On today’s date in 1951, Vincent Massey, head of the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences, tabled a report for his Commission on Canadian Culture, arguing 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, Massey 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.