Tuesday, December 23, 2008

400th anniversary of the foundation of Quebec City

Earlier this year, Canada has commemorated the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Quebec. On the 3rd of July 1608, Samuel de Champlain (1575-1635), a French navigator, geographer, cartographer, explorer, also referred as The Father of New France, founded the city of Quebec, one of the major cities of the French Canada.

This anniversary was of course the occasion for the Canadian post to issue a stamp. More than that, a joint issue between Canada and France was issued. For Canada, the stamp is the fifth and last in a series dedicated to French settlement in North America that began in 2004. The stamp pictures Champlain on his ship greeting natives approaching in a canoe. Here is a picture of the Canadian and French stamps.

I personally think this is a really beautiful stamp!
At this occasion, a French philatelic newspaper (Timbre Magazine) has proposed to its readers to get up to six commemorative covers franked with this stamp and postmarked from different locations of the Quebec area. I decided to go for it, so I sent six self addressed envelopes (together with the requested amount of money) and here are the covers I got back in return.

One of the cover was postmarked from Montréal. The cancel is a bit light, this is a pity, and therefore hard to read.

The second cover was postmarked from Trois-Rivières, with a cancel announcing the 375th anniversary of the founding of the city that will be commemorated in 2009.

The third cover was coming from L’isle-verte.

The fourth one from Quebec itself, with a commemorative cancel.

The fifth one postmarked from Saint-Valentin bears a lovely cancel ;-)

The last one is the most disappointing one, with a dirty cancel from Belle Cote (Nova Scotia).

To be honest with you I was expecting a better result, but at the end I’m still rather happy with these commemorative covers.

Let me add some words about the other stamps that you can see on the covers.

On all of them you can see a stamp belonging to a set issued on the 12th of October 2007 and picturing beneficial insects. The stamp pictures a Northern Bumblebee (Bombus polaris). This is a very nice set that has also been issued in the form of a souvenir sheet.

Four of the covers are franked with a stamp belonging to a set issued on the 1st of October 2008 and picturing endangered species. This set of four is the third and last part of a series started in 2006 with creature of the land and continued in 2007 with creature of the water. This last set pictures flying creatures: the Taylor’s checker spot (Ephydras editha taylori, on the cover from Montréal), the roseate tern (Sterna gougalii, on the cover from Saint-Valentin), the burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia, on the cover from L’isle-verte) and the prothonotary warbler (Protonotaria citrea) on the cover from Quebec).

The cover from Belle Cote bears a stamp issued on the 8th of September 2008 and picturing Sam McLaughlin (1872-1976) the founder of the first major automobile manufacture in Canada. Here is a better picture of the stamp that is hard to see on the cover because of the heavy cancel.

Just to be complete the other stamps that can be found on the covers are flag definitive stamps or a flower definitive one, all issued in 2007.

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