Toronto researcher receives 2023 Aerophilatelic Award

The Canadian Aerophilatelic Society (CAS) has handed this year’s Canadian Aerophilatelist Editor’s Award to Toronto collector Dr. Robert Galway “for his outstanding research into early Canadian airmail flights of the 1920s,” according to his citation.

Last November, Galway presented at the CAS Day of Aerophilately in Toronto, leading to a re-evaluation of the history of British Columbia Airways.

“BC Airways was often regarded as having a minor role in the development of airmail in Canada, as the airline issued one semi-official stamp and only flew for a month,” added the citation. “Bob’s research and presentation included newspaper clippings describing the airline’s twice daily service between Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle, and how it was integrated with other mail services.”

Left to right: Galway, Garfield Portch and John Laraway review material on Canada’s airmail history during a 2015 presentation at a West Toronto Stamp Club meeting.


The BC Airways venture collapsed when their Ford Trimotor, a three-engined transport aircraft first produced in 1925, crashed into the sea during poor visibility due to smoke from forest fires.

Galway also researched many earlier flights, including the 1920 flights by the Canadian Aero Film Company to Moose Factory on James Bay when mail was carried for the Hudson’s Bay Company and Revillion Frères, a French fur and luxury goods company founded in Paris in the early 1720s.

“This was the first large-scale carriage of mail in Canada, but none of the correspondence has survived, and the flights had not been included in catalogues of Canadian airmail. As a result of Bob Galway’s research and writing, these 1920 flights have been listed in the revised edition of The Air Mails of Canada and Newfoundland.”

The CAS annually presents the Canadian Aerophilatelist Editor’s Award so the journal “celebrates current aerophilatelic achievements, as well as recording past contributions in obituaries,” according to CAS President Chris Hargreaves.

CAS officials will present the plaque accompanying the award to Galway during this year’s Day of Aerophilately in Toronto on Nov. 5.

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