Monthly Archives: July 2018

Online Philatelic Research Sources

Originally published January 20, 2012.

In the internet age, researching your collection, or just performing basic research is made much easier.  With the click of a button, you can have access to many resources on the country or topic/theme you collect.  The intent of this blog is not to provide lists of reference sites to clubs and societies (although many offer archived versions of their journals), but to provide you with a short list (two sites) where you can expand your knowledge and find some extraordinary philatelic writing from the past.  The advantages are that you can do the research from your house and the resources are free.

Page from Postage Stamps of Canada. Poole, Bertram William Henry retrieved from

The first site I like to look at is the Internet Archive.  Using the search function and entering “Postage Stamps” and only searching texts, retrieved 267 results.  The following is a screen capture of the first page of results:

An interesting title is the first in the list above. Peeps at Postage Stamps. Johnson, Stanley Currie  Below are a couple of images from the book.

Using “Philately” as the search term produced 18 results including John Luff’s “What Philately Teaches”,  Which was based on a lecture the famed philatelist delivered to the Brooklin Institute of Arts and Sciences in 1899.

Another source to search is the Project Gutenberg site at  I found a copy of “Stamp Collecting as a Pastime” by Edward Nankivell there.

With knowledge being power in so many aspects of life, and stamp collecting we should all use the free information that is on the net to its fullest.

Below are the links to the two sites referenced above:

Internet Archive – Postage Stamps Search – 267 results

Internet Archive – Philately Search – 18 Results

Project Gutenberg – Stamp Collecting Search

Custom Album Pages

Originally published January 19, 2012

Here are a couple of customized album pages I designed using Scribus.  If you would like a copy in either .pdf or the Scribus source file send me an email at and let me know.

The first page is a basic album page for the recently issued Year of the Dragon stamps by Canada Post. I hope to design simplified pages for all new Canadian issues this year.

The second page is for the Czechoslovakian Coat of Arms issue from 1929-1937.

Again if you want one or both just send me an email and I will send you the file(s).

The Battle of Aspern-Essling

Originally published December 31, 2011.

On June 4, 2009, Austria issued a stamp commemorating the battle of Aspern-Essling.  The Stamp is based on a painting of Johann Peter Kraft and was completed circa 1809.

June 4, 2009 – Archduke Charles of Austria During the Battle of Aspern-Essling by Johann Peter Krafft.

The Battle
In the Battle, the Austrians under Archduke Charles of Austria drove back Napoleon as he and his forces attempted to cross the Danube near Vienna.  This was the first time that Napoleon had been personally defeated in over 10 years.

Casualties were high on both sides with Napoleon losing one of his best commanders and friends, Marshal Jean Lannes, who was wounded by an Austrian cannonball.

The Artist

Painted by Johann Peter Krafft (Sept. 1780 – Oct. 1856) was born in Hanau and began his study of art at the age of ten.  He studied under Heinrich Füger, Jacques-Louis David and François Gérard.  In 1828 he became director of the Imperial and Royal Picture Gallery.  He died at the age of 76.

The Stamp

Issued: June 4, 2009
Perforated: 14×14
300,000 Issued.
Issued as a mini sheet of 1 stamp
Printed by: Offset by Austrian State Printing


A Couple of Penny Reds

Originally published December 30, 2011.

When it comes to postage stamps one of the finest issues is the Penny Red.  It has a very nice design and is, in my honest opinion, one of the most elegant stamps issued.

I am lucky enough to have 2 currently in my collection, one on cover

Penny Red – Plate 117 posted Edinburgh February 14, 1870

Close up of the Plate Number

and a single used copy.

Penny Red – Plate 99
Penny Red – Plate 99 Back with Large Crown Watermark

Although not in the greatest shape, for tiny pieces of paper over almost 150 years old they aren’t doing too badly.

For more information on the Penny Red you can check out:

North Korean Ships

Originally published December 29, 2011.

On May 5, 1978, North Korea issued 5 stamps to commemorate their maritime heritage.  The stamps depict 5 ships and various aircraft and other modes of transportation (A very topical minded issue ;).  The stamps were perforated 13.25 and were also issued in a Sheet of 5 plus 1 label.

Sheet of 5 plus label.

