Unique postmark celebrates Assiginack 150th birthday

Canada Post recently unveiled a postmark celebrating 150th anniversary of the founding of Assiginack. From left, Kelsey Maguire, Assiginack Museum curator; Assiginack Mayor Dave Ham; Canada Post Corporation local area superintendent Clive Henderson and Manitowaning Postmaster Jennifer Hooper. photo by Jackie White

ASSIGINACK – Manitoulin’s oldest settlement following the Manitoulin Treaty of 1862 (and the birthplace of The Manitoulin Expositor, Northern Ontario’s oldest newspaper) is celebrated in a recently released new postmark, especially designed to celebrate the occasion of Assiginack’s founding 150 years ago. The Assiginack Museum, as one of the most historic buildings in the community, is featured prominently in the design.

The new postmark owes its creation to Assiginack Postmaster Jennifer Hooper, who asked her local area superintendent Clive Henderson to apply to a Canada Post Corporation program that creates the postmarks.

Ms. Hooper explained that, since 2002, the Crown corporation has offered collectors a range of special pictorial cancels from many of its 6,300 post offices. The historically significant cancels are updated regularly, allowing small-town post offices to celebrate local and regional events that may lack the national appeal required for the stamp program.

“We have a design team at Canada Post that actually creates the cancel,” said Ms. Hooper when contacted by The Expositor. “I sent them some ideas of what I would like to see in the design and they took it from there.”

The results were all she could hope for. “I think it turned out quite lovely,” she said.

The Assiginack Museum memorialized in a postmark.

Ms. Hooper noted that collectors are quite eager to acquire the specialized postmarks. “Every week we would get a request at the Little Current Canada Post Office,” she said. “Collectors will ask for very specific placement of the postmark. ‘Please put it in the upper right corner’ is a pretty common request,” she laughed.

Getting one of the special cancel marks is pretty straightforward. “To receive the cancel, mail your envelopes or covers, stamped with return postage, inside a stamped envelope,” reads the Canada Post website. “Address the envelope to the attention of the ‘postmaster’ with the full name and address of the post office that offers the cancel.”

A little while later your cancelled stamp will arrive attached to a postcard or envelope you sent in with your request.

So, happy birthday Assiginack! Congratulations on your new postmark and many happy returns.