Organization: Canada Post
Product: Brochure
Year: 1978
Designer: Stuart Ash, Gottschalk + Ash

Publication copy

Commonwealth Games

The late British Empire left a splendid legacy which includes the Commonwealth Games. Though more a family get-together than other international athletic festivals, the 1978 Games in Edmonton, Canada will no doubt be so exciting that citizens of the Alberta capital may even temporarily forget about the Edmonton Eskimos football team.

In 1891 Reverend Astley Cooper of England first proposed a gathering such as the one to take place in Edmonton from August 3 to 12, 1978. He hoped to increase goodwill and understanding within the Empire. Teams from Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom competed in various sports at London in 1911 to mark the coronation V. George 8 Olympics when M. M. (Bobby) Robinson, a Canadian, but otherwise, little progress was made until |the 1928 proposed that Canada hold the British Empire Games in 1930. Hamilton was the host city of the spectacle, now regarded as the first of its kind. The Games continued on a four-year cycle until World War Il interrupted, and were resumed in 1954, when Commonwealth athletes met in Vancouver.

Though not able to boast as many sports as the Olympics, the 1978 Commonwealth Games will feature cycling, weightlifting, badminton, wrestling, boxing, swimming, shooting, bowls, and track and field, including a marathon, which could turn out to be quite a challenge for competitors who may have to run against a brisk prairie wind. Canada had an opportunity to choose a tenth sport for 1978 and selected gymnastics. There will also be a demonstration of lacrosse.

Badminton, pictured on the 30-cent stamp, and bowls are the only two sports in the Commonwealth Games that are not included in the Olympics. Badminton, which derives its name from the residence of the Duke of Beaufort in Gloucestershire, evolved in the 19th century from an ancient children’s game. In the 1890’s military personnel in Vancouver East only after World War I. A British team toured the country in greatly increasing the popularity of the sport. Since then Canadian players have triumphed in the women’s singles at the 1939 All- England Championships, and in the men’s singles at the 1970 Commonwealth Games.

In the relaxed early days of badminton, three, four, or even five people played on a side. The singles game was regarded as being extremely selfish. Today, by contrast, action is never suspended to enable a person to recover his strength or wind. The shuttlecock (or bird) can reach speeds of up to 110 miles an hour, although it is so light that changes in temperature and barometric pressure affect its flight. No one wins in international competition without great skill, lightning reflexes, vast endurance, and tremendous speed.

The Commonwealth Games stamps were designed by Stuart Ash of Toronto. The 14-cent stamp features the Games symbol presented on an elegant background of horizontal bands of silver and gray. The symbol is derived from four elements: The Canadian maple leaf; the Union Jack (with the red, white and blue colours of the Common- wealth); converging arrows depicting movement to Edmonton; and a series of V’s symbolizing the efforts of volunteers who make the Games possible. The 30-cent stamp depicts badminton. Retaining the common background of horizontal silver/gray bands, the artist has added red and blue stripes to suggest a badminton court. The position of the pictograph figures stresses the idea of individual competition.


The physical version of this product is part of the federal identity archive.