First Day Covers of the 1953-57 Wildlife Series
First Day Covers of the 1953-1957 Canada Wildlife Series, 2013 by Dickinson, Gary. First Day Cover cachet makers produced more than 300 different cachets, including variations, for the wildlife series. Colour. Spiral, 68 pp.
The Wildlife Series of stamps released between 1953 and 1957 was one of the Canada Post Office’s earliest attempts to reflect the national landscape to its citizens and to those of other countries through the medium of postage stamps. The series grew out of the National Wildlife Week Act that was passed by Parliament in 1947, largely to honour the work of pioneer conservationist Jack Miner.
A total of eleven stamps featuring animals and birds of Canada were issued, beginning with a trio of low denominations on 1 April 1953. A single 5¢ denomination concluded the series on 10 April 1957. One stamp, The 5¢ beaver of 1954, was also issued in booklet format, the first non-definitive stamp to be issued that way.
First Day Cover (FDC) cachet makers produced more than 300 different cachets, including variations, for the wildlife series. One New York maker had at least 35 different cachets, and other US makers were productive. Canadian cachet makers were also very busy during the series. About a dozen different postcards depicting animals or birds featured on the wildlife stamps were used as FDCs. A large number of hand-drawn and hand-painted cachets was produced and distributed by individuals. A few business firms and other organizations produced wildlife FDCs for promotional purposes. FDCs prepared for the Wildlife Series were a varied and diverse group. Canadian and American cachet makers produced a body of work that reflected well on their craft and served to promote the wildlife theme to a broad audience in Canada and abroad.
Dr. Gary Dickinson worked in British Columbia secondary schools, colleges, and universities for 35 years until he retired in 2001. The last 20 years were at Okanagan College and Okanagan University College where he served as South Okanagan Regional Director for five years and Dean of the Faculty of Adult and Continuing Education for 15 years. He was also Acting Vice-President, Academic for the year and a half prior to his retirement. Since 2002, Gary has followed up on his interest in continuing education by serving as President of the Society for Learning in Retirement, a 700 member organization providing educational programs for seniors in the Central Okanagan. Gary and his wife Barbara have six grown children and were foster parents for 20 years.