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Komagata Maru Incident

Stamp Info

Name Value
Date of Issue May 1, 2014
Year 2014
Quantity 1,500,000
Denomination
$2.50
Perforation or Dimension Serpentine Die Cut 13 x 12¾
Printer Canadian Bank Note
Postal Administration Canada

Stamp Values/Prices (Beta Mode*)

Condition Name Avg Price
M-NH-VF Mint - Never Hinged - Very Fine
Mint - Never Hinged - Very Fine $5.00
U-VF Used - Very Fine
Used - Very Fine $2.00
* Notes about these prices:
  • They are currently in beta mode, meaning that they should not be relied upon yet as a source of truth and could change frequently. Please notify CPS if you come across values that do not make sense.
  • They are not based on catalogue values but on current dealer and auction listings. The reason for this is that catalogues tend to over-value stamps.
  • They are average prices and might not be fully accurate. The actual value of your stamp may be slightly above or below the listed value, depending on the overall condition of your stamp.

Layouts

Booklet of 6 stamps

Quantity Produced - 250,000
Original Price: $15
Dimension: 31 mm x 38 mm
Printing Process: Lithography in 5 colours

Official First Day Cover (People)

Quantity Produced - 14,000
Cancellation Location: Vancouver BC
Original Price: $3.50
Dimension: 191 mm x 113 mm
Printing Process: Lithography in 5 colours

Official First Day Cover (Ship)

Quantity Produced - 14,000
Cancellation Location: Vancouver BC
Original Price: $3.50
Dimension: 191 mm x 113 mm
Printing Process: Lithography in 5 colours

About Stamp

In the spring of 1914, a sad, two-month drama unfolded in Vancouver. The 376 passengers of the Japanese steamship Komagata Maru arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, but officials allowed only a handful into Canada – 20 returning residents, along with the ship’s doctor and his family. The remainder waited on board in difficult conditions for some 60 days until the ship, most of its passengers and their hopes for a better life were escorted away from the harbour by the Royal Canadian Navy.

Harbhajan Gill, President of the Komagata Maru Heritage Foundation, is proud to see the release of a stamp to raise awareness of what happened.

“The Foundation has done a good job educating people in the South Asian community, but there are still many Canadians who don’t know about the incident,” explains Gill. “We’d love this stamp to prompt questions. This is part of Canadian history.”

The arrival of the Komagata Maru passengers – all British subjects and mostly Sikhs from Punjab, India – presented a major challenge to regulations aimed at barring Asian immigrants from Canada. Those regulations included a “continuous journey” clause and stipulated that immigrants must have $200 in cash – an obligation most found impossible to meet. Forced to leave Vancouver on July 23, the passengers returned to India, where approximately 20 of them were shot and others imprisoned. The regulations they boldly faced would change only 33 years later.

“Even though it was a sad event, Canadians should take away a happy message. We’ve learned from those mistakes and made positive, inspiring change in 100 years,” says Gill. “We’re a new Canada, one that treats everyone as equal.”

Issued on the first day of Asian Heritage Month, this stamp commemorates the struggle of the Komagata Maru passengers and celebrates the contribution of the South Asian community, and indeed all Asian Canadians, to Canada’s diversity and prosperity.

Creators

Design: Paprika | Illustration: Mark Summers.
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