to learn about stamps, Matthew felt a natural connection to the design featuring a profile of Queen Elizabeth II. He tells the basics of collecting this multifaceted series.

Conquering Early Stamps of the Himalayas by Joseph Iredale. Nepal, a landlocked nation home to Mount Everest, first started printing stamps in 1881. The early issues feature native design elements, marginal inscriptions, pin-perfs and imperforates, and different papers.

Collecting Coast to Coast. Not-So-Counterfeit Cinderellas, by Wayne L. Youngblood. Free franking for soldiers, the privilege of being able to send mail at no cost, started in 1775. But Congress helped establish rules and the postal service has frowned on those who break them, even if for identifying free-franked mail.

British Empire: Gilbert and Ellice Islands by Noel Davenhill. We travel to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, a series of atolls and coral islands that fell under British rule — first as a protectorate, then as a colony — for more than 80 years.

Worldwide in a Nutshell: Mount Athos by Bob Lamb. Though linked to Greece in many ways (including postal) this mountainous entity home only to Orthodox religious men and hermits has some postal history, including contemporary post offices.

1972 Team Canada Hockey Team
on New Canada 150 Stamp

One of Canada’s most endearing sports teams — the 1972 Team Canada hockey team — was unveiled today as one of the 10 Canada 150 stamps that will be issued Thursday, June 1.

On September 28, 1972, millions of Canadians watched as Team Canada defeated the Soviet national hockey team in Game 8 of the Summit Series, also known as the Soviet-Canada series.

Team Canada beat the odds, overcoming an early two-goal deficit, the game was tied at 5-5. Canada scored the thrilling winning goal with just 34 seconds left in the third period. The stamp shows Canadian forward Paul Henderson celebrating his game-winning and series-clinching goal against the Soviet team.

The stamp was unveiled today in a ceremony in Winnipeg with many surviving members of the team on hand.

Several factors made this a special hockey series.

It was still the Cold War, so political tensions ran high.

Canada, once dominant in Olympic Games (Canada won the first four gold medals, plus 1948 and 1952, had been knocked off the podium with the Soviets taking three straight gold medals, 1964 through 1972.

And, this was the first competition between the Soviet national team and a Canadian team represented by professional players of the National Hockey League.

Harry Sinden chose the 35-player Team Canada, which included captains, Phil Esposito, Frank Mahovlich, Stan Mikita, and Jean Ratelle. The Soviets had a 31-player team, which included many Olympic champions.

The Soviets won three of the first five games, with Canada winning one and other being a tie. Canada won games six and seven, each by one goal, setting the stage for the thrilling Game 8, the series being tied 3-3-1. With the first four games played in Canada, the finale was staged on Soviet home ice in Moscow.

Henderson, who scored the winning goal, had just hopped onto the ice and said, “I jumped on the ice and rushed straight for their net. I had this strange feeling that I could score the winning goal.”

The team and its players received many honors over the years, including the first team to be inducted en masse into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame. Speaking at that induction in 2005, Team Canada 72 member Phil Esposito said, “A lot of people will go back and say 1972 changed the face of the game and actually I believe it did. I’m not so sure it changed for the better, by the way. But it did change the way we think and look at hockey in this country.”

Canada’s Native Population and Most
Recent Territory on Canada 150 Stamp

Canada’s native population and the creation of its latest, largest, and northernmost territory — Nunavut — is the seventh topic unveiled in the stamp set that celebrates Canada’s sesquicentennial.

Nunavut, a vast area of more than 785,000 square miles and populated primarily by Inuit, residents of native origin, was carved out of the Northwest Territories and formally created in 1999. It’s the only major map change since 1967 when Canada marked its centennial.

The stamp shows a partial portrait of an Inuit woman and the year “1999.” The name of the territory appears in English and native Inuit.

On June 1, Canada Post will issue a set of 10 maple leaf-shaped stamps celebrating significant achievements, places, and people from the past 50 years.

Nunavut has a population of about 37,000. The stamp was unveiled in  the territory’s capital, Iqaluit, which is in the east on Baffin Island.

The Nunavut economy includes mining; oil, gas, and mineral exploration; arts and crafts; hunting; fishing and whaling; tourism; military; and research.

Nunavut is home to the world’s northernmost permanently inhabited place, Alert, which has about 60 residents (and temporary military personnel manning a signals station) and is 508 miles from the North Pole. There are no roads directly connecting Alert to the rest of the province, though there are 530 miles of roadways within the territory.

Another Canada 150 stamp will be unveiled Wednesday and the final two on Thursday when the stamps go on sale in various formats.

Canada Post previously unveiled six previous stamps in the Canada 150 set: Expo 67/Habitat, the patriation of the Constitution and creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadarm (space achievements), Marriage Equality, the Trans-Canada Highway, and Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope. Details are available at canadapost.ca/canada150.

New Book on U.S. 20th Century
Postal History — ‘Prexie Era’

The American Philatelic Society has just published Prexie Era: Postal History and Stamp Production, 1938–1962, a book highlighting 20th century U.S. postal history. Its focus is on stamp production, domestic rates and postal uses, as well as the changes of international mail routes, delays, and rates shaped by historical events of World War II.

Louis Fiset, who edits and publishes the quarterly newsletter, The Prexie Era, and has written and exhibited widely on the postal history of the period, has compiled 15 essays written by nine experts in the field. Their extensive knowledge and passion for their subject are well known to both collectors and exhibitors.

This will be the first major book on the subject since Bill Helbock’s 1988 tome, Prexie Postal History, and Roland Rustad’s The Prexies, in 1994. Rather than repeat information readily available, information in this volume focuses on a time period when the Prexies were in current use rather than on the Prexie series, exclusively. The Prexie era offers rich opportunities for collecting mail generated during times of explosive change, such as wartime crises and expanded airmail service. Stamps throughout the era contribute.

Topics included in the essays are diverse and range from Albert “Chip” Briggs’s two essays on production and uses of the 3-cent Jefferson stamp to Ralph Nafziger’s World War II censorship of first-day covers. Stephen L. Suffet concludes this volume with a provocative essay arguing why the Prexie era should end in 1962.

Prexie Era: Postal History and Stamp Production, 1938–1962 is in soft cover, 8.5 inches by 11 inches, 276 pages, with 407 full-color philatelic illustrations, seven tables, bibliography with 102 references, and index. It is available on the APS website, $39 to APS members and $43 to non-members (shipping not included.