Canada - Kaulbach Island (Nova Scotia)
Art Stamps on Local Post

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Canadian local post is a pretty obscure subject, but does none the less exist as a recognized part of Canadian Philately. 

Kaulbach Island, a tiny spot located in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, (within the red square on the map), a mile offshore of Halifax and the village of Indian Point, is a splendid example.  

The island was acquired by its present owners in 1967, and developed into a small scale rural retreat for vacationers.  In 1971 the Local Carriage Service was established.  

Now, one just doesn't set up a local carriage service in Canada with the same ease that it can be done in the United States.  There was prolonged correspondence with the Canada Post Office, which finally resulted in a ruling that the service could operate if

  1. the local carriage labels (being stamps, but not postal stamps) were placed only on the back of envelopes, and 
  2. each sheet must bear the slogan:  "Not valid for the carriage of mail by the Canada Post Office.  To be used only in the Kaulbach Island Local Carriage Service and may be placed only on the back of envelopes.  Use Canadian postal stamps on all mail for posting in Canada".   

The below First Day Cover illustrates these regulations.

  • Canada 1972.  The back of an FDC, showing how the local stamps were affixed to the backside of the envelope.  The cancellation reads:  "Kaulbach Island -- L.C.S. -- N.S."    "L.C.S." stands for Local Carriage Service.  
    It is interesting that the domestic rate for Canada at that time was 8c, while the local carriage service was 18c.  There is no date for the cancellation of the local stamps, which is given on the cover's front. 

The stamps depict famous Canadian paintings by (from left to right): 

  1. Harold Beament (1898-1982):  "South Side, St. John's", belonging to the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa.   Mr. Beament was a Quebec painter and colleague of the Group of Seven. He became president of the Royal Canadian Academy and was a contributor to the War Museum during WWII. 
  2. Cornelius Krieghoff (1815-1872):  "Steamship Quebec", belonging to the Collection of W.R. Franks, Toronto.  Note that in November 1972 Canada herself has issued a painting on stamp by Cornelius Krieghoff,  Scott # 610.  
  3. Maurice Cullen (1866-1934):  "The Old Ferry", belonging to the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and 
  4. John O'Brien (1831-1891):  "Yacht Race, Halifax",  belonging to the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.  

In my view all delightful and delicate paintings from an era long bygone. 

  • Canada 1972.  The front of the same FDC of Kaulbach Island Local Carriage Service.  The stamp used for ordinary franking within Canada is Scott # 561, issued on May 17, 1972.  The person depicted on the stamp is Count de Frontenac, who was the French Governor General of "New France" (Quebec), and therefore an important figure in Canadian history.   

    The cover is addressed to a recipient in Chester (Nova Scotia) and was first day cancelled on July 22, 1972 (which was the day of issue of the local carriage stamps on the back of the cover) in Chester.  The cachet is an image of the famous schooner "Bluenose" a national symbol of Canada. 

Since 1971 there has been an annual issue of Kaulbach-stamps, with two issues each in 1974 and 1977.  The rate was 9c in 1971, doubled to 18c in 1972 (see the above cover), and raised to 25c in 1976.  All stamps are printed se-tenant, so that a number of full sets appears in each sheet. 

Two sets of art stamps have been issued for Kaulbach Island:  

  1. 1972, as shown on the above first day cover, and 
  2. 1978, as shown on this block of four stamps.

One stamp, particularly featuring "Bluenose", was issued in the set released August 1978, together with stamps of "Courageous", "Nippon Maru", and "HMS Rose".   

The artists are unknown. The lower left stamp is "Bluenose".  

  • Kaulbach Island Local Post 1978.  

The Kaulbach Island Local Carriage Service ceased operations in 1984 when the island was closed to tourists due to concerns about the increasing damage to the island's ecology. So terminated, therefore, the need for Kaulbach Island local stamps. 

Sources and links:

Many thanks to Rob McGuinness (Canada) for all help and advice.  

Revised 26 dec 2006 
Copyright © by Ann Mette Heindorff
All Rights Reserved 

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