Canada Post has confirmed it will issued a stamp to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice some time this year.
While Canada Post’s original announcement regarding its 2018 stamp program did not include an Armistice stamp, earlier this week, Ottawa Philatelic Society (OPS) President John Tooth “learned from sources high up in Canada Post” that an Armistice stamp will be issued.
Earlier this year, the OPS “initiated a very strong advocacy program designed to inform politicians and other senior bureaucrats that the November 11, 1918, Armistice ending the Great War was important and still is important for Canada,” wrote Tooth, who added advocacy letters were sent to Canada Post; Canadian Heritage; National Defence; Veterans Affairs Canada; the Royal Canadian Legion; the Canadian Museum of History; and opposition critics.
“Over 600,000 Canadians enlisted, over 170,000 were wounded, and some 60,000 died during the war. Canada’s sacrifice and contributions to the war effort led to the nation’s growing independence. This November will be the 100th anniversary to the end of the War.”
This January, the OPS released a statement condemning Canada Post for not recognizing the centennial of the First World War armistice; however, the Crown corporation has since said a stamp may be in the works.
In the open letter, which was addressed to Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra, OPS President John Tooth writes on behalf of the OPS – Canada’s oldest stamp club – to “express our deep concern that the program for Canadian stamps to be issued in 2018 completely ignores the end of World War I and the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918.”
“Surely among all of the stamps to be issued in 2018 depicting sharks, bees, birds, sheep and flowers, there is a place to remember the sacrifice made by so many Canadians between 1914 and 1918.”
Despite the strongly worded letter, Canada Post officials explained earlier this year that an armistice stamp may be in the pipeline.
“The 2018 stamp program has been announced, however, from time to time, some topics are held back and added for various reasons,” said Canada Post media relations manager Phil Legault in January. “As for holding back announcing stamps, we’ve done that in the recent past such as for both Star Trek issues. If we ‘hold back’ announcing an upcoming stamp, we don’t disclose that ahead of time.”
Royal Canadian Legion communications manager Nujma Bond confirmed an armistice stamp could still be issued.
“Canada Post is actually open to producing a commemorative stamp, and we’ll be discussing it with them,” said Bond.
PAST WWI STAMPS
“Canada did issue a stamp in 2015 to commemorate the centennial of The McCrae poem, ‘In Flanders Fields’ and another in 2017 to commemorate the centennial Battle of Vimy Ridge,” reads the OPS letter, which adds Canada Post “already issued stamps in 1968 to mark the 50th anniversary of these two events.”
“But there has been nothing at all, ever, to mark any other aspect of World War I.”
“Armistice Day 2018 will undoubtedly be a special occasion at cenotaphs across this country. France, Britain and other Commonwealth countries have already announced stamps to commemorate the Armistice. It is not too late for Canada Post to rectify this surprising and inexcusable oversight.”