Slovenia 2021 stamps – history, aviation, art & more

Slovenia 2021 stamps – history, aviation, art & more

Slovenia 2021 stamps offer up familiar themes of wildlife, aviation and, of course, the lunar new year. This year is a bonanza year for aviation collectors, with post offices around the world marking a number of 100 year anniversaries. Slovenia will be offering a tribute to inventor & engineer Valentin Matija Živic in late fall.

A stamp that should create interest in Canada is the next issue in the Slovenes around the World series. This year, Canada is celebrated. Approx. 40,470 Canadians proudly claim Slovenian heritage. There are quite a few easily recognized names in the list of Slovenians who make Canada home, including world class figure skater Elvis Stojko and 12 NHL hockey playersSlovenian Canadians | The Canadian Encyclopedia

If you are a looking for a new area to explore, I’d recommend popping over to the Slovenia Post’s website. They have a lot of useful information and an easy-to-use format. The English version of the Slovenian post office is excellent.  Plenty to keep a new collector happy. After wading through over 180 post office websites, Slovenia Post was a breath of fresh air.  They include a lot of details, including cancels (post marks), FDC information and designers.

This listing includes links to stamp designers when I was able to find them. Happily, for me, Slovenia seems to love its arts and isn’t shy about promoting the designers.

Slovenia 2021 stamps for January

Slovenia 2021 stamp showing Blasius Kozenn - 200th Anniversary of the Birth

Blasius Kozenn

FDC for Blaz Kocen stamp

FDC

Post mark for

Post marked: Ponikva

Blasius Kozenn – 200th Anniversary of the Birth.
Blaž Kocen, geographer and cartographer,
200th anniversary of his birth &150th anniversary of his death

1 stamp, 1 FDC

Designer:  Borut Bončina
Previous stamps include last year’s 90th Anniversary of the Execution of the Heroes of Bazovica and 2019’s Franjo Malgaj the first Slovene to arrive in Carinthia in 1918.

Release date: Jan 28, 2021

Slovenia stamp 2021 showing a heart stamp with multicoloured birds

Love – Slovenia 2021

FDC for Love stamp and post mark

FDC

Post mark for Love FDC from Maribor Slovenia

Maribor post mark

Love 1 stamp – heart shaped, 1 FDC

 In some parts of the world and some social environments, conditions are still far from being ideal and we are still witnessing cases of rejection, intolerance and other phenomena that attempt to push homosexual love and the whole LGBT movement to the margins of society, or even out of it altogether. For this reason, the stamp design in the characteristic colours of the LGBT flag aims to draw attention to our tolerant encounters with human relationships of different kinds. From Slovenia Post

Designer: Edi Berk

Berk’s previous stamp designed include 10 years -1988 Liberation of Slovenia, Bozidar Jakac Slovenian artist, 2002 Valentine’s stamp and 2020’s Contemporary Arts and Crafts Metal Work and Gastronomy – Šelinka from the Karst Region.

Release date: Jan 28, 2021

Lunar New Year stamp showing sylized ox with balck body and red highlighted horns

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year first day cover for Slovenia 2021

FDC

Lunar New Year - Year of the Ox post mark showing oxen head

Lunar New Year – Year of the Ox

Lunar New Year – Year of the Ox

1 stamp, 1 FDC

Designer: Maja Tomažič
Some of Marat Design’s previous issues include 2020 Prominent Personalities – Hugo Wolf, 2019 Year of the Pig, 2018 Slovenia Ballet, and Superstition and Magic in Slovenia in 2018.

Release date: Jan 28, 2021

mini sheet stamp showing Meksika Building in Ljubljana

The Meksika building
1926−1927, Vladimir Šubic

FDC for Meksika Building in Ljubljana

FDC

The Meksika building 1926−1927, Vladimir Šubic

Meksika post mark

ARCHITECTURE IN SLOVENIA Meksika Building in Ljubljana
1926‒27 (Vladimir Šubic)
Continuing series celebrating Slovenia architecture

1 stamp, miniature sheet and FDC

Designer: Robert Žvokelj, DAK
Previous stamps in the series by Žvokelj includes the 2018 and 2020 Architecture in Slovenia issue

