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

The two sites in question included a number of commercial buildings, some of them currently boarded up. (Langley Advance Times files)
Deal to add Fort Langley land to Kwantlen reserve called off

Elders and a land advisory group within the KFN opposed the project

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

Dwain and Lillian Seymour discovered their Murrayville home was listed for rent without their knowledge as part of a scam. (Langley Advance Times/file)
Guilty plea in Langley rent fraud case

Arrested man admits to 14 criminal counts

Police boats were called in to search the Fraser River after a report that a plane had crashed where the river runs between Langley and Maple Ridge. (Shane MacKichan/Special to The News)
Investigation enters final phase, missing aircraft last seen over Fraser River

Small aircraft was carrying a student and instructor on June 6

Trinity Western University students Nyssa Morgan and Braedon Sunnes take their comedy improv night online for the world to see. (TWU/Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: In year of uncertainties, Langley students try to lift spirits with laughter

TWU students brought 30-year-old comedy improv tradition online

Mary Foote (right) took part in the Gutsy Walk in August 2020 at the age of 104. She was joined by son in-law Clarence and daughter Edith Olson. (family photo)
Langley woman turns 105 on Oct. 25

In August, Mary Foote took part in the Gutsy Walk to battle Crohn’s and Colitis

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

The many faces of Daon Glasgow. (Photos: Surrey RCMP)
Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

Most Read