Tag Archives: canada

Canadian Corvettes

Originally published May 2, 2017.

On July 1st, 1942, the Canadian government issued a series of stamps to celebrate Canada and Canadianscontributions to the war effort.

The 20¢ value was titled Corvette Ready for Launching and was designed by Herman Schwartz and engraved by Clifford Dawson and Walter Rosch. The Canadian Bank Note Company printed 62,028,166 copies of the stamp. It was perforated 12 on all sides. The design is based on a photograph of HMCS La Malbaie

Pictured on the stamp is a corvette ready to be launched. This design was relevant as many of Canada’s smaller ship yards constructed “Flower” class corvettes during the war. In total the Royal Canadian Navy ordered 104 corvettes from Canadian shipyards. Canadian shipyards also built the corvettes for the Royal and US navies.

Canadian Postal Archives Database – Record on Corvette Ready for Launching
Canadian Postal Archives Database
Wikipedia – Flower-class corvette

Robertson Davies

Originally published March 10, 2014.

On August 28, 2013, Canada Post issued a stamp to commemorate the celebrated Canadian author Robertson Davies.  Davies was also a playwright, journalist, critic and professor.

Davies was born on August 28, 1913, in Thamesville Ontario. His father was a newspaper man and both his father and mother were avid readers. Davies attended Upper Canada College (UCC) when he was 13 and after graduating from UCC in 1932 he attended Queens University in Kingston, Ontario as a special student not working towards a degree.

He left Queens for Balliol College in Oxford, England and received his Bachelor of Literature in 1938. After graduation, Davies began an acting career and did literary work for the Old Vic Repertory Company. During this period Davies also met his future wife and married her. In 1940 he returned to Canada and became the literary editor of the magazine Saturday Night.

In 1942 he became editor of the Peterborough Examiner a position which he held until 1955 (He was the publisher from 1955-1965). During his time at the Examiner, Davies wrote a number of plays, humorous essays and fiction novels. He was also a key player in the establishment of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival.

In 1960 he became a professor at Trinity College, University of Toronto (U of T) teaching literature until 1981. While at U of T, he became the Master of Massey College the U of T’s new graduate college. After his retirement, Davies continued to write and lecture up until his death on December 5th, 1995.

A listing of all his works can be found on Wikipedia.


C/O CJOB – Radio Mail

Originally published November 4, 2012.

Many of us have heard a radio announcer say “Send your name and address to …”  The below covers were sent to Winnipeg radio station CJOB in 1962 after hearing the announcer say something very similar.

The above cover franked with a 4 cent Queen Elizabeth the Second cent covering the first class local letter rate.  I imagine that Christie’s Hamper is much like the current hampers that people pay towards all year to have a ‘hamper’ full of food at Christmas.  Perhaps they were giving a few away and a loyal listener wrote in hoping to win it.

Below are a couple of other covers complete with their contents sent into Christie’s C/O CJOB.


I believe the George referred to above is George McLoy who worked at the station from 1946 to 1987, an astonishing 41 years on the Air.  He hosted the Ladies Choice Program.

Saran Wrap had a contest on the station as well.  This is demonstrated in the below 2 covers


Royal Upholsters had a contest as well:

The final cover I have addressed to CJOB is for the Robin Hood Rocking Chair contest.

CJOB was created by Jack Blick in 1945 to provide  JOBs for people returning from serving in World War II.


The Grey Cup – The Game

Originally published August 28, 2012.

Following my post last week on the Grey Cup Trophy, today I will detail some of the histories on the Game.
The first Grey Cup Game was played on December 4, 1909, between the University of Toronto Blues and the Parkdale Canoe Club,  the Varsity Blues won the game 26 – 6.  Since then 99 Games have been held with the 100th being played November 24, 2012.


