St. Catharines Stamp Club revved up to host 90th RPSC Convention in June

Stuart Keeley, right, chair of the 2018 Royal Convention in St. Catharines, Ont., meets with Ronald Lafreniere, author of the Field Guide to the Cinderella Stamps of Canada, at last year’s RPSC Convention in Boucherville, Qué.

Later this year, The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) will be returning to St. Catharines, Ont. for its 90th convention. Hosted by the St. Catharines Stamp Club, the 2018 convention of The RPSC will be held June 22-24 at the Holiday Inn and Suites Parkway Convention Centre on 327 Ontario St. It will mark only the second time the convention has been held in the “Garden City”; in 2009, it was held at the same location. Continue reading →

Stamp Advisory Committee chair calls 12-year role ‘a great privilege’

Robert Waite is resigning from the Canada Post Stamp Advisory Committee. Photo submitted.

After more than 12 years at the helm of Canada Post’s Stamp Advisory Committee, Robert Waite announced he will resign from his post in February 2018. Waite, who said he viewed his role as “that of a facilitator and a consensus-builder,” recently informed Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra of his intention to resign. “Chairing this committee has been a great privilege and has brought me into contact with some of Canada’s pre-eminent designers, historians and collectors. I was especially fortunate to have (Canada Post Director of Stamp Services) Jim Phillips and his team supporting me through my 12-plus year tenure,” said Waite, who also served as vice-president of the Crown corporation from 2005-10. Continue reading →

Barrie philatelist researching retailers’ letters from Santa

This 1918 cover, franked with a 1911 one-cent King George V stamp (Scott #104), includes another ‘letter from Santa Claus.’

Barrie philatelist Dave Hanes is researching Canadian letters from Santa Claus for a forthcoming book slated to be published by the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS). Hanes is compiling a listing of letters from Santa sent via iconic Canadian retailers T. Eaton Company (commonly known as Eaton’s) and the Robert Simpson Company (known as Simpsons since 1972). “It’s history that a lot of people have seen, but they’ve never taken any great interest in it,” said Hanes, who has been a member of the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada (PSSC) for about a decade. “I’m getting older now, and I’d like to see this stuff recorded for posterity.” Eaton’s Toyland, which was the retailer’s fifth-floor Christmastime toy section, began writing letters from Santa as early as 1909. The earliest known letter – “so far,” added Hanes with cautious optimism – was written on Eaton’s letterhead. Continue reading →

Canada Post issues ‘stop selling’ Hanukkah covers and booklets

The original booklet of 10 stamps (right) depicted the Star of David on the cover. It was replaced with the left side of a menorah on the reprinted version (left).

The day after being unveiled in Toronto, and only one day before it was slated to go on sale across the country, the new Hanukkah stamp issued by Canada Post was removed from display and returned to head office because of what the Crown corporation called “a design issue” with the stamp booklet and first-day cover. Initially slated for release on Nov. 14 as a booklet of 10, the Hanukkah stamp was unveiled on Nov. 12 at the Starry Nights event held at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram and Bluma Appel Salon. However, according to a Canada Post memo sent to all dealer post offices on Nov. 13, entitled “IMPORTANT: Stop selling Hanukkah stamp products immediately,” the booklet (product code “414066111”) and official first-day cover (product code “414066131”) were ordered to be “immediately removed from display and returned.” “These products are not to be sold to customers and they are also no longer available through mail order or online,” reads the memo, which also explains “the reprinted version” of the stamp booklets and OFDC would “be back on sale in the next coming weeks.” The products were to be returned no later than Nov. 22. Post offices were also requested to remove the November 2017 issue of Details magazine, which featured the original Hanukkah products on page 10. Continue reading →

National Postage Stamp & Coin Show continues to grow

Dealer Hugo Deshaye (left), of Québec City, on the bourse of the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show with eight-year-old Jack Nixon, of Toronto, who recently won the American Philatelic Society Youth Grand Champion of Champions award. Photo by Jesse Robitaille.

