USCPAA celebrates Peace Arch on postal stamps
By Tara Nelson
Ten years ago, Blaine residents Vivian and Reg Campin tried to earn the Peace Arch monument a place on a U.S. postal stamp for the 75th anniversary but with no luck.
In 1971, Blaine resident Marie Arbuckle also tried to put the Peace Arch on a stamp for the 50th anniversary and, in 1946, Blaine resident Vernon MacDonald tried for the 25th anniversary. Both of their attempts also failed.
“In three different time frames the citizens of Blaine have tried to put the Peace Arch on the stamp,” said Christina Alexander, president of the U.S./Canadian Peace Arch Anniversary Association (USCPAA), a non-profit group that organizes the international sculpture exhibition at Peace Arch Park. “It’s unfortunate the Peace Arch has never been commemorated by the U.S. Postal Service.”
This year, however, Peace Arch enthusiasts will be able to celebrate a sort-of victory as the USCPAA has ordered a limited number of commemorative stamps for resale.
The stamps feature a historical depiction of the Peace Arch’s early days and will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. September 6 at the Blaine post office.
Proceeds will benefit the USCPAA for projects such as the sculpture committee, which selects artwork and plans installations for the exhibit, and the organization’s new Peace Arch City museum at 658 Peace Portal Drive.
“There’s so many different things that we do,” she said. “We’re working year-round to get more art in Blaine and with the new museum. We’re constantly working on projects that enrich our community.”
Alexander said the event is part of the organization’s annual Peace Arch Dedication Days, a week-long celebration of the history of the Peace Arch and its founder, the late Samuel Hill and will include a visit from Hill himself, along with appearances by the Queen of Romania, Vivian Campin and Blaine mayor Mike Myers, as well as other city officials.
Alexander said stamps will include
a certificate of authenticity issued by the Mary Hill Museum
of Art on the Columbia Gorge in Washington.
Two other border crossings – the International Peace Gardens between South Dakota and Manitoba, as well as the Peace Bridge between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario – have had the honor of appearing on a U.S. postage stamp, she said.
The USCPAA will also be issuing limited edition Peace Arch post cards as well as official U.S. pictorial stamp cancellations. Alexander said the cancellations will be available at no cost and patrons can bring any stamp or piece of mail they like.
“We did a commemorative card on the 75th anniversary and people really did like it,” she said.
She added that, as part of the festivities, Blaine shopkeepers are invited to dress in 1920s garb and the public will be invited to vote on the best-dressed shopkeeper, who will win a prize.
The Peace Arch rededication ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, September 9 from 1 to 4 p.m., with the official ceremony beginning at 1:30 p.m.
The event will include a historical reenactment of the original Peace Arch dedication in 1921, 1920s period costumes, children’s activities and an antique car show.
The Peace Arch City museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. with special hours September 6 through 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call 332-7165.