The first ship identified is the Cargo Freighter Man Gyong Bonk.  Google provided that the ship may be misidentified in the Scott Catalogue and should be the Man Gyong Bong.  Not to be confused with a ship with the same name constructed in 1992, this one was recently touted as possible the worst cruise ship in the world.  You can read the article here:

2ch Man Gyong Bong

The 5ch value depicts the freighter Hyok Sin.  Originally the Kyokuyo Maru completed in 1957, she was sold to North Korea in 1974.

5ch Hyok Sin

The next ship is the freighter Chong Chon Gang on the 10ch value.  Completed according to one source in 1977, as of 2009 she was still registered to a North Korean owner.

10ch Chong Chon Gang

The tanker Son Bang is featured on the 30ch value.  I have yet to get further information on this ship, if you have some please email me and let me know.

30ch Son Bang

The last stamp features the freighter Tae Dong Gang.  Completed in 1976 she was built in North Korea and as of 2009 was still in service.

50ch Tae Dong Gang

The designs of the stamps are visually appealing and as stated earlier appeal to a wide variety of thematic or topical collectors.  Not worth very much in terms of catalogue value, as far as I am concerned they are a nice addition to my general worldwide and ships on stamps collection.


Conferences for Confederation

Originally published December 18, 2011.
Prior to July 1, 1967, British North America was composed of separate colonies of Great Britain. These included the Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Rupert’s Land, North-Western Territories, British Columbia, Vancouver Island and the Province of Canada (Ontario and Quebec).
Charlottetown Conference: September 1864
Issued July 29, 1964 – Perforated 12
Due to the American Civil War and the general view of America as expansionist, the Maritime colonies planned a conference to discuss the issue of confederation. When the Province of Canada heard about the conference they asked to be included and that they would also be considered in a union of the Canadian colonies.
It was thought at the time that Newfoundland would not be interested, so they were not invited to participate. However, in August of 1864, Newfoundland asked to attend but the request was too late.
Great Britain was encouraging the union of the Maritime colonies in the hope that a union would lead to the colonies being less financially and politically reliant on the Crown. It was also hoped that any Maritime union would lead to stronger economic and military power for the region. Most of the Maritimes were hoping that a wider Union including the Province of Canada would also be beneficial to them. Ironically considering the location of the conference, Prince Edward Island was unsure about a union and was anti-confederation.
The majority of the conference was dominated by delegates from the Province of Canada who presented the Canadian position and laying foundations that benefitted them. George Brown spent two days alone discussing a proposed constitution for the new union. In total 4 of the days were taken up by the Delegation from the Province of Canada.  At the conclusion of the conference on the seventh of September, it was agreed that the representatives would meet again in Quebec City in a month.
Quebec Conference: October 1864
Issued September 09, 1964 – Perforated 12
Beginning on the tenth of October, the Quebec Conference lasted until the twenty-seventh of October. It was at this conference that the framework for Canada was determined. One of the major sources of conflict was on whether the new country should have a strong central government or stronger provincial governments.
The biggest proponent of a strong central government was John A. McDonald, who feared that strong local governments were a primary cause for the civil war that was currently being fought in the United States. The Maritimes and Canada East (Quebec) representatives were worried that a strong central government would lead to an eroding and eventual loss of their cultural identities.
A compromise was reached that dividing powers between the federal and provincial governments. Also determined was that the lower house (House of Commons) would be elected and it’s size would be based on proportional representation.
Another source of conflict was the makeup of the upper house. Several of the Maritime delegates felt that the Senate should have equal representation. How the senators were appointed was also a major issue. In the end, a sectional equality was adapted where the Maritimes as a whole had the same number of seats as the 2 Canadas.
By the end of the conference, a proposed structure for the government was composed as seventy-two resolutions. These resolutions now had to pass a vote at each of the provincial Legislatures. George-Etienne Cartier was responsible for convincing the French-Canadian members of the legislature in Canada to accept them.
Issued September 30, 1931 – Perforated 11
In New Brunswick Opposition to the resolutions was led by Albert Smith, while in Nova Scotia Joseph Howe led the opposition to the resolutions. Eventually, both legislatures accepted the seventy-two resolutions. The legislature of Prince Edward Island rejected the resolutions.
London Conference: November 1866
Issued May 26, 1966 – Perforated 12
With the legislatures of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada approving the seventy-two resolutions, sixteen delegates went to London in the United Kingdom and had a conference with officials of the British government.
This conference was a continuation of the Quebec conference and was chaired by John A. MacDonald. Many of the seventy-two resolutions were further worked to become acceptable to the Government of the United Kingdom and Crown.
Issued April 10, 1974 – Perforated 12 x 12½
One major issue during this conference was the education system. Roman Catholic Bishops lobbied for a guarantee that a separate school system would be allowed, but the Maritime Provinces opposed a separate school system. In the end, a compromise was reached with Quebec and Ontario having a separate school system and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick not having one.
At the conclusion of the conference the British North America Act, 1867 was created. The preamble to the act reads:
An Act for the Union of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, and the Government thereof; and for Purposes connected therewith.
29th March 1867
Whereas the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have expressed their Desire to be federally united into One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom:
And whereas such a Union would conduce to the Welfare of the Provinces and promote the Interests of the British Empire:
And whereas on the Establishment of the Union by Authority of Parliament it is expedient, not only that the Constitution of the Legislative Authority in the Dominion be provided for, but also that the Nature of the Executive Government therein be declared:
And whereas it is expedient that Provision be made for the eventual Admission into the Union of other Parts of British North America:
Be it therefore enacted and declared by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, as follows: …
After receiving Royal Assent from Queen Victoria, the act came into force on July 1st 1867 and forms the basis for the current Constitution of Canada.
Issued December 1, 1897 – Perforated 12