Release date: Jan 28, 2021

Contemporary lacemaking

Contemporary lacemaking

FDC for Contemporary lacemaking showing lace design sketching

FDC

Post mark for Slovenia's 2021 stamp about Lace making

Post Mark

CONTEMPORARY ARTS AND CRAFTS IN SLOVENIA
Contemporary lacemaking

1 stamp, FDC

… Tina Koder Grajzar, a native of Idrija, the centre of Slovene lacemaking, … dedicates herself above all to the creation of contemporary lace jewellery. Her focus is not so much on the technique itself, which allows her to maintain the identity of her products with the predominant use of the narrow-tape style (also known as the Idrija style), as on the creation of modern patterns, in other words design. An example of this is the necklace featured on the present stamp. Slovenia Post Office

Designer: Pavla Bonča
Previous stamp designs include 2020’s International Year of Plant Health

Release date: Jan 28, 2021

200th anniversary of the Congress of Laibach

200th anniversary

FIRST DAY COVER

FDC

Post Mark for 1821 Congress celebration

Post Mark 200th anniverary

200th anniversary of the Congress of Laibach

1 stamp, FDC

Designer: villa creativa
Previous designs include 2020’s FIS Ski Flying World Championships

Release date: Jan 28, 2021

March 2021 stamps

TBA TOURISM Dolenjska, wellness tourism

1 stamp

Release date: March 21, 2021

 

TBA FIRST SLOVENE INVENTORS WITH PATENTS Ivan Bajde – claviharp (19210

1 stamp, Miniature sheet

Release date: March 21, 2021

 

TBA FLORA – SPONTANEOUS SHRUBS

  • Wayfarer (Viburnum lantana),
  • laurustine (Viburnum tinus),
  • snowball bush (Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’),
  • guelder rose (Viburnum opulus)

4 stamps + miniature sheet of 1 stamp

Release date: March 21, 2021

 

May 2021 stamps

TBA E U R O PA 2021 – Endangered wild animals 

2 stamps + sheetlets

Release date: May 28, 2021

 

TBA SPORT UEFA

European Under-21 Championship (Slovenia and Hungary)

1 stamp

Release date: May 28, 2021

 

TBA SLOVENIA – EUROPEAN REGION OF GASTRONOMY 2021

1 stamp

Release date: May 28, 2021

 

TBA Fortunat Bergant and his works,

300th anniversary of his birth

5 stamps

Release date: May 28, 2021

 

TBA 8th EUROPEAN CONGRESS OF MATHEMATICS

1 stamp

Release date: May 28, 2021

 

July 2021 stamps

TBA EUROMED POSTAL
Hand-made jewellery of the Mediterranean1 stampRelease date: July 12 2021
TBA 2021 FIREFIGHTING OLYMPIAD

1 stamp

Release date: July 12 2021

 

TBA  Games of the XXXII Olympiad, Tokyo

2 stamps – may not be issued

Release date: July 12 2021

 

Sept. 2021 stamps

TBA FAUNA – WORKING DOGS

  • Assistance dogs,
  • therapy dogs,
  • service dogs,
  • hunting dogs

4 stamps, miniature sheet

Release date: Sept. 24 2021

 

TBA WELLS IN SLOVENIA
Well at Maribor Castle1 stamp, miniature sheet 

Release date: Sept. 24 2021

TBA 200th anniversary of the National Museum of Slovenia

1 stamp

Release date: Sept. 24 2021

 

Nov 2021 stamps

TBA PIONEERS AND MILESTONES OF SLOVENE AVIATION
The beginnings of systematic experimentation with model aircraft (Valentin Matija Živic)1 stamp

Release date: Nov. 12 2021

TBA RURAL HOUSES OF SLOVENIA
Kavčnik Homestead, Zavodnje nad Šoštanjem1

stamp, miniature sheet

Release date: Nov. 12 2021

TBA SLOVENE FEMALE SCIENTISTS
Melita Pivec-Stele, librarian and historian1 stamp

Release date: Nov. 12 2021

TBA SLOVENES AROUND THE WORLD
Slovenes in Canada1 stamp

Release date: Nov. 12 2021

 

Don’t forget to look at the growing list of 2021 releases from around the world –

Stamps by country 2021

Watching out for new Australia 2021 stamps

Watching out for new Australia 2021 stamps

Some of the Australia 2021 stamps have been announced. Yes, it’s that time of year when post offices around the world tease out upcoming releases. Australia Post’s stamps for Jan and Feb offer tradition, history, creatures, and home comforts. One set will appeal to aviation, airmail, Australian history, and militaria fans around the world. As of this articles publication date (Dec 29, 2020), none of the stamps listed are for sale yet, but check Australia Post office closer to  release dates Stamps – Sending (auspost.com.au).

Stamp subjects for Australia 2021

  • Chinese New Year
  • 5 Home comforts with Memorable Moments
  • Happy Birthday
  • 100 Years of the RAAF
  • Norfolk Island Lizards
  • Front Line Heroes

Australia 2021 stamps – Kicking off with Lunar New Year Jan 8, 2021

It’s now expected that post offices will issue a Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, stamp and Australia Post’s Christmas Island stamps don’t disappoint. Of all the Lunar New Year stamps I’ve seen this set will go down as my favourite.

Year of the Ox Australia 2021 stamp showing a stylized ox

Year of the Ox 2021

Year of the Ox Australia 2021 stamp showing a stylized ox

Year of the Ox 2021 Christmas Island $2.20 value

Year of the Ox Australia 2021 stamp showing a stylized ox

Year of the Ox 2021 Christmas Island $3.30 value

It’s interesting to see how each country interprets the same subject. I was thinking this morning that this would make for an interesting study.  The Lunar New Year series, will also come in souvenir sheets, maxi cards, covers etc.

Scan of the Christmas Island Post Mark cancel showing a stylized Ox

Come hither and buy my stamps

Christmas Island’s First Day of Issue cancel is, well, adorable. The ox looks like flirtatious. Not sure if that was intentional, but now I want to get hold of a cancel. It’s a hell of a “come hither” glance.

Australia Post outdid themselves with this issue.  If there is a stamp collector in your life that is near and dear to you, you might want to consider the gold mini-sheet folder.  It’s breathtaking.

photo of Australia 2021 stamps for Year of Ox as a gold minisheet

Australia 2021 stamps feature a gold mini sheet with folder

Sydney, Australia based artist Chrissy Lau designed the series, and when I wandered through her site, I realised I’ve seen her art before. She designed Guernsey Islands Year of the Rat stamp series last year. Check out her distinctive style on her website: Chrissy Lau | Artist Illustrator | Portfolio.

Australia Post also has a full Chinese zodiac souvenir sheet displaying all the animals and years they are associated with. It would round out a Lunar New Year collection.

The full Chinese zodiac presented in stamp souvenir sheet

Souvenir keeper showing entire Chinese zodiac

 5 Home comforts with Memorable Moments – Jan 25, 2021

This is a set designed for comfort and home thoughts. Memorable moments for Australia 2021 stamps were designed by Keith Downes and Sonia Young, Australia Post Design Studio. Release date:  January 25, 2021. Five stamps in series. In the series will be:

  • $1.10 Bunnies showing stuffed toy rabbits
  • $1.10 Thank You
  • $1.10 Balloons showing colourful heart balloons
  • $1.10 Heart showing a heart graphic
  • $2.20 Blossoms

 

Australia 2021 stamp showing 3 stuffed bunnies hugging each other

You can never go wrong with bunnies – designed by Sonia Young

2 stamps from Australia's Memorable Moments. One saying Thank you the second stamp shows a bouquet of hearts

Thank you designed by Keith Downes & Happy Birthday Heart Balloons by Sonia Young

2 stamps from Memorable Moments showing a hand drawn heart and the other white flowers

Heart designed by Sonia Young and Blossoms by Keith Downes

The postmark reflects the overall “home comforts” theme.

Postal cancel for First Day Issue showing a heart balloon with the words Fist day of issue 25 Jan 2021 Sydney NSW

First Day Cancel for the Moments series

Happy Birthday Available from Order Jan 11, 2021

The Happy Birthday heart balloon stamp (above) will also be available for a personalised birthday greeting. Australia Post allows people to pre-order the stamp and birthday cover with a specific date on the cancel. You choose the birthdate of your choice and it will bear the appropriate date on the cancel.

Australia post cancel for the Happy Birthday stamp

Happy Birthday to you

100 Years of the RAAF Feb 9, 2021

As an aviation buff, this is the set for me. Although, my interest in airplanes stops with the advent of jet engines. I’m a canvas and wood kind of woman. The Royal Australian Air Force was formed Mar 31, 1921 and this stamp will help celebrate their storied history.

