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Victor L. Willson
Released May 2011. Exhibit series # 61.
196 pages, 8.5x11, spiral bound.
Colour C$ 38.00 [ISBN 978-1-897391-76-1].
Vic Willson's Canadian Letter Rates 1912 - 1928 is the 61st volume in the BNAPS Exhibit Series, and the first to illustrate the wide variety of rates and services that were in effect during the periods just before, during and for nine years after World War I. The war brought diversions of mail as new routes had to be developed to get around combat zones and enemy territories, correspondence to and from Canadian servicemen and women in many parts of the world, and an increase in Canadian domestic postal rates through the imposition of War Tax. The upheaval caused by the war led to the end of empires and formation of new countries, the beginning of the end of other colonial empires, the rise of motion pictures and radio as means of popular entertainment, a tremendous increase in the amount of travel done for pleasure and, of course, the airplane.
All these elements of the years 1912-1928 can be seen in the amazingly varied selection of covers and other items Vic presents for our viewing pleasure as he develops his theme. Not only were the stamps of the Admiral issue highly colourful, but so also were many of the envelopes used by businesses of the day. The rate buff can find registered, special delivery, single, double and other multiple rates, early air mails and much more. Those interested in geography will find letters to exotic places such as the Falkland Islands, Italian Libya, and the Ottoman Empire, as well as covers to Russia during the reign of the Tsar and after it became the Soviet Union. Any postal historian, regardless of specialty, will find this book to be of great interest for both its philatelic and social aspects.
Vic Willson has collected stamps since the early 1950s. Following the usual college and military slump, he picked it up again after graduate school and was enticed into Canadian 3¢ Small Queens in 1973. On moving to Texas he encountered the BNAPS Prairie Beaver Regional Group and became a firm convert to Canadian philately. Ed Richardson introduced him to postal history. Vic focused first on 19th century Canadian covers and in 1994 received the BNAPEX Grand Award at Burlington, VT. He then began collecting post cards and received another Grand Award for his early post cards at Edmonton in 2005. His study and exhibit of Canada 19th Century Nonletter Mail received the BNAPEX 2007 Grand Award and was reprinted as Volume 46 in the BNAPEX Exhibit Series.
Vic was editor of BNA Topics from 1989-1995, First Vice-President and then President of BNAPS 1995-98, and editor of BNA Portraits from 2002 until it ceased publication in December 2009. He was elected to the honor society of BNAPS, the Order of the Beaver, in 1999. He is currently Chairman of the BNAPS Board of Directors.
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