Happy Canada Day from Canadian Stamp News!
On today’s date in 1867, the enactment of the British North America Act united three colonies into a single country named Canada.
In 1927, a colourful set of stamps marking the 60th anniversary of Canadian Confederation was issued. It was the first Canadian release following the Admiral era of 1911-28 (Scott #104-34).
On June 29, 1927, eight stamps were issued—five commemoratives in the Confederation issue (SC #141-45) and three in the historical issue (SC #146-48). Together, they celebrated Canada’s 60th birthday.
The first issue, an orange one-cent stamp (SC #141), depicts Sir John A. Macdonald, one of the Fathers of the Confederation and the first prime minister of Canada (he served from 1867-73 and again from 1878-91).
Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1815, Macdonald came to Canada in 1820 and eventually entered Parliament in 1844. In 1864 he participated in a conference proposing to confederate the provinces of British North America. After the conference agreed upon a basis of union, a committee went to London in 1866 to work with the British government in drafting the British North America Act.
The act came into effect on July 1, 1867, which was designated as Dominion Day (the national holiday was later renamed “Canada Day” by Parliament in 1982).
FATHERS OF CONFEDERATION
The second issue (SC #142) was a green two-cent stamp depicting the Fathers of Confederation based on an oil painting by Group of Seven artist Robert Harris. The painting was also used as the focal point of a 1917 three-cent Confederation stamp.
The third issue (SC #143), a brown-carmine three-cent stamp, depicts the Parliament Building in Ottawa. Situated on Parliament Hill, Parliament’s Centre Block overlooks the Ottawa River. The building contains the House of Commons, the Senate and the parliamentary offices.
The Peace Tower, which dominates the building, contains the Memorial Chamber in remembrance of Canada’s fallen soldiers. At the rear of the building is the Parliamentary Library.
The fourth stamp, this a violet five-cent issue (SC #144), shows Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s seventh prime minister and the first French-Canadian prime minister (1896-1911).
Born in 1841 in the village of St. Lin, Qué., Laurier entered Parliament in 1874. Three years later, he became a member of the Dominion cabinet before eventually becoming prime minister in 1896.
In 1897, Queen Victoria knighted Laurier while he was attending ceremonies in connection with the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen’s accession to the throne. He died during the winter of 1919 and was buried in Notre Dame Cemetery, Ottawa.
The series’ fifth issue, a dark blue 12-cent stamps (SC #145), depicts a map of Canada in 1867 and 1927 with light blue shading symbolizing the coast-to-coast expansion. The Dominion of Canada—formed in 1867 by the confederation of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario—is shown against a lighter background map of Canada of 1927. The map gives an idea of the vast enlargement of territory extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific.