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2020-07-04 Postal History ● Wax Seal
SAINT ROCK Canada Post Crown Wax Seal - Gary Steele

Canada Post Wax Seal with SAINT ROCK

Over the last few months, I have been trying to locate information on where this Canada Post Wax Seal may have originated. The name on the Wax Seal is SAINT ROCK, and there is a crown in the upper part.

My guess is this item is from 1820 to 1860 approximately. As there is no UC, LC, CE or CW, it may actually be earlier.

As place names changed over the decades and spelling changes occurred also, I am at a loss. Internet searches seem to come up with SAINT-ROCH in Quebec City. So this could just be the English spelling being used.

Does anyone have any cancellation or cover to give an idea of where this Wax Seal may have originated? Having it on the original cover would have made my search much easier.

I am looking for any and all information on Canada Post Office Wax Seals including examples if available. They also exist for various Post Office departments such as Accounting, Inspection, Dead Letter Office, the RPO division, and others. Please contact me at my email address:

2020-06-25 Postal History ● Newfoundland ● Military Mail ● World War II
HMCS Avalon triangular marking - John Cranmer

Cover with HMCS Avalon triangular marking Magnified view of HMCS Avalon triangular marking

Paul Binney wrote a two-part article in the Apr.-June and Oct.-Dec. 2012 issues of BNA Topics about the triangular markings used at the Royal Canadian Navy base HMCS Avalon. The base was established in St. John's, Newfoundland, during World War II.

The article is entitled "A re-examination and classification of the GPO Triangles on naval mail from HMCS Avalon, St. John’s, Newfoundland", It describes five different types of GPO rubber hammer markings and constant variations in those markings. I have not seen anything more recent on this subject.

My collecting interest is Canada, mainly King George VI and World War II in particular. This includes Canadian forces abroad. I have just found an example of the HMCS Avalon triangular marking on a cover dated 1942. It corresponds to the type Binney classifies as GPO2.

In his article, Binney describes four sub-types of the GPO2 Avalon cachet based on cuts deliberately made to the sides of the triangle. However, this example does not fit any of Binney's sub-types. It appears to fit between type 2a with only one cut and 2b with five. It clearly does not have the large cut in the base, but has two cuts on the left and one on the right.

There are no markings, dates or return address on the back of the cover.

Is this a well-known variety? If so, please let me know. My email address is

2020-05-25 Postal History ● Rates ● 1967 Centennial Issue ●
10 cent UPU Surface Letter Rate in 1967 - Brian Murphy

Cover mailed on 25 October 1967 at the 10 cent UPU surface rate

This cover, from Montreal 25 October 1967, is paid 10¢ correctly – Canada’s UPU surface letter rate, 1 January 1966 until 1 November 1968. By the Centennial era, Canadians rarely used surface mail. Almost all letters to Europe were sent at the 15¢ per ½ oz air mail rate. So this cover is a correct rare rate!

Indeed, as a measure of the rarity of correctly paid UPU surface letters at this time, they are rarer than UPU letters underpaid at the 5¢ domestic rate. That is, Canadians more frequently unknowingly stamped their UPU letters at the domestic rate than they consciously chose and paid this 10¢ UPU rate!

This cover is made rarer – and more desirable – by the Swiss receiver of 28 November 1967 above the Montreal cds. That receiver reveals that the cover was 34 days in transit! Airmail at the time was 15¢ and usually about three days! So for that month delay, the sender saved 5¢! (More precisely, they might have saved 20¢, as the 10¢ surface letter was up to a full ounce, and the 15¢ air letter only a half ounce.) Most correspondents thought an extra 5¢ was worthwhile to get their letter to Europe a month earlier!

So the receiver allows a fuller understanding of why the 10¢ surface rate is rare, and why it soon disappeared. The 5¢ cost was so little extra and the delay, of up to a month, so long that sea mail was rarely used, and Canada abolished First Class sea mail on 1 July 1971.