On the enactment on July 1, 1867, Canada, comprised of the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario officially became a Dominion. Even though it started in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island was the seventh province to enter Confederation.


The Canadian Fort Series

Originally published December 17, 2011.

On June 30, 1983, Canada Post issued a set of 10 stamps depicting Canadian forts for Canada Day. The “Forts Across Canada Series” continued in 1985 when on June 28, a further 10 stamps were issued for Canada Day concluding the series. Both sets of stamps are perforated 12½ x 13 and were printed by Ashton-Potter Limited based on the designs by Rolf P. Harder.

Castle Hill, located in Newfoundland and Labrador was established by the French in 17th Century at present-day Placentia. The fort and settlement was built to ensure a claim on the Grand Banks fishery. Under the command of Pierre Le Moyne D’Iberville, the French marched from Placentia and destroyed 36 British settlements and captured boats, cod and prisoners.

Even with Castle Hill’s excellent defences, the British were able to blockade Placentia which led to the failure of the French Colony there. When Newfoundland was ceded to Britain in the Treaty of Utrecht, France retained certain fishing rights and left the island and built the Fortress of Louisbourg. Castle Hill was briefly used by the British during the Seven Years War.

The site of many battles between the French and British, Fort Anne, Nova Scotia was initially built by the early Scottish settlers to the Annapolis Valley in 1629. When Nova Scotia reverted to French control in the 1630’s a series of 4 forts were built followed by 2 make shift forts. In 1702 construction of the Vauban earthworks began. These earthworks still survive today.

During the war of Spanish Succession in 1710 the British conducted a successful week long siege of the fort and colony. In the 1740’s war resumed and the French launched 3 unsuccessful attempts to regain the fort. Named Fort Anne in the first half of the 19th century, it became Canada’s first administered national historic site.

The Fort at Cote-du-lac, Quebec was built to defend the St. Lawrence and border areas against attack from the Americans and prevent the Americans from cutting the lines of communications between Upper and Lower Canada. Heavily reinforced with troops and expanded over both sides of the Canal. The western side defended against land attack and the eastern controlled the St. Lawrence.

A magnificent example of period military defence works; it was never tested in battle.

Constructed by the French in 1751, Fort Beausejour in New Brunswick was intended to protect French interests in the area. Captured by British Forces in 1755 it was renamed Fort Cumberland and played a role in the deportation of the Acadians in the 1750’s and 60’s.

In 1776 American Patriots, English speaking inhabitants of the area, Acadians and natives attacked the fort. The attack was repelled and many of the attackers were captured. The fort was reinforced during the war of 1812 and finally abandoned in 1885.

Designed by Vauban, Fort Chambly, Quebec built in 1711 was used to protect New France from the British. Fort Chambly was taken over by the British in 1760 after their successful conquest of New France. In 1775 it was occupied by American forces until the spring of 1776 after the Americans suffered defeat at Quebec.

During the War of 1812, the British built a military complex around Fort Chambly and at one point 6000 soldiers were stationed there.

The original Fort Erie, Ontario was the 1st British fort constructed after the 7 years war. It served as a supply depot and port until the elements dictated that a new fort be built on the heights behind it. Unfinished at the outbreak of war in 1812, the fort was held by American forces in 1813 before they withdrew. American forces again occupied the fort in 1814. After an unsuccessful attempt by the British to re-occupy the fort, they conducted a siege from August 15 to September 17. The Americans broke the siege and withdrew after destroying the fort. Fort Erie is the site of the Bloodiest Battlefield in the history of Canada.

The remains of the Fort were used as a base by the Fenians in their 1866 attack on Canada.

Located in Kingston, Ontario, Fort Frederick consists of a Martello tower and earthworks. Completed in 1792 the Naval Base was further fortified during the War of 1812. On November 10, 1812 the guns of Fort Frederick’s battery took part in the defence of the area by repelling an American naval force.

It was constructed as one of a series of defenses to protect the Royal navy Dockyard and the entrances to the Rideau and St. Lawrence rivers. It is now part of the campus of Canada’s Royal Military College.

Originally built during the War of 1812, Fort Henry was built to guard the Kingston Navy Yards and the outlet of the St. Lawrence River. It became more important after the completion of the Rideau Canal and was rebuilt between 1832 and 1837 to better defend the southern end of the canal. It was the largest and principal fort in Upper Canada and was garrisoned until 1891.

During World Wars I and II it was used to house prisoners of war and in 1936 it was leased to the government of Ontario. The provincial government restored the fort and as Great Depression Public Works Project and opened it to the public. Today the fort is managed by Parks Canada, operated by the government of Ontario and houses a museum and during the summer months the Fort Henry Guard which performs precision drill routines based on 1800s drill regulations.

Situated on île aux Noix, Fort Lennox was built between 1819 and 1829. It was constructed to defend the colony from an American invasion via the Richelieu River. The Island, it is situated on, was used as a base by Americans to attack Montreal after they Declared war on Great Britain in 1775.

Île aux Noix was then seen as important for the defence of the colony and various fortifications were built on the Island. Most notably during the War of 1812 the British constructed a naval base and dock yard on the Island. The current Fort was named after Charles Lennox, who was Governor in Chief of British North America.

Fort number 1 at Point Lévy, Québec was one of 3 forts constructed between 1865 and 1872 by the British. These forts were completed to protect the city of Québec and its Port from invasion by the Americans.

Fort number 1 is on the highest point in the region and has commanding views of the city of Québec and surrounding areas. The defence of the Port of Québec was important for the British Empire, not just the colony.

On Hudson Bay, Prince of Wales Fort is situated across from Churchill, Manitoba. Originally constructed as a log fort by James Knight, of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1717, it was called the Churchill River Post. Renamed Prince of Wales fort 2 years later, it was intended to protect and control the Hudson’s Bay Company’s access to the fur trade. The current fort structure was built beginning in 1731 and had 42 cannons with a battery across the river intended to have 6 more cannons.

In 1782, 3 French warships sailed into the Bay and the fort’s Governor, Samuel Hearne, surrendered immediately with out a shot being fired. After being partially destroyed the fort was returned to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1783.

A Coast artillery fort located near Esquimault, British Columbia, Rodd Hill was intended to defend both the Esquimault Naval Base and the city of Victoria. It is located with Fisgard Lighthouse, which was the first light house on Canada’s West coast.

Built in the 1890s Fort Rodd Hill contained 3 gun batteries, barracks, searchlights and underground magazines. It overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca and in the distance the Olympic Mountains in Washington State can be seen.

Named after and built by Inspector James Morrow Walsh and his ‘B’ troop of the North West Mounted Police, Fort Walsh was built in 1875 to bring law and order to the Cypress Hills. This area of what is now Saskatchewan was known as a hotbed of illegal activity.

Only existing for 8 years the Fort was the largest, most important and heavily armed fort during the early years of the North West Mounted Polices early presence in the West. It was the Mounties base for chasing whisky traders, horse thieves, welcoming refugees from the United States war with the Sioux and serving the Canadian Governments Indian Policy.

Fort Wellington was originally built during the War of 1812 to protect the shipping route between Montreal and Kingston from an American attack. A second Fort Wellington was completed in 1839 and used the refurbished earthen ramparts of the original fort.

