StampNews.com got to know that Canada Post has unveiled a new set of two stamps during a special ceremony July 22 at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. These items commemorate John Franklin's ill-fated 1845 search for the Northwest Passage and the discovery in September 2014 of the sunken remains of his expedition's flagship HMS Erebus. This newly designed issue will be put into circulation on the 6th of August.
"The mystery of Franklin's expedition has long captured the imaginations of Canadians", said Canada's Minister of Justice Peter MacKay. "These stamps reflect Canadians' pride in the technology ‒ and traditional Inuit stories and knowledge ‒ that made the discovery of Erebus possible".
"Canadian stamps have a long history of celebrating our great explorers", says Deepak Chopra, Canada Post president and CEO. "These stamps honor Franklin and his bold men, but also celebrate the discovery of a shipwreck that had eluded previous and perilous searches: the long-lost Erebus".
The se-tenant pair of permanent stamps was designed by Roy White of Vancouver-based Subplot Design Inc., with innovative illustrations from Mike Little of Halifax, who has worked on other Canadian stamps including the 2012 Titanic issue.
A white background and high-relief embossing give the stamps the look of having been carved from the very ice that trapped Franklin and his men 170 years ago.
The first stamp shows Erebus with the masts of her companion ship HMS Terror in the background at left. The second stamp features a map of the Arctic region that Franklin explored and uses inscriptions in the native Inuktut language to mark key places in the region. This reflects the Inuit oral history that guided many searches for the ships, including last year's successful discovery.
Extensive use of Inuktut text on a stamp from famously bilingual Canada is unusual, but not unprecedented.