The biannual National Postage Stamp and Coin Show returned to the Greater Toronto Area this October for its fourth showing since 2015, when Trajan Media took the reigns of what was then known as the National Postage Stamp Show. Nearly 1,000 collectors attended the Oct. 28-29 show, and they were greeted by a familiar 9,000-square-foot bourse located in the Hilton Mississauga’s Graydon Hall, which has been the show’s home since last spring. “I liked that there’s a mix of postal history and postcard vendors,” said collector and award-winning exhibitor Leon Matthys about the bourse, which included 25 dealers of all kinds of philatelic material as well as about two dozen numismatic dealers. “If I had more time, I bet I’d have ventured into uncharted territories and browsed the coin merchants for non-philatelic ephemera such as medals, badges, pins and tokens.” Matthys added the event was “a breeze for drivers” with free on-site parking at the hotel, which is located directly off Highway 401 on Mississauga Road. Continue reading →

Canpex 2017 Grand Award features ‘extraordinary’ research, rare covers

Rob Leigh’s five-frame exhibit, ‘The Western District of Upper Canada: The Development of Postal Communications and Postal Markings, 1800-1850,’ won the Grand Award at Canpex this October. Photo by Jesse Robitaille.

A five-frame exhibit entitled “The Western District of Upper Canada: The Development of Postal Communications and Postal Markings, 1800-1850” was the big winner at Canpex 2017. Created by Rob Leigh, the Grand Award-winning exhibit was one of eight Large Gold winners among 35 total exhibits at the national show held in London, Ont. on Oct. 14-15. Leigh’s exhibit – his first exhibit ever – was only being shown for the second time ever in a competitive exhibition. It also won the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS) Best BNA Exhibit Award and BNA Postal History Award as well as the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada (PSSC) Canada Research Award. “Rob’s exhibit was what I consider an extremely fine showing of an area of postal history that is most important; that is, with a major emphasis on how postal services followed the development of the Western District,” said Chief Judge Steve Reinhard, of Mineola, N.Y. “Research shown was extraordinary, and the rarity of many of the covers excelled. I hope that Rob will show this exhibit in the Champion of Champions competition being held in Columbus, Ohio next August.” Continue reading →

‘Magnificent’ China stamps highlight Eastern fall sale

A complete set of imperforate corner blocks from the 1962 Stage Art of Mei Lan-fang issue is being offered as Lot 21 of Eastern Auction’s Nov. 3-4 sale. Issued by the People’s Republic of China, this lot has a catalogue value of $117,000.

A “magnificent and very fine set” of sought-after imperforate stamps issued in 1962 by the People’s Republic of China is expected to bring big money at a New Brunswick auction this November. Described as an “outstanding complete set” of imperforate corner blocks from the 1962 Stage Art of Mei Lan-fang issue (Scott #620-627), the stamps are being offered as Lot 21 of the two-day sale hosted by New Brunswick’s Eastern Auctions. Altogether, the 18-stamp set – one of nearly 1,100 lots from the Max Goldman Estate – has a catalogue value of $117,000. “Advanced collectors are well aware that these are rarely offered on the marketplace and will receive much attention and spirited bidding,” said Yohann Tanguay, chief describer at Eastern Auctions. “I don’t think there will be much demand coming out of Canada. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the Chinese stamps are sold primarily in Hong Kong, the U.S., Europe and of course China.” Other popular People’s Republic of China items, which will be offered on Nov. 3 as Lots 1-124, include Lot 37, an “extraordinary” offering of six miniature sheets of the 1962 $3 Stage Art of Mea Lan-fang issue (Scott #628). Continue reading →

‘Ultimate Six’ Canadian hockey legends commemorated

The six stamps include (clockwise from top left) Maurice Richard; Jean Béliveau; Mario Lemieux; Wayne Gretzky; Bobby Orr; and Gordie Howe.

A week before the drops the puck on the 2017-18 National Hockey League (NHL) season, Canada Post unveiled its final instalment of the five-year NHL stamp collection at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The 2017 Canadian Hockey Legends issue includes Maurice Richard and Jean Béliveau (Montréal Canadiens); Gordie Howe (Detroit Red Wings); Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins); Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins); and Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers). As a group, the all-star lineup scored more than 9,500 points in almost 7,000 regular-season games, won 40 Stanley Cups – 30 as players and another 10 as management – and more than 80 individual awards. "The players we immortalized on this year's stamps redefined hockey over careers that spanned more than 60 years. They inspired us – and each other – with feats that boggle the mind. They are the ultimate six," said Canada Post president and CEO Deepak Chopra. "We hope that by issuing these stamps during the NHL's centennial, we have helped make this milestone year for the NHL even more special.” Continue reading →

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