If you have read my first plea for help that is about creating Ukraine-themed cover / maxicard, you will find this second plea very similar or even confounding.
Again, I came up with the idea of creating what in philately is called maximum cards (‘maxicard’ for short) using another postcard of mine. I want to fix stamp(s) on the image side of the postcard, and have all of these stamps cancelled in their respective countries of issue exactly on a date and at a location that correspond to the theme of the project.
While the first initiative means to show solidarity with Ukraine, hence the cancellation date is chosen to be Ukraine’s national day (24 August), this second initiative is centered around the theme of peace, hence the date of the cancellation is chosen to be 21 September, known as the World Peace Day.
This is how the postcard for this project will look like:
It pictures the Peace Bell in Montreal Botanical Garden, which was offered by Hiroshima of Japan on the occasion of the twinning of the two cities. The inscription reads, perhaps a bit surprisingly at the first sight, ‘future of hope’ (希望の未来).
As this second theme is more general, many countries around the world have issued in the past stamps celebrating peace outside of the current context of Russia-Ukraine conflict. Canada alone has in its catalog at least 7 stamps about peace (or 10 stamps if we count those issued for Christmas – a traditional theme of which is peace). A quick research shows that there are over 500 peace-themed stamps in the world.
Nevertheless, I am not going to ask this much people to help me. I want to narrow down the scope of the project a bit, so unlike in the first initiative, this time, the location of the post office does matter. The cards have to be made not only in specific countries, but also at very specific locations with peace-related names.
This is going to be a multi-year project. For this year, I am only aiming at collecting postmarks from locations I have searched (mostly in English, French, Japanese and Mandarin). Overall, the second list of volunteers I am calling for is shorter than the first, but much more specific.
My search criteria are:
(1) It must be an administrative neighbourhood or a public space whose named contains the word peace; private lands and properties don’t count. Or it can be a place where a historically known peace treaty was signed.
(2) At this location there must be at least one post office that does stamp cancellation.
(3) The respective country must have issued at least one peace-themed stamp that can be cancelled today. (e.g. for Germany, this means an Euro-currency peace-themed stamp; for Portugal, this means a peace-themed stamp issued after 2012, etc.)
An example of a location that has to be sadly excluded is ‘La Paz’ in Madrid, because no post office is located in this district. Another example is everywhere in Israel, because their post offices don’t cancel stamp anymore, and the last philatelic shop (in Tel Aviv) was closed during the pandemic.
Here are the peace-related towns / districts / post offices I have found so far.
- Myrnam, AB (5027 - 49 St, Myrnam, AB T0B 3K0)
- Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix, QC (285 Rue Notre Dame, Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix, QC J0V 1P0)
- Peace River, AB (10031 100 St, Peace River, AB T8S 1A0)
- Wetaskiwin, AB (4811 51 St, Wetaskiwin, AB T9A 0A0)
Japan has quite a lot of peace-related post offices:
- 札幌平和一条郵便局（〒063-0021 北海道札幌市西区平和１条２丁目１−3）
- 前橋平和郵便局（〒371-0027 群馬県前橋市平和町２丁目１８−15）
- 金沢平和町郵便局（〒921-8105 石川県金沢市平和町２丁目１３−18）
- 平和郵便局（〒490-1399 愛知県稲沢市平和町中三宅高道35-1）
- 名古屋平和郵便局（〒460-0021 愛知県名古屋市中区平和１丁目２３−16）
- 喜屋武郵便局（〒901-0354 沖縄県糸満市喜屋武430-4）(This post office’s name doesn’t contain the word peace but its pictorial cancel shows the Peace Tower monument at Cape Kyan.)
- Pokój (1 Maja 9, 46-034 Pokój, Poland)
Taiwan too has quite a lot of peace-related post offices:
- Myrhorod (there are 4 post offices in this town)
For the first year of this project, I will be in charge of the creation of the Canadian maxicards in one of the peace-related towns in Canada. As for other locations, I am hoping to find some people who live nearby or can go to these specific post offices on the 21st of September (a Wednesday this year) to ask for cancellations.
As this project requires considerable research, I alone am unlikely to be able to research the location names of the whole world all by myself. If you know in your country there is a city / town / administrative district whose name is peace-related, please let me know. It will considerably ease my burden!
I don’t know yet what I am going to do with these cards produced through international collaboration, but I promise, if they will ever be on sale, all proceeds will go to a charity organisation instead of my pocket. The public will be able to consult the expense report associated with this project. For the moment, I do hope to find some collectors for these precious cards that are born out of every participant’s kindness.
P.S. I don’t know if I will create an original hand-drawn/painted cover for this project. That’s why I am calling the philatelic items this project aims at producing ‘(non-traditional) maxicards’.