Australian Airforce 100th aniversary logo

1921 – 2021 the RAAF at 100

The usual covers, cards, stamps, and sheets will be issued. My favourite is the distinctive SE5a biplane. It’s hard to mistake that flat nose for anything but an SE5A.

RAAF biplane the SE5a in flight

The much-loved Scout

RAAF jet F-35 in flight

RAAF F-35 jet

Full image showing different covers and maxicards that can be bought

Covers, maxi cards and sheets ready for purchase in Feb.

The first day cancel features an F-35 in flight. It’s too bad the SE5a wasn’t offered as well.

First day Cancel showing a jet in flight

First Day issue cancel

Souvenir sheet showing both stamps

RAAF souvenir sheet

The series was designed by Jamie and Leanne Tufrey, who designed the 2014 Centenary of Military Aviation & Submarines for Australia Post. This series shares the style of the ’14 set, especially the Bristol Military Biplane number CFS-3 stamp.

Stamp from the 2014 Centenary series

Bristol Military Boxkite, CFS-8 in flight from 2014

Norfolk Island Lizards Feb 9, 2021

Not to be left out, little lizards will be featured on a Norfolk Island series.

Norfolk Island stamps showing 2 lizards

Skinks and Geckos from Norfolk Island

Post mark for the Lizard stamps of Norfolk Island showing a gecko and skink

Best cancel of the year!

Skinks and geckos were designed by Jason Watts, who also designed 2020’s September Sydney to San Francisco mail steamer service stamp and the World Heritage Australia series from Oct.

Front Line Heroes Feb 16, 2021

Yet to be shown will be a series honouring the front-line workers of 2020. It sad it took a pandemic to make so many appreciate their day-to-day work.  When details are released, I’ll post more.

And finally

That’s all the news for Australia 2021 stamps to date. I spent a couple days signing up for newsletters from various post offices so hopefully, I’ll be able to keep you up to date on new releases. Keep coming back, I have a few more country issues for 2021 lined up and will roll them out over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, check out Japan’s soon to be released MOOMINS.

Calling all Moomins! 2021 will be a great Moomin New Year

The Amazing 1897 Sky Cycle self-powered aircraft

The Amazing 1897 Sky Cycle self-powered aircraft

How about a trip on a self-powered aircraft?  This early heavier-than-air design combined cycling with balloon power. Successful flights were was still 6 years away when Carl Myers dreamed up this innovative sky cycle.

I, CARL EDGAR MYERS, aeronautical engineer, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of Mohawk, in the county of Herkimer and State of New York, have invented an Improvement in Sky-Cycles, of which the following is a specification.”

Photo of Carl Edgar Myers, inventor of the sky cycle

Edgar Myers

Carl Edgar Myers (March 2, 1842 – November 30, 1925) was an interesting person. Engineer, meteorologist, entrepreneur, balloonist and inventor, Myers is an unsung hero of American ingenuity and inventiveness. At the cusp of the 20th century, he explored ways to use recent technological breakthroughs in innovative ways.

One of his enduring passions was hot air balloons. Myers’ interest in ballooning appears to have arisen out of his involvement in meteorological measurements and a desire to further atmospheric studies. He built his first balloon in 1878, flying it later in 1880. He designed and manufactured various improvements for dirigibles, including improving the materials used. His home was called the Balloon Farm and is listed with the National Register of Historic Places. His contributions to early flight and meteorology are intriguing. Myers reminds me of great Otto Lilienthal and his experiments with flight.

The Aerial Velocipede Patent No. 581,218 April 20, 1897

My invention consists, first, of a new form of body possessing greater bulk or capacity with less proportional exposed surface, combined with less resistance to projectile movement through air, than any other form yet discovered or in use, and which I term a symmetrical wave line spindle shaped body, and, secondly, of certain connected devices for propulsion, more especially adapted to be operated in air, a special arrangement of which adapted to be operated by manual power I term the aerial velocipede for flying. Google Patent

The aerial velocipede was a hot air dirigible controlled by human pedal power. Myers envisioned a single seater balloon that combined elements of cycling and flight.

Self-powered aircraft with a twist

Schematic from 1897 patent showing basic outline of a self-powered aircraft with a dirigible instead of wings

Dirigible cycling for one.

The propulsion mentioned in the patent would be a unique combination of hot air balloon, wings, and pedal power for thrust and steering.