2020-05-20 Postal History ● KG VI ● Multiple Postage Due cover to Australia - Gary Steele

Cover mailed on 19 October 1950 with Australian postage due stamps

Here is a cover that is closer or was closer to home for the Aussies.

Mailed OC 19 1950 with 8 x 4¢, 4 x 3¢, and 1 x 1¢ definitives, all from the 1949 KG VI issue with Post Postes, for 45 cents total payment. The cover was originally charged 210 centimes due probably from Canada, then changed to 234 (blue circular marking).

A proper 3/4 ounce weight should have been charged 3 x 25¢ per 1/4 oz for 75¢ total or 1 ounce x 25¢ per 1/4 oz = $1.00.

(210 centimes / 2 double deficiency) / 3 centimes per cent = 35 cents short-paid

(234 centimes / 2 double deficiency) / 3 centimes per cent = 39 cents short-paid

The best guess I can make is the cover was up to 3/4 of an ounce in weight x 25¢ per 1/4 oz would have been a 75¢ charge with payment of 45¢ short-paid 30¢ CDN.

30¢ CDN x 2 double deficiency = 60¢ x 3 centimes per cent = 180 centimes due.

Payment by Australian boxed T (I assume) was 6s 2d (purple rectangular marking).

If anyone has any other explanations or points of interest for this cover, I would appreciate hearing from you via email as this is one of the haunts of collecting this type of material. Sometimes you just never know why a certain amount of postage due was charged other than maybe someone calculated wrongly. My email address is

2020-05-18 Postal history ● Cancels ● Back to the Past - Leopold Beaudet

Toronto cancel dated NOV 5 6161 Ottawa cancel dated AUG 20 6161

In 6161, just slightly more than four millennia after Admiral postage stamps were first issued, Canada Post decided to cater to the interests of a new generation of Admiral collectors. Having ascertained that four millennia had been unkind to most of the precious treasures that collectors had preserved when Admiral stamps were first issued in the early 20th century, Canada Post, harnessing the absolute latest in replication technology to ensure breathtaking verisimilitude, reissued selected stamps from those haloed definitives.

Postal history collectors will be delighted to learn that Canada Post went the extra parsec by also recreating the ancient practice of physically delivering messages written on parchment to complement the reissue. These messages were inserted into enclosures also of parchment.

Following the quaint custom of that era, Canada Post affixed an Admiral stamp in the top right corner of each enclosure, and defaced it with a black mark called a “postmark” that was intended to prevent its reuse. In a remarkable display of assiduous research, they reconstructed a machine from that bygone era that automatically applied the postmark on the stamp.

A truly timeless collector’s item.

Reprinted from The Admiral’s Log, Vol. XII, No. 1, Dec. 2010.

2020-05-14 Postal history ● Cancels ● Diamond internal handstamp - Gary Steele

Diamonds may be forever, but not common.

My tally of approximately 6,000 Canada Post internal handstamps up to 1975 includes 31 different designs and borders. One of the least common in all areas of Canadian philately are diamond shaped handstamps.

This particular handstamp, measuring 53 x 35 mm, is also interesting in that the lettering is curved at the top and bottom lines. Most others usually follow the borders in a straight line.

The border of this handstamp is a single frame, but diamond shaped handstamps can also have a double border frame.

They are usually used on internal Post Office communications, papers, cards, forms, slips and envelopes as this item. The handstamp reads:

JUN 23 1931

I am compiling a handstamp database. Collectors owning similar handstamps can send me their scans with handstamp dimensions in millimetres. My email address is

Cover with diamond handstamp Magnified view of diamond handstamp

2020-05-12 KE VII ● Canadian Coronation Contingent - Keith MacKay

Stamp and shoe dealer Harrison "Harry" L. Hart sent this cover to his younger brother, Walter Hart, a private in The 63rd Halifax Battalion of Rifles. It appears that Walter was a member of the Canadian Contingent attending Edward VII's coronation in London, England. The coronation ceremony was scheduled to take place on 26 June 1902, and Harry's cover was postmarked on that date at the Gottingen Street Post Office (what a coincidence!).

