By Richard Dagenais
Two books meticulously documenting the history of the Quebec postal service are now available through the Société d’histoire postale du Québec (SHPQ). They are written by Cimon Morin, who worked for 30 years as manager of the Canadian Postal Archives.
The first of these books is focused on the post offices that were established along the Ottawa River and south of Montreal to the Richelieu River once the administration of postal service was officially transferred from the Post Office Department of England to the Province of Canada in 1851. The second book concentrates on the 61 post offices set up at that time across the Eastern Townships and surrounding area.
Morin, who also served as director of the National Postal Museum from 1986 to 1988, is currently writing a third volume focused on the 56 offices established in the Gaspe and Lower St. Lawrence, and he plans to publish a fourth volume in 2026 outlining the history of postal offices along the St. Lawrence River between Quebec City and Montreal.
He began preparing for this major research project when it was time to retire, having already discovered the holdings and collections he would need to examine in order to do the initial work. When he retired in 2008, authorities granted him the title of “researcher emeritus” for three years, during which time he was able to continue researching the postal institution’s historical archives.
Initially, Morin was interested in completing his collection of Quebec postmarks, in particular, those of the Eastern Townships up to 1851. Confronted by a lack of philatelic and postal references on the subject, he became determined to fill that void. That determination led to the publication of these first two volumes, titled La poste coloniale au Québec, 1763-1851.
The greatest challenge in writing these volumes, according to Morin, was to …