Sunday, June 29, 2014

Millennium 61 : Eric Lafferty Harvie - Alberta's Heart of Gold

[This post is another in a series  profiling each of the 68 stamps issued by Canada Post Corporation on September 15, 1999 on the occasion of the new Millennium. ]

 Eric Lafferty Harvie (circa 1940s)

Eric Lafferty Harvie (1892- 1975) was  a prominent Calgary lawyer, oilman, and philanthropist who was awarded the Order of Canada in 1968 for his service to the arts and the community. Harvie made his fortune when oil was discovered in Leduc (1947) and in Redwater (1949) on land to which he held the mineral rights.He was inducted posthumously into the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame in 2013.

In the 1950s, he began to collect art featuring the development of the Canadian west and First Nations, as well as artifacts from cultures worldwide. At the same time, he began to return his wealth to Albertans through several charitable foundations.  He established the Glenbow Foundation in 1954 which donated 200,00 artifacts to the Alberta government in 1966 as well as $6 million to build Calgary's Glenbow Museum.

Glenbow Museum, Calgary

Harvie's donations have supported many other institutions such as the Banff School of Fine Arts (now The Banff Centre), the Calgary Zoo, Heritage Park and the Luxton Museum in Banff (now Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum).

 In 1933, Harvie purchased the Glenbow Ranch located near Cochrane (30 km northwest of Calgary).

 Today the Glenbow Ranch is one of Alberta's newest provincial parks thanks to the generosity of  Harvie's grandchildren who sold the 3,000 acre property to the Alberta government in 2006 for less than market value.

Philatelic Link to Eric Harvie

Leduc No. 1 : 50 cent Definitive Stamp (1950)

On February 13, 1947, Leduc No. 1 oil well, southwest of Edmonton hit the motherlode on land to which Harvie owned the mineral rights. The huge oil strike  marked the birth of  Western Canada’s modern oil industry and has been called one of the most important economic discoveries in Canada’s history. On March 1, 1950, Canada Post Office issued a 50-cent definitive stamp in recognition of the oil discoveries in Alberta.

Designer Herman Herbert Schwartz relied on photographs of oil derricks, storage tanks, and a sludge flare to create a scene depicting an Alberta oil field.

National Archives of Canada

Schwartz collage
National Archives of Canada

Silas Robert Allen engaving
National Archives of Canada
First Day Covers

Millennium Stamp Formats

1.  Millennium Collection Album

The 68 Millennium stamps were first issued in a hardbound book, Canada Post The Millennium Collection : Expressions of a People, on September 15, 1999. The stamps were printed perforated with two stamps per page. 

The Eric Lafferty Harvie and Macdonald Stewaet Foundation stamps were printed on the same page.

2. Millennium Collection Souvenir Sheet

Canada Post Corporation re-issued the Millennium stamps in panes of 4 stamps issued over a three month period from December 17, 1999 to March 17, 2000.  The souvenir sheet with the Eric Lafferty Harvie stamp was released on February 17, 2000.