Sir Wilfred Grenfell

Canadian stamp 5 cent Grenfell

Date of issue: June 9, 1965
Printer: Canadian Bank Note Company
Design: Harvey Thomas Prosser

Wilfred Grenfell

Sir Wilfred Grenfell was born in Cheshire, England in 1865. He studied medicine at the London Hospital Medical College and received an M.D. degree from Oxford in 1889. During this time, he became inspired to do missionary work and joined the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. This led him to travel to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1892, where he found the inhabitants of the coastal fishing towns to have virtually no access to medical resources.

He decided to devote his life to the care of these individuals, treating the sick on specially fitted hospital ships such as the “Strathcona” (underwritten by Sir Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona) of Montreal). Grenfell also raised funds to build the region’s first hospital in St Anthony and worked tirelessly to improve the social, spiritual and environmental health of those in the Newfoundland and Labrador community. He was knighted in 1927 and died in Vermont in 1940.

The Stamp

The stamp shows Grenfell at the helm of the Strathcona II. An iceberg is prominent in the North Atlantic Ocean behind. A similar stamp issued by Newfoundland in 1941 (eight years before its joining Canada) shows Grenfell and the Strathcona II to better advantage. A cross representing Grenfell’s missionary foundation is seen at the top left. The cross, a sketch of the ship, and a photograph of Grenfell are present on the first-day Canadian stamp cover.

Canadian stamp Grenfell 1865-1940

Canadian stamp First-day cover Grenfell

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