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Book cover illustration

Letters from Santa

David A. Hanes
Released December 2019.
104 pages, 8.5 x 11, Spiral bound.
Colour C$ 32.00 [ISBN 978-1-989280-03-4].

The first Eaton's Santa Claus letter was prepared and sent to children in 1905, the same year the first Santa Claus parade was held in Toronto. A new Eaton's Santa Letter was prepared each year until 1967. Between 1928 and 1930, the Robert Simpson Company in Toronto produced at least two Santa Claus letters. From 1972 until 1983, several regional departments of the Canada Post Office, later the Canada Post Corporation, intermittently prepared Santa Letters. Letters from Santa includes illustrations of all Santa letters known to date. The author hopes that with publication of the book more letters will come to light.

David Hanes was born (a Pearl Harbour baby) and raised in a rural setting in Hants County, Nova Scotia. He attended a two-room school until Grade 9, and then attended a district High School, obtaining a Junior Matriculation Education plus a year of Business Training.

While in the two-room school, one of several different teachers was a stamp collector who started the older children into collecting stamps. An older sister was one of these collectors and at Christmas time received a Majestic Stamp Album. Monkey see, monkey do; Dave wanted one too. This started him into the World of Stamps. In 1957, he purchased his first Canadian stamp album, and the world was shrunk into Canada.

He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1961, and retired in 1986 after 25 years of moving from coast to coast plus two trips with NATO in Germany. RCAF Station LaMacaza (a Bomarc Station 110 miles north of Montreal), RCAF Station Pagwa (a Mid-Canada Radar Station midway between Hearst and Nakina in Northern Ontario), and RCAF Station Baldy Hughes (a Mid-Canada Radar Station southwest of Prince George, central BC) were a few boring places. His stamp collection went with him and helped to kill many hours. It was in Baldy Hughes that he started to specialize, and went into the 1898 Map Stamp, followed a few years later by the 8 cent Small Queen. A few years later, he turned to military covers with the Royal Flying Corps, RCAF Station Post Marks, Canadian UN Peacekeepers, and any military location after WW II taking his interest.

Upon being posted to Camp Borden after returning from a tour in Germany in 1979, he was soon into the history of Camp Borden from its beginning in 1916 to modern days. The various postmarks on cover, and post cards, kept his attention for close to 40 years, resulting in his 2017 BNAPS exhibit series book, Postal History of Camp Borden 1916 - 2016. When the work on that volume was complete, Dave started working on the Santa Claus letters, the subject of this book.


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