Long-time philatelist and airmail expert Mike Street, of Ancaster, Ont., has made a noteworthy discovery.
As the advent of airmail took place across Canada in the early 20th century, some airports featured “airport mail facilities” (AMF). These facilities came in various forms from simple way-mail receptacles staffed by a clerk to full-service stations or sub-offices in major cities, including Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver, according to Street.
His newfound cover shows the services offered at the Vancouver AMF in April 1980 included post office boxes for rent. Street has searched through thousands of AMF covers since 2018, and the 1980 Vancouver AMF cover is the first one he has seen addressed to an AMF post office box. An “ambulance” cover (used to deliver damaged mail), it was sent by the Vancouver Undeliverable Mail Office with a postage due charge of 10 cents to the holder of a box #23151 at the Vancouver AMF.
The appropriate postage due stamps were affixed and cancelled at the Vancouver AMF with the facility’s postmarking device, said Street, who’s a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, British North America Philatelic Society and Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain.