British Columbia & Vancouver Island (Col)
British Columbia and Vancouver Island, 2008 by John M. Wallace. Grand Award winning exhibit of the stamps and postal history of the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, updated November 2011 to include the author’s 30-page exhibit of BC Numeral cancellations. BNAPS Exhibit Series #52. Colour edition. Spiral, 186 pp.
While her colonies in eastern North America were relatively close to Great Britain, those in the west were not. For British Columbia and Vancouver Island the inconveniences of distance, geography and political boundaries—both between themselves and with the adjacent United States—also complicated their philately. At first mail arrived and departed more or less casually on ships, including vessels of the British Navy stopping at Victoria or Vancouver.
The gold rush in California resulted in prospectors looking further north in British Columbia, bringing in their wake express companies that would take letters and parcels to San Francisco for onward mailing. This resulted in letters and packages bearing express company labels and Victoria or Vancouver postal franks, as well as then current stamps of the United States to pay for transmission through that country’s postal system.
In 1860 the first postage stamp, a 2½d value, was issued for postage in both British Columbia and Vancouver Island. When dissension arose regarding use and payment for this stamp, each colony requested their own stamps: 5¢ and 10¢ values for Vancouver Island and a 3d value for British Columbia. After the two colonies united as British Columbia in 1866 it was thought economical to have the 3d plate used to print stamps in various colours with values indicated by surcharges ranging from two cents to 1 dollar.
A meeting in 1954 with the late Gerry Wellburn, the first collector to study the stamps and postal history of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, led Jack Wallace to a lifetime friendship and the two colonies becoming his major philatelic interest. The result was Jack’s own award winning collection, the subject of this volume. In addition to full coverage of the stamps of the colonies, the Wallace British Columbia and Vancouver Island exhibit includes a strong selection of pre-colonial and colonial postal covers—as opposed to express covers—from (and occasionally to) people living in Victoria. It virtually completes the BNAPS Exhibit Series coverage of British Columbia and Vancouver Island begun with the Warren Wilkinson exhibit, published in 2005.
In addition to being an active member of the Vancouver Island Philatelic Society, the Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain, the Postal History Society of Canada (RPSC) and the Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand, Jack is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Societies of both of Canada and London and a member of the Order of the Beaver of the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS). He served on the BNAPS Board of Governors on the RPSC Board of Directors. He and his wife Bev have attended more than twenty-five BNAPS annual conventions and virtually all of the meetings of the BNAPS Pacific Northwest Regional Group.