This photo was taken by Vancouver photographer Walter Calder in 1921, at the first of three dedication ceremonies held for the Peace Arch monument. With the 100th anniversary of the ceremony approaching, a group based in Blaine, Wash., is lobbying postal agencies on both sides of the border to create a commemorative stamp. (White Rock Museum and Archives photo)

International Peace Arch Association lobbies for 100th anniversary stamp

Canada Post considering commemorating centennial of border icon

The International Peace Arch Association is hoping to receive some good news in the mail.

The Blaine-based organization – dedicated to celebrating the history, culture and traditions of the Peace Arch on both sides of the border – is hoping that Canada Post will select the iconic monument for a 2021-issue stamp to mark the arch’s 100th birthday.

Since 2018, the association and its supporters have been lobbying postal authorities in both Canada and the U.S. for stamps that would recognize the centennial of the arch, opened on Sept. 6, 1921.

While there has been no formal response from the U.S. side, association founder and president Christina Winkler said a letter from Canada Post stamp services director Jim Phillips has assured her that a Peace Arch commemorative stamp is on the list of subjects being considered by the stamp advisory committee for the 2021 program.

“Final decisions for next year’s stamp program will be made this year,” Phillips wrote.

“I think we have a very good chance with Canada, based on a personal response showing care and consideration – the U.S. response was a form letter,” Winkler told Peace Arch News, while noting that competition for commemorative stamps is much more fierce on her side of the border.

“We’re very excited,” she added, pointing out that Canada Post began announcing new stamps for this year in September 2019.

READ ALSO: Restoration work puts Peace Arch under wraps

For the association, lobbying for a stamp was an important part of planning ahead for activities commemorating the anniversary next year, she said.

“Having a stamp would be very big,” she said. “If we don’t get one now, on the 100th anniversary, I don’t think we ever will.”

Winkler noted that, in preparing infographics for the appeals to both postal services, it was discovered that, while other stamps have done a good job of honouring both countries’ shared culture and heritage, neither country has ever issued a stamp “commemorating our shared boundary history west of the Rockies.”

This is in spite of numerous efforts on both sides of the border dating back to 1937, when the United States Postal Service was first lobbied to feature the Peace Arch on a postage stamp.

Other attempts have included calls for stamps marking the Columbia River Treaty, signed at the Peace Arch by President Lyndon Johnson and Prime Minister Lester Pearson on Sept. 16, 1964 and commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Peace Arch in 1996.

Among supporters of current lobbying efforts, Winkler said, are the Peace Arch Stamp Club, the cities of Blaine and White Rock, Washington state senator Doug Ericksen, White Rock Museum and Archives and the Surrey Historical Society and the Maryhill Museum of Art in Washington.

Winkler acknowledged that COVID-19 has introduced a lot of uncertainty into the picture of planning other events to mark the anniversary.

But she said the association is philosophical that the significance of the 100th anniversary of the monument will ultimately be honoured, including recovering the time capsule from the 1921 cornerstone and depositing a new one to be opened in 2121.

“The arch itself was supposed to be finished years earlier, but was delayed by the First World War,” she said.

“And then, when the soldiers came home in 1918, the Spanish flu pandemic came with them. But people back then managed to carry on and get the arch finished – so we should be able, at the very least, to mark the anniversary.”

And there are other options for marking the monument’s 100th anniversary – according to Lorraine Ellenwood’s history of White Rock and nearby environs, Years of Promise.

While the cornerstone for the Peace Arch was originally laid in 1921, the monument was also the subject of two re-dedication celebrations, one in March 1922, attended by France’s Marshal Joseph Joffre, and the other, in 1926, attended by Queen Marie of Romania.



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CanadaUnited States

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kamloops-North Thompson candidates travelled to Blue River to take part in an in-person forum. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)
Tiny House Warriors, high-speed internet service top concerns at all-candidate forum

Questions about the pipeline protest, economic development, education and health care were asked during the two-hour event

COVID-19. (Courtesy of CDC).
Interior Health reports 12 additional COVID-19 cases

The total number of cases in the region is now at 644

(File Photo)
The time has come — vote!

The time is drawing near — election day is just two days… Continue reading

Canfor Vavenby mill. File photo
Vavenby recieves increased legacy fund

Following more than a year of communications between the Thompson-Nicola Regional District… Continue reading

Crews of the Blackpool Fire Department packed up the trucks before visiting the residents of Jenkins Road, Traub Road and the Pinegrove Trailer Park as part of the home safety program. During each visit, the firefighters test and/or installs smoke and CO detectors in the home. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)
Blackpool Fire improves home safety with door-to-door program

The members of Blackpool Fire Department have been visiting every home in… Continue reading

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Most Read