On today’s date in 1951, head of the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences Vincent Massey tabled a report for his Commission on Canadian Culture, in which he argued for increased government support of the arts.
The Massey Report led to the establishment of the National Library of Canada – now the world’s fourth largest library – and the Canada Council, the government’s art council.
The following year, he was named governor-general.
In 1969, Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) featured Massey on a six-cent stamp (Scott #491) with 12 perforations. Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, the stamp depicts Massey’s portrait above his name as well as birth and death years, “1887-1967.” Below is his title, “GOVERNOR GENERAL / GOUVERNEUR GENERAL,” and the years he served, “1952-1959.”
In 1977, Massey was depicted on a 12-cent stamp (SC #735) honouring Canadian-born governors-general, including Massey, Georges Philias Vanier, Daniel Roland Michener and Jules Leger.
More recently, in 2002, Massey was featured on a 48-cent stamp marking the 50th anniversary of the first time a Canadian was appointed as Canada’s governor-general.
First approached to be governor-general in 1950, Massey eventually took office in February 1952. A personal friend of King George VI, he had already proved himself in the academic, business, and government worlds when he embarked on a new venture as governor-general.