However, the coronation ceremony was postponed at the last minute due to a problem with Edward's health that required surgery. It was rescheduled to 9 August 1902. On July (8/9?), the cover was posted in London back to Harry Hart at 71 Gottingen Street, arriving in Halifax on 18 July.

Can anyone refer me to a source that lists the members of the 1902 Canadian Coronation Contingent and the Halifax Rifles? You can contact me by email at

Front of cover from Harrison L. Hart to his brother Back of cover from Harrison L. Hart to his brother

2020-04-09 Newfoundland ● Bileski notes - John M. Walsh

Alfred John Hubbard was Managing Director of Perkins Bacon & Co., a stamp printer that produced a number of Newfoundland stamps. Hubbard was also a distinguished philatelist. He was President of the Royal Philatelic Society from 1970 to 1973, and was invited to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1973.

After Hubbard died in 1976, his estate sold his philatelic holdings of Newfoundland to famed Winnipeg dealer Kasimir Bileski. Bileski sold at least some of the Newfoundland material in lots. With each lot, he included a handwritten or typed description such as the note shown at right.

I am interested in receiving scans of these notes. Perhaps you have acquired one of Bileski's lots and saved the accompanying note. If so, I would appreciate your sending me a scan. I'm particularly interested in Bileski’s notes on the 1938 Royal Family 2 cent and 7 cent denominations.

Send your scan to Thank you.

Proof of the Newfoundland 1938 Royal Family 3 cent value

Example of a note written by Kasimir Bileski

2020-04-06 Canada ● Admiral issue ● Booklet with 2¢ green - Leopold Beaudet

The Admiral booklet containing two panes of six 2¢ green stamps with the coat of arms on green covers is scarce. There are English and French booklets. Both have several cover varieties:

  • Coat of arms printed by engraving. Two ink colours reported: green and black.
    Binding tape on cover. Information sheets inside have sans serif letters and War Tax info.
  • Same as above, but with no binding tape on cover.
  • Coat of arms printed by typography using black ink.
    No binding tape on cover. Large slogan information sheets inside.
  • Coat of arms printed by typography using black ink.
    No binding tape on cover. Small slogan information sheets inside.

If you have any of these booklets, I would appreciate a scan of the cover, preferably at 1200 dpi. Contact

Cover of booklet containing two panes of six Admiral 2 cent green stamps Booklet pane of six Admiral 2 cent green stamps
Information sheet with all letters capitalized and War Tax postal rate Large slogan information sheet in French Small slogan information sheet in English

2017-02-11 Newfoundland ● Money Order Office Number (MOON) cancels - Mike Sagar

Over the past 20 years, I have been chronicling the Money Order Office Number (MOON) cancels of Canada, I have produced six handbooks on MOON cancels, and I am planning within the next few months to release one on the MOON cancels of Newfoundland, Military, Northwest & Yukon Territories, Transportation, and Events.

I have about 900 MOON cancels of Newfoundland listed (1950-1973), but would appreciate hearing from BNAPS members interested in contributing to my project or who may have items that can aid my research.

I am interested in different hammers, early and late dates, and even ink colour. Cancels can be on cover, card, stamp, or post office paperwork like receipts. Philatelic or commercial usage - I don’t care.

Collectors can send me their scans by email or photocopies by mail, preferably by 31 March. Anyone contributing will be acknowledged in the introduction of the handbook that is planned for release this May.

Michael Sagar

MOON cancel from Lance Au Loup, Newfoundland
Lance Au Loup, NL

MOON cancel from Hawkes Bay, Newfoundland
Hawkes Bay, NL

MOON cancel from Beaumont, Newfoundland
Beaumont, NL

MOON cancel from Brookside, Newfoundland
Brookside, NL

MOON cancel from Cook's Harbour, Newfoundland
Cook's Harbour, NL

MOON cancel from Milton, Newfoundland
Milton, NL

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This page was last modified on 2020-05-15.