Photo Above: Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, centre, is flanked by Gwyneth Chapman and Lloyd McKell, at the launch at the Nelson Mandela Park Public School.
TORONTO, Ontario – On Tuesday, Canada Post unveiled a new stamp to commemorate the heroic life of Nelson Mandela, and celebrate the legacy of courage, determination and persistent hope he left behind.
The unveiling event, which was held at the Nelson Mandela Park Public School in Toronto, was attended by Toronto mayor, John Tory; Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister; Lloyd McKell, chair of the Mandela Legacy Committee-Canada; Gwyneth Chapman, a Black community political organiser; Deepak Chopra, CEO of Canada Post; Jason Kandankery, principal of the school; Pam McConnell, City councillor; and many other luminaries, including students from the school.
The stamp recognizes the special relationship Canada shared with Mandela, who referred to this country as his home away from home.
During his 27 years in prison, Mandela became a symbol of the moral fight for freedom, equality and justice in South Africa and around the world. His message strongly resonated among Canadians, who were at the forefront of the global outcry over his imprisonment and of the unrelenting demand for his release.
After his release in 1990, Canada was among the first countries Mandela visited. Four years later, as president of South Africa, he specifically drew on Canadian values, policies and practices to build his post-apartheid vision of a multi-racial democracy rooted in equality and governed by the rule of law.
In 2001, on his third visit to this country, Mandela was bestowed with honorary Canadian citizenship. He was the first living person to receive this recognition.
“Nelson Mandela, an honorary Canadian citizen, is an inspiration to everyone who values human rights. As a great champion of freedom, beloved by Canadians, he will forever be remembered as a man whose courage changed not just South Africa, but also the world,” says Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister.
“Our stamp program seeks to tell the stories of people who have had a powerful effect on our society, and Nelson Mandela’s story is among the most powerful. Canada Post is truly privileged to celebrate his life, his legacy and his struggle that inspired generations to fight for what is right,” says Deepak Chopra, President and CEO of Canada Post.
The stamp was inspired by a photograph taken by Yousuf Karsh on Mandela’s first visit to Canada in 1990, just four months after his release from prison.
The world mourned Mandela’s passing on December 5, 2013.
The Nelson Mandela Permanent stamp, featuring a photo by Yousuf Karsh, is available in booklets of 10 and measures 32 mm x 32 mm. An Official First Day Cover and souvenir sheet with an international rate stamp are also available.
The stamp, souvenir sheet and Official First Day Cover are designed by Ian Drolet with photos by Yousuf Karsh, Jürgen Schadeberg and Stephane de Sakutin, and printed by Canadian Bank Note. The Official First Day Cover measures 191 mm x 113 mm and is cancelled in Ottawa, Ontario.
The stamp will be available for purchase on January 30. To purchase philatelic products, please visit canadapost.ca/shop.