The Canadian Red Cross Society, 1909-1984
Date of Issue
May 28, 1984
Perforation or Dimension
Based on a photograph by Clive Webster Designed by William H. Tibbles
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the incorporation of The Canadian Red Cross Society. It was in 1909 that Parliament passed an act establishing the Society as a corporate body. The International Red Cross, an organization that strives to alleviate human suffering, was created after a Swiss, Jean Henri Dunant, wrote "Un souvenir de Solferino", describing the suffering of soldiers wounded in the battle of Solferino in 1859 and urging that societies be formed for the relief of war victims. A committee formed in Geneva in 1863 set down the basic Red Cross principles of impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. In Canada, the symbol of the red cross was used for the first time during the North-West Rebellion, when George Sterling Ryerson, who was then a Surgeon Major, designated a horse-drawn ambulance with a homemade Red Cross flag. In 1896 Ryerson founded the Canadian branch of the British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded, subtitled the Red Cross. The Canadian branch played an increasing role in providing relief during the Spanish American War in 1898, the South African War, and the First World War, at the end of which the society decided to continue its work of mercy in peacetime. The Canadian Red Cross Society, recognized as an independent national society in 1927, has, among other things, organized the well-known blood-donor service, the water and small craft safety program, various forms of international assistance, a sickroom equipment loan service, and a school program. The Canadian Red Cross has grown to over 600 branches in ten provinces and two territories, with a national headquarters coordinating the work of the divisions. At the heart of the Red Cross organization are the volunteers. In recognition of their invaluable contribution, the stamp design by William Tibbles and Clive Webster of Toronto features the medal awarded by The Canadian Red Cross Society for long-standing and meritorious voluntary service. On the First Day Cover is a portrait of Major General George Sterling Ryerson (1854-1925), founder of the Red Cross in Canada and co-founder of The Canadian Red Cross Society. The Day of Issue cancellation features a graphic version of the Red Cross symbol.
Canada Post Corporation. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1984.
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