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

Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield. (Contributed)
Gender no deterrent for Kelowna businesswoman, MLA

“He looked at me, and he said, ‘You’ll never be as good of a developer as I am.’” — Renee Merrifield

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Instagram.
Educational culinary facility proposed for Summerhill Winery

The facility would need approval from the Agricultural Land Commission

(Michael Rodriguez, Kelowna Capital News/FILE)
First death tied to COVID-19 outbreak at KGH

The outbreak was first announced on Monday, Feb. 22

A puppy stolen from a West Kelowna residence has been reunited with its family. (Kelowna RCMP)
Stolen puppy reunited with West Kelowna family

A happy ending; puppy stolen from West Kelowna vehicle found in Kelowna, returned to family

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Kelowna’s top cop removing barriers for women in the force

Kara Triance’s journey to becoming a police chief was not without its challenges

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Walter Makepeace was shocked to find two of his beehives were missing from his Keremeos acreage Feb. 20, 2020. (Contributed)
Stolen beehives create buzz in South Okanagan village

Walter Makepeace was shocked to see two beehives had gone missing from his property

An official investigation will be launched after VPD officers were recorded posing near a dead body at Third Beach on Wednesday morning, Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
VIDEO: Vancouver officers under review for allegedly laughing, taking pictures next to dead body

Two officers were caught on video by a local beachgoer Wednesday morning in Stanley Park

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
‘Stay local’: Dr. Henry shoots down spring break travel for British Columbians

B.C. is reportedly working with other provincial governments to determine March break policies

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” said FNHA acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. (First Nations Health Authority Facebook photo)
All First Nations on reserve to be vaccinated by end of March: First Nations Health Authority

Vaccinations continuing for B.C. First Nations amid shortages

(Delta Police Department photo)
B.C. youth calls 911 after accruing $7K in online gaming charges

‘Police spoke with the student about appropriate times to call 911’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Several road closures were in effect Jan. 13 due to downed trees, but meanwhile many residents are hoping Lake Country will invest in fixing damaged roads in 2021. (District of Lake Country photo)
Road safety puts Lake Country traffic plans in drive

District funds traffic calming program, and community grant

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. NDP announces Site C will go ahead with new $16B budget

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

Most Read