The operator seated upon the velocipede seat V grasps the hand-cranks K, attached to the gear-wheel O, while his feet may operate the foot-cranks attached to gear-wheel O, arranged to move simultaneously with C by means of gear-wheels C, attached to the hollow connecting shaft U, which revolves around the upright rod U. (Shown in detail in Fig. 3, similar letters referring to similar parts.) Gearwheel (1, attached to propeller-shaft Z, is driven by gear O, and the construction of the crank system thus permits the revolving of the screw S backward or forward by either one or both hands or feet, leaving one or both hands at liberty for other purposes when desirable. Paragraph 40 pg. 4

It’s not as complicated as it seems. The rider can use hands or feet, depending on what they are doing. The pedals are attached to a propellor shaft that gives the sky bike both a bit of lift and the ability to propel forward and backward. The design also considers the need for a rudder and wings for both stability and directional guidance.

To work the Wings, the operator grasps the … principal or secondary wing-arm at any point serving to give him proper control, the position varying advantageously by the special movement to be made. The Wing-shaft may be rotated like a crank or operated like a feathering-oar or simply move backward and forward or up and down.  Paragraph 115 pg. 5

The wings allowed the balloonist to move forward, back, and up/down.  It was, on paper, very maneuverable. But required an enormous amount of leg and arm strength to operate. For a short hop it might have been fine but exhausting for any lengthy trip.

 

Wills Cigarette Card from 1911 showing an Italian dirigible

Not a Myers balloon, but you can see the inspiration

The sky cycle never got off the ground. I could find no reference to it being built. Myers was no amateur dreamer. He knew his balloons. Myers continued his work building better balloons for nearly 2 more decades, including developing over 100 for the US Weather Bureau and 21 for the United States Army Signal Corps (USASC) for use in the Spanish American War. (rf: Smithsonian Institute – Carl Myers Balloon Farm Collection)

Sky Cycle self-propelled aircraft as a blueprint

I tidied up the original diagram and turned it into a clean schematic for a bit of fun. It came out surprisingly good. I tried tarting up the balloon a bit, but the design looked too busy, so I pulled back. Feel free to download the blueprint (or should I call it a black print) for your own use. The image is quite large so you might need to downsize it for your device. It’s a bit fun, and whimsical. So enjoy. Don’t forget to take a look at the details on the wings and pedals. They are impressive.

Patent drawing of the Sky Bike dirigible

Click on the image to see the full image

I used the schematic over at Bittergrounds.Redbubble store. The design worked well on several items and I had a lot of fun setting them up. If you go to the store, check them out in the Schematics & Blueprints category.

Sample of merchandise from Bitter Grounds store - 4 coffee coasters in black with white schematic of dirigible

They do make interesting coffee coasters. Good conversation pieces

Cheers for now.

 

Cleaning up a magnificent 1908 Antoinette Flyer schematic

Cleaning up a magnificent 1908 Antoinette Flyer schematic

One frustrating aspect of collecting pioneer aviation material is the lack of clean schematics to use for display purposes. One of my favourite airplanes is the Antoinette Flyer, from 1908. It’s a beautiful monoplane.

Photo of the Antoinette Flyer in flight 1908

Fragile and magnificent

I’ve scoured the internet looking for something presentable and concluded last week that I’d have to do my own. When it comes to something like schematics, it’s essential the lines are crisp and easy to follow. They also need to be free of scan artifacts. The little spots of black and paper markings are distracting.

To achieve all of this, I had to get over my phobia of using the pen tool in Photoshop. It was the only way of getting sharp lines and smooth curves. But, I’ve never been successful in earlier attempts. And yes, I developed a bit of a fear about using the pen tool. After this job, the fear is gone. I’m embarrassed to admit, it’s easy to use and I’m unsure why I made such a fuss over it through the years. I have a lot of work to do before I become proficient with it, but the Antoinette Flyer schematic was a great start.

Antoinette Flyer schematic – 1908

Schematics for Antoinette Flyer airplane 1908

Cleaned up and ready to display

I used a composite of a couple grainy and badly scanned schematics to build the above. It took hours to lay out the lines and align them correctly. I don’t have all the measurements included yet. I’m hoping to layer them in at a later point.  I also have the entire Antoinette engine somewhere on my hard drive. I might pull it out, clean it up a bit, and post it.

I played with several backgrounds to highlight the airplane as well as thicknesses for the lines. I opted for a very thin 2px white line and a black background. It displays the framework’s delicacy better. I tried traditional blueprint blue, but the airplane didn’t show well. The final schematic is 5,000 px x 3,843 px and prints to 10″ x 7.6″. It looks smashing.

