Canada Post has issued its second commemorative envelope of the year.
Released on June 12, the envelope commemorates the 12e Régiment blindé du Canada (12 RBC), which marks its sesquicentennial this year. Founded in 1871 as the Three Rivers Provisional Battalion of Infantry, the long-running regiment was originally based in Trois-Rivières, Qué. Today, it’s based in Canadian Forces Base Valcartier near Québec City.
The regiment’s badge is featured on the envelope’s Picture Postage indicium and part of its all-over cachet, which also shows two historical badges. The cachet prominently features a 1944 photograph of regiment members on a Sherman tank in Italy during the Second World War. At the bottom, four photographs of personnel, armoured cars and tanks plus the regiment’s barracks, which also includes its museum, are shown. The bilingual phrase “ADSUM / Depuis 150 and / For 150 years” is included at the left, referencing the regiment’s motto, “Adsum” (or “Present”).
The Picture Postage indicium is cancelled by a June 12, 2021-dated pictorial postmark from Trios-Rivières featuring a tank.
The regiment’s soldiers were deployed in the First World War, and as an armoured unit in the Second World War, they earned several battle honours. The regiment was reintegrated into the regular force in 1968.
Compared to Canada Post’s stamp program, which focuses on broad subjects of national significance, the Crown corporation’s commemorative envelopes hone in on narrower topics with a more regional scope.
“They’re really a release valve for the stamp program, just like postal cards in the United States,” Jim Phillips, Canada Post director of stamp services, told CSN in mid-May.
While their print runs are much smaller – typically in the low thousands in recent years – commemorative envelopes help Canada Post fulfill its mandate, Phillips added.
“They’re very important for part of our mandate, and that is to tell Canada’s stories and commemorate Canada’s institutions and people, because there might not be enough market for a whole stamp and all that entails. Even if we’re not making that many, it’s important to tell the story of those regiments, or those institutions, and the people.”
The 12 RBC envelope will be Canada Post’s second commemorative envelope since 2019, when it issued three of them.
Earlier this year, in March, Canada Post issued an envelope marking the centennial of the Concordia University of Edmonton (formerly the Concordia University College of Alberta).
Next up on the Crown corporation’s docket is a highly anticipated issue coming on June 29 to mark the Bluenose centennial.