Located near Prescott Ontario, the Fort was used as a staging and assembly area for British regular troops and Canadian militia after an Invading force from New York landed and invaded Windmill Point about 1.5 kilometres down river from Prescott. 5 days of heavy fighting saw the regulars and militia defeat the attacking force.

Located near present day Lethbridge, Alberta Fort Whoop-Up was built by John Healy and Alfred Hamilton of Montana and served them in the illegal trade of whisky for bison robes. After the first trading season the original fort (named Fort Hamilton) burned down and in 1870 a larger fort was constructed.

Fort Whoop-Up as it became known was the largest and most notorious of the American whisky posts in Alberta. In 1874 with the arrival of the North West Mounted Police, the trade in illegal whisky diminished and part of the fort was used by the police. It fell into disrepair and was burned, the remains being used as a supply of lumber and metal by settlers to the area. A replica of the second fort was constructed in 1967.

Originally a fur trading post located at Grand Portage, Minnesota it was forced to move after the area was ceded to the United States after the War of Independence.

Fort William was primarily a transport depot for the North West Company’s fur trade outposts. Due to its central role the fort was made larger and had many more functions associated with it than the typical fur trade post. Today it is a living history site with 42 reconstructed buildings, an Ojibwa village and a small farm.

Located in Modern day Toronto, Fort York was authorized to be built by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe. When the fort was built it guarded the only entrance to the docks and was located just west of the parliament buildings.

During the War of 1812, Fort York was overrun and abandoned by the British forces. As they were abandoning the fort they set the powder magazine to blow up killing and wounding hundreds of American soldiers. The US forces burnt down much of the town of York and its fort. The fort was rebuilt by the British and in 1814 the garrison successfully defended itself against another US invasion attempt. Much of the re-built fort still exists today.

The current Citadel at Halifax is located on a hill overlooking the city and harbour of Halifax. Earlier fortifications were built at this location in 1749-50, 1776-81 and 1795-1800. The present fort was approved in 1825 and work began on it 1828. After about 30 years, the fort was finally completed in 1856.

During the 1860s and 70s the citadel had to be rearmed as rifled artillery made the original armaments obsolete. It was used as a barracks by the British until 1906 and was then handed over to the Canadian Militia. It was declared a National Historic Site in 1951 and is a popular tourist attraction with close to a million visitors annually.

Finished in 1830, Lower Fort Garry was built by the Hudson’s Bay Company on the banks of the Red River to replace the original Fort Garry that was destroyed by a flood in 1826. The location was selected by George Simpson, the Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company at the time, as it was on higher ground and eliminated the need to portage as it was below the St. Andrews rapids.

Used predominantly as a supply depot for the Red River Settlement and surrounding natives, Metis and European settlers, it traded in essential manufactured goods and sent any furs received on to England via York Factory. The goods provided to the fort by local farmers and hunters were then used to provision company treks. By the 1860s the fort had become an industrial centre.

Lower Fort Garry is North America’s oldest intact stone fort and was the location of the first treaty signed between the native population and the crown.

Located on a bluff overlooking the entrance to Halifax Harbour, York Redoubt was established in 1793 and was expanded in up to the end of the World War II. Constructed at the outbreak of war between revolutionary France and Britain it was built to repel any attack on Halifax by sea. Reconstructed in the 1860s, taking on a totally different appearance York Redoubt’s role in protecting Halifax remained unchanged.

During World War I, it was used as a barracks for troops waiting to go overseas. During World War II the Fire Command Post for harbour defences was built on its site and it was also the command centre for harbour defences. York Redoubt remained in military use until 1956.

The individual forts depicted on this series played vital roles in the shaping of what became Canada, whether defending its citizenry or aiding in settling of lands the forts of Canada are integral to her history.

Love and Sweethearts

Originally published February 28, 2011.

I have written articles for my son and daughters (well one was whether it would be another daughter or son), but have yet to ‘pen’ one for the love of my life, my sweetheart and best friend, my wife.  I have been pondering what stamps to base the article on when I came across the “Disney Sweethearts” set at a local show this past weekend and decided that this would be the perfect theme.

Issued on May 30, 1996, by the island nation of Palau, the “Disney Sweethearts” set composes a set of 6 (which this article is based on), a mini sheet of 9 and 2 souvenir sheets. Each of the stamps is perforated 14 x 13½ (13½ x 14) for one of the souvenir sheets and are printed using lithography.

