The Philatelic Research and Interpretation Centre of Canada has issued the first postmark of the year. It celebrates the naming of Anticosti Island as a UNESCO World Heritage site, a designation that was made official on Sept. 19, 2023.
The new postmark was launched earlier this month in partnership with the postmaster in Port-Menier, a small fishing town at the western end of Anticosti Island. Port-Menier, the hub of Anticosti Island, was built in the late 19th century by French chocolate maker, Henri Menier.
Anticosti is Quebec’s largest island and, according to UNESCO, boasts the most complete fossil record of marine life, spanning 10 million years of Earth’s history. Anticosti Island is also the site of the most complete and best-preserved paleontological record of the first mass extinction of animal life, about 447 million years ago.
The new postmark features the 76-metre high, Vaureal Falls, one of the island’s most spectacular natural attractions. The canyon where the falls are located features cliffs over 90 meters high. The official canyon trailhead runs through the forest at the top of the canyon.
The Philatelic Research and Interpretation Centre plans a philatelic mission to Anticosti Island this spring, and hopes to hold an exhibition later this year, using photos from the mission to highlight the beauty of the local landscape.
The centre worked on the Canadian World Heritage thematic series with the support of a resolution from the municipality of Anticosti Island, and has submitted a request to the Canada Post advisory committee for the creation of a Canadian stamp.
Anyone interested in obtaining the Anticosti-UNESCO World Heritage cancellation can send an envelope to Postmaster, Port-Menier Post Office, Qc, 12C rue des Olympiades, GOG 2Y0. Insert a second envelope, pre-stamped with your return address, and the postmaster will affix the commemorative postmark.