I will detail a brief history of the current CFL Teams Grey Cup history below.
The BC Lions have made 10 appearances in the Grey Cup and have walked away with the trophy on 6 occasions.  Depicted on the Stamp above is a shot from the 82nd Grey Cup, where BC’s Lui Passaglia kicked the winning field goal keeping the Grey Cup in Canada.  Pictured on the foreground of the stamp is Geroy Simon.
Calgary Stampeders

The Calgary Stampeders have played in 12 Grey Cup games and have brought the trophy home on 6 occasions.  Represented on the stamp above is a picture from their 1948 Grey Cup win.  What was notable about this Grey Cup game, was not only Calgary’s perfect season but their fans that turned the game into a festival.  The foreground features “Thumper” Wayne Harris.
Edmonton Eskimos
Bringing home the cup on 13 of their 22 appearances, the Edmonton Eskimos have the longest consecutive Grey Cup winning streak of 5 in a row.  Between 1978 and 1982, the Eski’s under the leadership of Tom Wilkinson and Warren Moon were the CFL’s dynasty team.  Their 5 in a row record has yet to be broken and it seems that it will stand the test of time.  Featured in the foreground of the stamp is Tom Wilkinson.
Saskatchewan Roughriders
The Roughriders have won 3 of their 15 Grey Cup appearances.  Their 1989 winning performance is referred to as a ‘true classic’.  With the game tied at 40 points each, Saskatchewan’s kicker Dave Ridgway was successful on his 35-yard field goal attempt.  Pictured in the foreground is George Reed.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Winnipeg has travelled to the Grey Cup game 24 times.  On 10 occasions they have won the Grey Cup.  During the 50th Grey Cup game, played at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, the fog began to roll in and with 9 minutes left, the game was suspended due to poor visibility with score 28-27 for Winnipeg over Hamilton.  The next afternoon the game resumed and with neither team scoring Winnipeg won the “Fog Bowl”.  Ken Ploen is featured on the foreground of the stamp.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Winning 8 of their Grey Cup appearances, the Tiger-Cats call Hamilton home.  Playing in the 60th Grey Cup game at home, with the game tied 19-year-old Ian Sunter Kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Tiger-Cats over Saskatchewan to win the cup.  Danny McManus is pictured in the foreground.
Toronto Argonauts
The Argo’s are the Grey Cup’s most winning team notching 15 wins out of their 21 appearances.  One of their most famous wins is the 1950 win over Blue Bombers.  Played at Varsity Stadium in Toronto the game was completely rain-soaked and the game was immediately referred to as the “Mud Bowl”.  Micheal ‘Pinball’ Clemons is pictured in the foreground.
Montreal Alouettes
Winning 7 of their 18 Grey Cup appearances on the Alouettes’ most memorable games was the 1977 game played at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.  Dubbed the “Ice Bowl” after attempts to melt the snow on the field failed and the resultant water turned to into a sheet of ice.  Montreal defensive back, Tony Proudfoot, used staples on the bottom of his and his teammates shoes to gain traction resulting in Montreal’s victory.  Pictured in the foreground is Anthony Calvillo.
Below is a list of all the Grey Cup winners and the number of times they have won the cup.
Toronto Argonauts 15
Edmonton Eskimos 13
Winnipeg ‘Pegs / Blue Bombers 10
Ottawa Rough Riders 9
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 8
Montreal Alouettes 7
Calgary Stampeders 6
BC Lions 6
Hamilton Tigers 5
University of Toronto Varsity Blues 4
Queen’s University 3
Regina / Saskatchewan Roughriders 3
Toronto Balmy Beach 2
Sarnia Imperials 2
Baltimore Stallions 1
Hamilton Flying Wildcats 1
Hamilton Alerts 1
Montreal AAA Winged Wheelers 1
St. Hyacinthe-Donnacona Navy 1
Toronto RCAF Hurricanes 1

The Grey Cup – The Trophy

Originally published August 21, 2012.

In 1909 Earl Grey, the Governor General of Canada donated the Grey Cup for Canada’s National Football Championship.

2012 sees the 100th Grey Cup game (no games were held between 1916-1919) and this is being commemorated by Canada Post in their 2012 stamp program.

Commisioned in 1909 and costing $48.00, the Grey Cup is made of sterling silver and is 13 inches tall.  The base was originally made of wood, with silver shields engraved with the winnings team name.
In 1947 it was almost destroyed in a fire at the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club’s clubhouse but escaped with only minor damage after catching on a nail after the shelf it was sitting on collapsed.  It has been broken 4 other times.  In 1978 it was dropped by the celebrating Edmonton players; in 1987 and Edmonton player sat on it; 1993 saw Edmonton player Blake Dermott head-butted it and in 2006 when it broke away from its base during as the BC Lions celebrated their Grey Cup victory.
On two occasions the Grey Cup has been stolen.  In 1967 as a prank, it was taken from the Hamilton Tiger Cats for 3 days.  In 1969 it was stolen from the Ottawa Rough Riders and the thieves tried to ransom the trophy to the CFL.  The CFL refused to pay and planned to create a duplicate trophy to replace it.  2 months later the trophy was recovered from a locker at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto after an anonymous phone call led to it.
The Grey Cup Trophy is a Canadian Icon.  Next week another post will discuss the Grey Cup Game and the current teams who are vying to play in the 100th Grey Cup.

The Titanic – Canada’s Commemoratives

Originally published April 7, 2012.

Issued on April 5th. 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic are among some of the best stamp designs Canada Post has used in years.

Sheet of 16 Domestic Rate Stamps

The sheet of 16 features 4 designs, 2 of the bow and 2 of the stern.  They demonstrate the sheer size of the Titanic.  These stamps are traditional lick and stick and are denominated P and will always (until further notice) be used to cover the domestic first-class letter rate.

A souvenir sheet was also issued.

Souvenir Sheet of $1.80 International Rate Stamp    

The souvenir sheet features a side view of the Titanic along with the position where she sits across the top of the sheet.

Along with sheet of 16 and Souvenir sheet, Canada Post Issued stamps in self-adhesive booklets as well.

Titanic Booklets      

The Domestic Rate booklets only feature the bow designs along with a picture of a deck chair recovered from the wreckage, at the top of the booklet.  The International rate booklet stamps feature the exact same design as the souvenir sheet.

Stamp Technical Details:
Perforated 13 and die cut 13.
Designed by: Dennis Page & Oliver Hill
Illustrated by: Mike Little based on Anatomy of the Titanic by Tom McCluskie and Titanic: The Ship Magnificent by Bruce Beveridge. Bow and propellors of the Olympic from the National Museums of Northern Ireland.
Perforated 13 and die cut 13.
Printed by lithography on Tullis Russell paper.  The Permanent stamps have general tagging on 3 sides.  The international rate stamp has general tagging on 4 sides.

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.

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 News.com – http://philatelynews.com/2010/canada/the-four-indian-kings/
Virtual Vault, Collections Canada – http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/virtual-vault/4-kings/index-e.html
Courtly Lives – http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/4Chiefs.html
Canada Post – www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/personal/collecting/stamps/2010/2010_Four_Kings.jsf
Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Mohawk_Kings

The Confederation Bridge

Originally published March 15, 2010.


The Confederation Bridge connects the provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. At 12.9 kilometres, it is the longest bridge in the world that crosses ice-covered water. Connecting P.E.I. to the mainland, the Confederation Bridge crosses the Northumberland Strait between Borden-Carleton, PEI and Cape Tormentine, NB. Initially referred to as the Fixed Link by the Prince Edward Islanders, it was hotly contested and finally was sent to the population of the Island to decide in a referendum in 1988. Although with 59.4% of the islanders deciding to go ahead with the project, the federal government also had to face other legal challenges and environmental assessments before construction could begin.

One legal hurdle was the Constitution of Canada. The Constitution specified that the federal government was required to provide steamship service to Prince Edward Island. With the bridge, steamship and ferry service would not be required and a Constitutional amendment was required. Proclaimed in 1993, the amendment reads:

That a fixed crossing joining the Island to the mainland may be substituted for the steam service referred to in this Schedule… That, for greater certainty, nothing in this Schedule prevents the imposition of tolls for the use of such a fixed crossing between the Island and the mainland, or the private operation of such a crossing;

Construction finally began in 1993 and was completed in 1996, through the winter the builder finished paving the bridge deck and installing the vehicle barriers, lights, etc. Officially opened on May 31, 1997, the Confederation Bridge cost a total of $1.3 billion to complete. As agreed to with the developers, the federal government is paying the bridge operator approximately $44 million per year for 33 years which is roughly what the subsidy to the ferry operator would have been. In 2032 the Confederation Bridge’s ownership will be transferred to the Government of Canada.

Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation_Bridge
Strait Crossing Bridge Limited. http://www.confederationbridge.com