The first stamp in the set features Simba and Nala from the Lion King. As young lion cubs, Simba and Mala were friends, but after Simba disappeared there was no contact between the two young friends. As adults, the two meet up when Nala is trying to kill one of Simba’s rescuers. The two fall in love and eventually have a cub together.

From the film, Oliver and Company, come our next two sweethearts, Georgette and Tito. Tito a chihuahua is a gruff, tough, street dog who seems and looks a little rough around the edges. When Tito first sees Georgette he falls for her right away. Georgette, a poodle, is repulsed at first by Tito at one point she refers to him as a “bug-eyed little creep”. Eventually, she falls for Tito, but her ideas for his cleanliness, wardrobe and bathing frighten him away.

Next are Duchess and O’Malley from the Aristocats. The two meet when O’Malley, an alley cat, rescues Duchess and her kittens in the woods. He is instantly attracted to her but is at first put off by her having children. He realizes his mistake and falls in love with all of them. He is forced to rescue them and eventually becomes a part of Duchess’s family and marries her.

The fourth set of sweethearts comes to us from the Rescuers Down Under. Jake, a smallish kangaroo rat who is the typical tough guy talking trash about people he doesn’t like. When Jake first sees Bianca he immediately becomes smitten with her. In the end, it isn’t Jake that Bianca selects it is Bernard. In the end, Jake gives his friend the thumbs up and is happy for the two of them.

The movie The Fox and the Hound tells us the story of how Tod falls in love with the vixen Vixey she takes care of Tod after finding out that he has been released into the wild on his own. When Tod, first meets Vixey he tries to impress her by catching a fish. He fails and all the animals laugh at him. He insults Vixey and refuses to speak to her. They start talking eventually and he opens up to Vixey that he has no survival skills. It is after this that Tod and Vixey come closer together.

The last stamp features Thumper with his wife Miss Bunny and Flower with his wife Bluebelle from the movie Bambi. During the movie, Owl warns the threesome of Bambi, Thumper and Flower not to be ‘ twitter-patted’ as we soon see despite their best intentions at the end of the movie Thumper marries Bixby and they have a litter of little bunnies. Flower also falls in love and ends up marrying Bluebelle and they have a baby and name it after Bambi.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief glimpse into the theme of love on stamps. After all, it has been said that love is what makes the world go round.

The Disney Wiki.
The Disney Wiki.
The Disney Wiki.
The Disney Wiki.
The Disney Wiki.
The Disney Wiki.


Ships that Served Grenada

Originally published October 23, 2010.

Issued on November 3, 1976, Grenada commemorated ships that were connected to the development of the island nation.  The seven stamps were printed by lithography and perforated 14½.  Depicted on a green sea with a light blue background, each design is framed by rope work with a bowline on the right and an anchor on the left.

The S.S. Geestland was built by Scott’s Shipbuilding and Engineering of Greenock.  Launched in February of 1972, she was delivered to her owners Geest Industries in June 1972.

Used as a liner the Geestland travelled mainly between the Caribbean and UK.  Laden with general cargo outbound from the UK, she returned with Bananas and other tropical fruit.

Gross Tonnage: 5,871; Length: 489’ 7”; Breadth: 63’ 2”; 6 Cylinder Sulzer oil engine delivering 12,00 BHP for a speed of 21 knots.

The M.V. Federal Palm was built by Port Weller Dry Docks of St. Catherines Ontario in 1961. She was delivered to her owners near the end of that year.

Built with accommodation berths for 50 passengers and 200 on deck, the Federal Palm was also equipped with Cranes and derricks to offload herself. She was also equipped with whaleboats to shuttle cargo ashore where needed.

Gross Tonnage: 3,171; Length: 298’; Breadth: 51’ 8”; 2 Fairbanks-Morse locomotive engines delivering 3,400 BHP for a speed of 15 knots.

HMS Blake a Royal Navy Tiger Class Cruiser was completed in 1961 at Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd.  She was the last cruiser built for the Royal Navy.

Converted to a command and helicopter cruiser, the Blake was equipped with modern command, control and communications equipment and was used as a flagship.

Displacement: 12,080 tons; Length: 555 & ½’; Breadth: 64’; Four Admiralty-type 3 drum boilers and 4 shaft Parsons steam turbines delivering 80,000 SHP for a speed of 31½ knots.

