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)

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

West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni received some good news about an expansion to its emergency department on Jan. 15, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

A Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation guardian took this photo of dozens of vehicles parked along a forest service road in the Kennedy watershed. (Submitted photo)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District looks at enforcement of illegal camping

ACRD currently does not have an existing bylaw service to tackle the issue

Ucluelet local Geoff Johnson snapped this photo of a Risso’s dolphin that washed up near Chesterman Beach in Tofino on Wednesday, Jan. 13. (Geoff Johnson photo)
Washed up Risso’s dolphin offers glimpse into “whole other world” near Tofino

“It’s like a UFO crash landed and you can come look at it.”

(B.C. government)
POLL QUESTION: Would you report a neighbour in breach of COVID-19 regulations?

Would you report a neighbour in breach of COVID-19 regulations? READ MORE:… Continue reading

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read