Canada Post released five new nondenominated permanent self-adhesive stamps as a part of its new Canadians in Flight set on 27th March. The stamps feature the letter “P” within a maple leaf design to indicate that they are permanent stamps.
The first stamp is dedicated to Elizabeth “Elsie” MacGill (1905-80) who was honoured on Canada’s aviation hall of fame in 1983 and into the pioneer hall of fame of Woman in Aviation International in 2012. She was the first woman in Canada to become an electrical engineer in 1927. She became the first women in the world to earn a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering in 1929. However, she contracted polio in the same year, leaving her lower body paralysed. She became the Chief Aeronautical Engineer for the Canadian Car and Foundry Plant in Fort William, Ontario, where she managed the production of Hawker Hurricanes that were built for the Allied forces. She introduced mass production techniques, modified the Hurricane for winter use, and set standards for test pilot reporting.
The second stamp is dedicated to Clennell Haggerston “Punch” Dickins (1899-1995), who was an ace pilot to serve both World War I and World War II. Dickins became a member of Canada’s aviation hall of fame in 1974 and is known for utilizing the power of the bush plane effectively. He flew the first scheduled airmail flight from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Edmonton, Alberta in 1928 and also received the Trans-Canada (McKee) trophy for his 4,000-mile flight over uncharted land in the Northwest Territories. He flew for more than 1 million miles across northern Canada in his career.
The third stamp depicts the great War Hero, William George Barker (1894-1930), who is credited for 50 aerial victories in over 900 hours of combat. He has received several awards for displaying the highest order of courage during war. He destroyed four German planes during his final fight over France in October 1918, even though he was attacked by several enemy planes and had also lost consciousness in flight. Baker received the Victoria Cross for achieving this feat. Barker was became the first Canadian pilot to carry international mail in 1919 after a round-trip aerial race from Toronto, Ontario, to New York. He became a member of Canada’s aviation hall of fame in 1974.
The fourth stamp features the twin-engine, supersonic interceptor, Avro CF-105 Arrow that was designed and manufactured in Ontario between 1953 and 58. It could fly at more than twice the speed of sound and is considered one of the greatest technological achievements in Canadian aviation history. Certain technologies that were applied to build this interceptor are used even today.
The fifth stamp features the twin-engine, high-wing ultralight Lazair monoplanes. Designed by Dale Kramer of Port Colborne, Ontario, and manufactured as kits in Canada between 1979 and 1985, these planes are still considered as one of the best light aircrafts.
Canada Aviation and Space Museum helped Canada Post to design these stamps. Ivan Novotny of Taylor|Sprules designed the 40 mm by 32mm stamps while Lowe-Martin printed them using five-colour lithography in booklets of 10, with two stamps of each design. A pane of five se-tenant stamps with PVA gum is also available. Five official first-day covers, each with a unique cancel related to the subject of the stamp were also released. The Dickins FDC shows his plane and is cancelled in his birthplace, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
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Image Courtesy: Canada Post