Built by Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson at Wallsend in 1973 the MV Vistafjordwas built for the Norwegian America Line. She was delivered to her owners in May of 1973.

With accommodation for 830 passengers, the Vistafjord left on her maiden voyage for New York City from Oslo on May 23, 1973. After her arrival in New York, she was used for world cruises. She appeared in a German television series as the ‘Traumschiff’ (Dreams).

Gross Tonnage: 24,292 tons; Length: 626’ 11”; Breadth: 82’; 2 Sulzer diesels delivering 17, 650 KW of power for a speed of 20 knots.

The SS Canberra is known as one of the most beautiful ships in the world. Built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast. Operated by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company., she was named after the Capital of Australia.

Launched March 16, 1960, the Canberra sailed the world’s oceans for many years. Nicknamed the Great White Whale, the Canberra served with the Royal Navy during the Falklands War in 1982 as a troopship. She survived the Falklands War but was sent to the scrappers in 1997.

Gross Tonnage: 45,270 tons; Length: 818’; Breadth: 102’; 2 Steam turbines powering 2 electric engines producing 85,000 hp for a speed of 27½ knots.

The SS Regina was built as the Panama in 1939, she was acquired by the US Army in 1941 to serve as a troopship and renamed the USAT James Parker. After the war, she returned to service as the Panama. In 1957 she was sold to the President Lines and renamed President Hoover.

She sailed under this name until 1964 when she was purchased by the Chandris Line and renamed Regina. The Regina sailed the Caribbean in the winter season making Nassau her home port.

Gross Tonnage: 10, 021 tons; Length: 493’ 7”; Breadth: 64’ 3”; 4 Steam turbines producing 9,150 SHP for a speed of 17 knots.

The Arandora Star was built by Camel and Laird at Birkenhead and completed in 1927. In 1929 she was converted to a cruise liner.  She sailed to many destinations. She was nicknamed the ‘Wedding Cake’ or the ‘Chocolate Box’.

At the outset of World War II, she was used a transport ship and carried evacuees from Norway and France.  On her last voyage, she was destined for Canada carrying Axis nationals and prisoners of war when she was torpedoed and sank off the North West coast of Ireland.

Gross Tonnage: 12,847 tons; Length: 512’; Breadth: 68’; 4 Steam turbines driving 2 screws for 16 knots.


The 4 Indian Kings

Originally published June 15, 2018


Issued on April 19, 2010, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the portraits representing the 4 Indian Kings from the Iroquoian Confederacy who travelled to London, UK to meet with Queen Anne. Having been so impressed by her visitors, the Queen commissioned John Vereslt a court painter to paint their portraits. Each portrait shows a King with their hereditary clan animal at their side. In all of the portraits, the four kings are wearing red cloaks that were made for them and were gifts from Queen Anne.

The first stamp in the souvenir sheet (the stamp on the left below) features Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row of the Wolf Clan. His name means Double Life and he was said to be over 6 feet tall. Baptized as Hendrick, he was also known as King Hendrick Peters and was known as being Christian. In his portrait, he is holding a wampum belt. To his right, you can see the wolf. The portrait is titled: Emperor of the Six Nations.

Next is Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow (the stamp on the right above) of the Bear Clan. Christened as Peter Brant, he was the grandfather of Joseph Brant. He was pictured with a musket and his very elaborate tattoos. To his left, you can see the bear representing his hereditary clan. Peter Brant was a Catholic and was the leading king of the Mohawks. The portrait is titled: King of the Maquas

The third is Ho Nee Yeath Taw No Row (pictured on the left below) of the Wolf Clan. King of the Canojaharie as he was baptized as John. He is pictured with a Bow and his quiver of arrows on the ground to his right. To the left is the wolf. The portrait is titled: King of Generethgarich


The last portrait is of Etow Oh Koam. Baptized as Nicholas, he was known as the King of the River Nation. He was a Mahican of the Turtle Clan. Painted holding a ball-headed war club and English dress sword you can see the turtle representing his clan to his right. The portrait is titled: King of the River Nation.

These portraits were presented to Library and Archives Canada by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second in 1977. Prior to being given to Canada, they resided in London, England and at one point they were in Queen Anne’s London residence Kensington Palace. The portraits are among the earliest surviving portraits of North American native people.

Philately –
Virtual Vault, Collections Canada –
Courtly Lives –
Canada Post –
Wikipedia –