A Proposed Commemorative Series
Before concluding our notes regarding the postage stamps proper of Canada it will be as well to make brief reference to a proposed commemorative series which, fortunately or unfortunately as one views these special sets, never eventuated. Early in 1914 proposals were on foot to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Sir George Etienne Cartier by the issue of a series of stamps of distinctive designs. Cartier was a famous Canadian premier who was born in Lower Canada in 1814. Becoming attorney-general for Lower Canada in 1856, he was called to form the Cartier-Macdonald ministry in 1858. After the fall of his ministry he again became attorney-general in 1864. A fearless and upright leader, and a good orator, he did much for the moulding of a united Canada. He is also famed as a writer of French lyrics, which were published in 1875, two years after his death. Whether the stamps ever got beyond the proposal stage is a moot point but at any rate a list of chosen subjects was published, viz.:—
1 cent, Portraits of King George and Queen Mary.
2 cents, The Cartier Monument.
5 cents, Cartier's birthplace.
7 cents, Portrait of the Prince of Wales.
10 cents, Victoria Bridge, inaugurated by Cartier.
20 cents, Canadian Pacific Railway train inscribed “All Aboard for the West.”
50 cents, Cartier's Coat-of-Arms; motto, “Franc et sans dol”; inscription. “O Canada, mon pays, mes amours”.
It was at one time definitely announced that the stamps would be placed on sale on June 15th but a correspondent making enquiry at headquarters was informed that “the Department is not yet decided to sell the Cartier stamps.”
As the stamps still failed to make an appearance a firm of English stamp dealers wrote to the Canadian Post-Office department for information and received the following reply:—
Post Office Department, Canada.
Office of the Superintendent
of the Postage Stamp Branch.
Ottawa, 29th June, 1914.
Dear Sirs:—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your favor addressed to the late Mr. Stanton, and in which you ask information with reference to the proposed issue of stamps to commemorate the centenary of Sir George Etienne Cartier. The information which you have received from outside sources is not only premature, but inaccurate in several details, and I can only say that although it is possible that these stamps may be issued during the course of the next few months the whole question is still under the consideration of the Department.
Yours very sincerely,
E. J. Lemaire, Superintendent.
Finally, owing very probably to the war, it was decided not to issue this special series of stamps.
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