Canada Post nixes Korean War stamp

More than 200 letters of support not enough to change postal service's position

Coquitlam Now, 27 July 2012 By Jeremy Deutsch

Guy Black never fought in the Korean War. In fact, the Port Moody resident only last year met a relative for the first time who served in the war.

But for several years, Black has been tirelessly campaigning and pushing Canada Post to include a stamp commemorating the Korean War.

Through his efforts, he learned Canada Post has issued 53 military-themed stamps, but most have focused on the two World Wars.

There has only been one stamp related to the Korean War.

"One stamp by Canada Post, that's a joke," Black told The NOW.

The ICBC employee tried unsuccessfully to get a stamp issued to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the war, but it was turned down.

With the 60th anniversary coming up in 2013, Black was confident Canada Post would accept his application for a stamp.

It would be the last significant anniversary of the war for many of the living vets.

The average birth date for veterans of the war is 1934.

So he launched a second campaign, enlisting some pretty big heavyweights in support of the stamp, including retired general and Senator Romeo Dallaire.

In all, Black had more than 200 letters of support.

But once again, Canada Post stymied the campaign and turned down the stamp request.

And unless the federal organization changes its mind in a hurry, Black said it would likely be his last try.

"Knowing veterans and doing research, you can just see - I think it's unfair," he said.

"I just hope that Canada Post could somehow come out with a stamp, but I don't think it's going to happen."

The Canada Post decision was also a disappointment to New Westminster-Coquitlam MP Fin Donnelly.

The NDP MP said he was impressed by Black's efforts, and he even brought the stamp proposal to the minister in charge of Canada Post, who also seemed in support of the idea.

"It made a lot of sense that particular battle required more recognition," Donnelly said.

He said Canada Post didn't offer any rationale for the decision that was helpful, but the MP suspects the proposal was turned down because the organization gets a fair amount of requests for stamps.

Donnelly said Canada Post's decision is unfortunate, arguing Korean War vets are worth the recognition, especially since the country is losing so many.

"It would be really nice to do something while they're still alive," he said, adding the war just hasn't received the kind of recognition it deserves.

Donnelly believes a stamp would bring attention to the significant global event.

"It provides an educational opportunity that is very important," he said.

Despite the decision, Donnelly remains hopeful Canada Post will change its mind and issue a stamp.

© Coquitlam Now