Technology as art

One of my motivations, aside from the sheer joy of watching the Antoinette appear in pristine shape, was to use them over at Redbubble for a few merchandise ideas. I’ve played with a few postage stamps and early aviation photographs from my collection and have been pleased with their overall look. It takes quite a bit of time getting everything the right size and clarity. Schematics like the Antoinette adapt to Redbubble designs well.

Technology as art is an appealing genre. There’s something elegant in a simple schematic. I have a thing for industrial and mechanical style art, so I guess my passion for schematics is a natural extension.  I’ll be working up more ideas in the coming months.

I’m currently taking a stab at a schematic for an Avro CF-100 Canuck. It’s a bit uncharacteristic for me, I’m not normally a jet fan, but it’s a bit of a sentimental journey. The Canuck was the jet my father worked on when he was in the RCAF with the old 440 Nimble Bat squadron. It’s not looking good at the moment, I need a few more drawings and blueprints if I want it to look correct.

Enjoy the Antoinette Flyer in the meantime and pop over to Bittergrounds.Redbubble.com and check out how well the Antoinette Flyer looks.  Wish I had more space for pillows in my little apartment.

Pillow with Antoinette Flyer schematic as the pattern

Worked out better than I expected

If you’d like to learn more about the magnificent Antoinette read my previous article here:

Diving into pioneer aviation with the amazing Antoinette Flyer

6 new Canadian stamps – celebrating Canadians in Flight

6 new Canadian stamps – celebrating Canadians in Flight

Canada Post’s latest release, Canadians in Flight honours 5 significant Canadians and Canadian creations. This has to be my favourite subjects – Canadian history & pioneer flight.  There are 5 stamps, a booklet, souvenir sheet and 5 covers to in the set.

Close up of 5 stamps from Canadians in Flight

Stamps from the Canadians in Flight booklet

Starting at the top left and working across:

Elsie MacGill – The Queen of the Hurricanes

Elsie MacGill, the underappreciated hero of aeronautical engineering, feminist and all around amazing Canadian. She was a woman of many firsts – 1st female graduate of electrical engineering at U of T, 1st woman to earn a Master’s in aeronautical engineering, 1st female practicing engineering in Canada, when recovering from polio MacGill designed airplanes and wrote articles about aviation, rode along with test pilots to observe her designs in flight, chief aeronautical engineer at Canadian Car & Foundry, headed the Canadian production of the Hawker Hurricane fighter planes in WW2, feminist activist, commissioner on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women and tireless advocate for women’s rights1.

How bad ass was Elsie MacGill? She had a comic book written about her in 1942 called Queen of the Hurricanes – Elsie MacGill. MacGill was the Queen of Badass Women. Not enough Canadians are taught about her contributions to engineering, aviation, and feminism so this is a long overdue tribute to a great Canadian.

Page from 1942 comic - Elsie McGill, Queen of the Hurricanes Image courtesy Roberta Bondar Foundation

1942 comic – Elsie MacGill, Queen of the Hurricanes

William George Barker, VC

Next is William George Barker, VC, enlisted as a private in the Canadian army, ended his career as a Wing Commander in the new RCAF. The lad from Dauphin, Manitoba who went on to be a WW1 Royal Flying Corp and RCAF pilot, businessman and the most decorated serviceman in Canadian history. Barker was one of those legendary fighter pilots that emerged from WW1, a small-town prairie boy who became larger than life because of a war they were tossed into. Here’s an excerpt from the Barker’s official military records2:

William George Barker's service record note about his Victoria Cross win

William George Barker’s service record note about his Victoria Cross win

William George Barker's service record note about his Victoria Cross win

William George Barker’s service record note about his Victoria Cross win

Photo of memorial to William Barker at Mount Pleasant Cemetery Toronto. SHows two memorial plaques and a propellor

Memorial to William Barker at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto

Bush Pilot Punch Dickins

C. H. Punch Dickins, another flier from the prairies, was one of Canada’s great bush pilots. After WW1 ended, many pilots bought decommissioned biplanes and headed north to carry freight, mail and passengers to remote towns and mining camps that dotted the Canadian north3.

In Canada, the word “bush” has been used since the 19th century to describe the hostile environment beyond the clearings and settlements. In bush flying it has been used to refer to flying in adverse, if not hostile, conditions in the remote expanses beyond the ribbon of settlement in southern Canada, into the “bush” of the Canadian Shield and the barren Arctic. By the end of WWI most of southern Canada had been linked by railways, but the North remained as inaccessible as ever by land. Its innumerable lakes and rivers did, however, provide alighting areas for water-based aircraft in summer and ski-equipped aircraft in winter.  Bush Flying | The Canadian Encyclopedia

Punch Dickins  cut his teeth fighting on the Western Front, serving in the RFC and later RCAF.  After the war, he flew to remote locations surveying over 10,000 miles of northern Canada for Western Canadian Airlines.

Scan of a Western Canadian Airways airmail stamp

Western Canadian Airways Semi-official stamp

Western Canadian was one of the companies allowed to print stamps and collect money for the delivery of mail to remote locations. Punch delivered the first mail to the NWTs for WCA.  By the end of his career, Dickins flew over 1.6 million miles across the northern Canada.

Avro Arrow

On the second row is the Avro Arrow, continuing Canada’s fascination with the best aircraft that never got a chance. A Canadian designed fighter craft capable of flying 2x the speed of sound, but buried and sunk in Lake Ontario for political reasons. The cancellation of the Avro is still considered a national scandal 60 years later and hotly argued about.

Ultraflight Lazair

And finishing out this set is the nibble twin engine Ultraflight Lazair, a Canadian designed ultralight craft that still buzzes around the skies5.  Between 1979 and 84, over 2000 were built and sold for under $5000 US. It is considered one of the most successful aircrafts sold in Canada.

This is an OUTSTANDING set. I rushed out and bought the booklet and souvenir sheet the morning they were released. The covers were missing in action everywhere I looked. so it looks like they’ll have to be ordered from the Canada Post website. The booklet of 10 stamps costs $9.50 CDN as does the set of 5 covers.  The souvenir sheet of 5 stamps costs $4.50.

Hats off to designer Ivan Novotny6 of Taylor | Sprules Corporation for this beautiful set.

Scan of new Canadian stamps showing Elsie McGill, William George Barker VC, Ultralight craft, Avro Arrow and Punch Dickens

Canadians in Flight 2019 spring Canadian stamp release booklet

Canadians in Flight booklet back cover

Canadians in Flight booklet backside

 

Canadians in flight souvenir sheet - front showing stamps - Canadian stamps

Canadians in Flight souvenir sheet

Notes & further reading on the people on these Canadian stamps:

1 – To learn more about Elsie MacGill start with the Canadian Encyclopedia entry
Vintage Wings – The Queen of the Hurricanes includes photos of airplanes MacGill designed
Pick up the book Queen of the Hurricanes by Crystal Sissons, published 2014 by Second Story Press.  ISBN: 9781927583531 for paperback and 9781927583579 for hardbound editions. Or check your local library
Comic image courtesy Roberta Bondar Foundation

2 –  Read more about William George Barker at the Canadian Encyclopedia
There are many books written about Barker, one of the best is William Barker VC – The Life, Death & Legend of Canada’s Most Decorated War Hero by Ralph Wayne 2007. Published by Wiley Press ISBN 9780470839676
Archives Canada has digitized his WW1 service records and you can download and read them here: https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/100-stories/Pages/barker.aspx
The Aerodrome’s page on Barker will give you a thumbnail view.
Today in Ottawa’s History – The tragic death of Lieutenant Colonel William Barker VC 
Canadian Biography 

3 – Learn more about Canada’s bush pilots at the Canadian Encyclopedia
Historic Wings entry on Punch Dickins
There are a number of websites devoted to the bush pilots and the planes they flew including Bush Plane 
And of course don’t forget Canadian Encyclopedia’s entry on Dickins

4 – Avro Arrow’s development and short life is well documented. I’d start with Canadian Encyclopedia’s brief history
CBC’s Avro Arrow – Canada’s greatest plane that never was is a fascinating read
After years of speculation and searching, the Avro model was located in 2017 at the bottom of Lake Ontario. This story is behind a paywall, but the first couple of articles are free
CTV has an interesting article on the mystery surrounding the destruction of the Avro

5 – A little bit of information can be found at the Lazair website and the Wikipedia page

6 – Interview with Ivan Novotny http://www.tsworld.com/content_interviews/novotny/novotny.ph