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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Special Commentary - 18 February, 2004

Year of the Monkey - Canadian Stamp with HongKong overprint

On January 8, 2004, Canada Post issued the latest in a series of stamps celebrating the Chinese New Year. This year's stamps featured the Year of the Monkey in a 49¢ stamp for domestic use and a $1.40 stamp for international use. The Illustrator was Anita Kunz, a graduate of the Ontario College of Art.

We went to the local Post Office last week to buy some copies of the $1.40 souvenir sheet to use on our mail and was surprised to find that two versions were being sold:

Regular Souvenir Sheet

(1,700,000 issued)

Special Hong Kong Overprint

(200,000 issued)
(Please click on one of the images for larger view of the overprint)

It was the overprint that caught our attention. Although it was referred to and even illustrated in Canada Post's quarterly magazine "Details" there was no explanation given as to why it had been issued. A call to the National Philatelic Center in Ottawa gave us the full story. It turns out that Hongkong Post held a stamp exposition in Hong Kong from January 30 to February 3, 2004 and Canada was one of the countries that participated with its overprinted souvenir sheet. We commend our postal authorities for this international initiative that undoubtedly creates much goodwill. One can imagine how the people of Hong Kong felt to see the Canadian stamps with the Chinese characters on them.

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©2004, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada