We all know of Norman Bethune, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Billy Bishop and Terry Fox, but many of the greatest legendary figures in Canadian history are not household names everywhere. In August of this year, Canada Post is helping to change that by issuing a series of domestic-rate stamps which puts the spotlight on four worthy Canadians who have made their mark on our culture and our identity.
When Canadian mountaineers think of their heroes, Phyllis Munday (1894-1990) is bound to be among them. Scientist, cartographer, naturalist, athlete, humanitarian and adventurer, Munday spent her life climbing B.C.'s remote Coast Mountains. In her climbing career she scaled some 100 peaks, nearly a third of which were first ascents, and many being first ascents for a woman. In 1924, Phyllis Munday with her colleague Annette Buck became the first women to reach the summit of Mount Robson - the highest peak in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Humorous, generous and caring, Munday was granted the Order of Canada in 1973 for her pioneering efforts, and for her dedicated service to the Girl Guides, St. John Ambulance and the Alpine Club of Canada.
Designers Catharine Bradbury and Dean Bartsch of Bradbury Design in Regina say these new stamps embrace an illustration style that "ties the four legendary Canadians together while being visually strong in the stamps' actual size". The designers attempted to echo the feel and impact of the great posters of the 1930s, and believe that the extraordinary lives of Mason, Foster, Munday and Comeau are now reflected in a design that is appropriately nostalgic while staying visually bold.