Blair Henshaw HIV/AIDS Philatelic Collection

HIV/AIDS The Blair Henshaw Philatelic Collection

The Blair Henshaw HIV/AIDS Philatelic Collection web site celebrates the work of Blair Henshaw stamp collector, AIDS activist, and the man responsible for successfully lobbying the Canadian federal government to issue an HIV/AIDS stamp. The site outlines his life, his fight for a Canadian HIV/AIDS stamp, and displays a selection of the HIV/AIDS stamps which he collected.

It also displays, under "Other Materials", a number of other HIV/AIDS related materials he collected, including: first day covers, cinderellas (thematic stamps that are not official postage stamps), post cards, and telephone cards.

The materials on display here represent only a selection of those available in the Blair Henshaw Philatelic Collection held in Special Collections and Rare Books, W.A.C. Bennett Library, Simon Fraser University.

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© 2006 SFU Library All rights reserved. The contents were written by Bill Caskey and Duncan Dixon. The site was created by Duncan Dixon.

The Stamps

A digitized collection of HIV/AIDS-related stamps, philatelic materials and ephemera collected by Canadian AIDS activist and stamp collector Blair Henshaw (1949-2002). It features a selection of the stamps and ephemera (first day covers, cinderellas, post cards, and telephone cards) he collected during his lifetime. This site contains a selection of Henshaw's HIV/AIDS philatelic and related materials. Some geographical liberties (Vanuatu is not part of Asia) were taken in an effort to simplify navigation. Please feel free to contact SFU Special Collections and Rare Books if errors are identified.


Other Materials
Canada's HIV/AIDS stamp The first day cover of Canada's HIV/AIDS stamp, signed "Blair Henshaw lobbyist".
Joe Average postcard Postcard designed by Joe Average for Vancovuer's 2000 AIDS Walk. Used with permission.
AIDS phone card AIDS phone card issued by Namibia.
Cinderella stamp Cinderella stamps are thematic stamps, similar to postage stamps, but which are not official postage stamps. This cinderella was produced by the Lions Club of Khumalo, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.


About Blair

Blair Henshaw photo

Blair Coldwell Henshaw was born July 2, 1949, in Digby, Nova Scotia. He moved to Vancouver in the 1960s and worked as a letter carrier, a hospital orderly, and as a library assistant with the National Film Board.

Henshaw was a long-time philatelist and began developing a collection of HIV/AIDS stamps after the world’s first AIDS stamp was released in 1988. He continued collecting until late 2001. In 1992, seven years after being diagnosed HIV positive, Henshaw began lobbying Canada Post and the Federal Government to produce a Canadian stamp featuring HIV/AIDS in order to raise awareness in Canada and abroad. His efforts were successful with the issuance on May 8, 1996 of Canada’s HIV/AIDS awareness stamp. The stamp was based on an image by Vancouver artist Joe Average.

The image commemorated the 11th International AIDS conference held in Vancouver, which had the theme “One World, One Hope”. The Henshaw collection grew to include postcards, comics, first issues of stamps, and other materials. He died June 15, 2002, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Henshaw collection was auctioned November 8, 2004, at All Nations Stamp and Coin. It was acquired by John Keenlyside and donated to Simon Fraser University Special Collections and Rare Books.

Photo by Hugh Peck, courtesy of the BC Philatelic Society.


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