Canada : 10th Anniversary of ICAO


Issue date: 01/06/1955



A guiding torch over a white dove flying to the right and upwards, with the maple leaf underneath, representing ICAO and Canada respectively.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††



Perforated initials (Perfin) of Canadian General Electric Company Limited, Toronto, ON.

Characteristics of this perfin: catalogue pattern C16 (Die: C GE) (position 1).




Perforated initials (Perfin) of Canadian National Railways, Winnipeg, MB.

Characteristics of this perfin: catalogue pattern C28 (Die: CNR) (position 4).



Perforated initials (Perfin) of Canadian Pacific Railway Co., Vancouver, BC.

Characteristics of this perfin: catalogue pattern C36 (Die: CPR) (position 2).


Perforated initials (Perfin) of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario.

Characteristics of this perfin: catalogue pattern L1 (Die: LA) (position 4).





Matching set of Plate Blocks with full printerís marks in the selvage: -No. 1 847 / Canadian Bank Note Co., Limited / Ottawa

No. 1. Each plate has 200 stamps in 4 panes of 50.

Note that there had been only one print run of this issue, showing No 1 in the selvage of the corners of each pane.† This issue was printed with one plate Plate Number 1 (plate/sheet of 200 stamps, in 4 panes of 50 for distribution to the post offices), which means that only half the usual number of stamps was run off (quantity: 25 000 000); this would not clutter up the post offices that, by and large, did not favour at that time large size commemorative stamps, nor did the business houses.†

Background: This issue commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the interim Agreement and the first PICAO meeting, and honours the work of the International Civil Aviation Organization, celebrating its tenth anniversary in 1955. At the time the stamp was issued, it was the only United Nations Agency with headquarters in Canada.

The oval form of the stamp design made it possible to obliterate the letters Z (in English) and S (in French) of the word organization on the top of oval. Repeating this word had not seemed desirable as the English and French texts of the Organizationís full name differed in length that would have made it necessary to off-centre the text.

This detail having been resolved, it was a question of achieving an aesthetic balance between the elements of the shield itself and the inscription underneath it, and at the same time ensuring a clear symbolism.

The flame of a torch, centred at the top of the oval and placed over the missing letter, represents the guiding light of the Organization. A dove, symbolic bird of peace, is flying to the right and upward, symbolizing a progressive development of civil aviation in the right direction.

The underlined word CANADA forms the base stability. A branch of three maple leaves, taken from the Canadian Coat of Arms, forms a link between the base (Canada) and the Organization. The corners of the stamp have purposely been left blank to give air to the design. The blue colour of the stamp is a normal association with the sky.

More background information on this issue can be found by clicking on: The 10th anniversary commemorated by Canada.

For years, the Canadian Post Office authorized companies, government departments or provincial governments to perforate stamps to identify the source. It was felt that, if the company could somehow "mark" their stamps with some distinctive sign, employees would be hesitant to take them. The designs of the perforated marks (company initials or other) were for identification, and not for advertising. A machine was capable of perforating the stamps without destroying them from postal use. There are two general types of perfins (Perforated Initials): private and official; private perfins were used by commercial enterprises. Perfins are no longer widely used since the introduction of franking machines or postage meters. The DIE is a set of pins to make one complete design or set of initials, including a code hole if applicable; each die is unique.

When the perfins are punched, the sheets of stamps are often folded in halves or in quarters along the perforations; in that way, two or four stamps can be punched at the same time, thus resulting in perfins shown at different positions. The characteristics of the perfins are provided according to Jon C. Johnson & Gary Tomasson catalogue on Canadian Stamps with Perforated Initials. The perfin insignia is readable as normal looking at the stamp. Position 1 is the commonest position; each position (from 2 to 4) is a 90- degree clockwise rotation from the previous position.