July 4th, 2001 issue of the Berwick Register

Berwick mail bears important message

By Sara Keddy

Letters leaving Berwick will carry a special message after this week.

A new cancellation stamp describing Berwick as the "Apple Capital of Nova Scotia" will mark letters moving through the Berwick Post Office for destinations around the world.

"It's a good way to make sure as many people as possible know Berwick is the Apple Capital of Nova Scotia," said Don Clarke, president of the Apple Capital Museum Society, June 28.

The society has been working on designing the stamp and getting approval for it for almost a year. Canada Post gave its blessing, adding a few extra touches to the stamp, this month.

Berwick will soon be more widely recognized as the Apple Capital of
Nova Scotia, thanks to a new cancellation stamp that will go into use
at the Berwick Post Office July 5. The stamp, designed and sponsored
by the Apple Capital Museum Society, should prove popular. Don Clarke,
society president, left; and postmaster Bruce Redden are offering cake,
postcards, Apple Blossom Festival first cover stamps and the new
cancellation mark to celebrate the launch. (S.Keddy)

The cancellation will be in red, with an apple in the centre and the lettering in a circle around the apple. The necessary post office information - date and point of mailing - is incorporated.

"It's nice to get the name connected with Berwick - out to the world, really." Mr. Clarke said.

Berwick postmaster Bruce Redden likes the stamp, and he thinks collectors will, too.

"You never know what people look for, but his is different," he said. "The stamps sure are popular, and people - especially tourists - will want the Apple Capital stamp."

Mr. Redden said the recent launch of a similar stamp in Shag Harbour depicting a UFO sighting there many years ago attracted a lot of attention.

"The post master there is getting mail from all over the world to cancel and mail back - she can't keep up."

He expects the Berwick Post Office will use the Apple Capital stamp at least 100 times in its first month of use, just for collectors. The stamp will also be used on regular town mail as much as possible, since it is a hand stamp and will add to the post office's work demands.

Berwick is now one of close to a dozen Nova Scotian communities with its own postmark. Others include Port Williams, which features a ship from its shipbuilding heritage; and Christmas Island, popular year-round, but particularly at Christmas time.

"The advantage for Berwick is, a year from now, someone who got a letter from here may stop in and get their own stamp mark for a collection." Said Mr. Redden. "They'll have lunch, maybe made a friend, come back and stay a few days - it's a good way to get people to come in to town for real tourism."

Mr. Clarke recognized the work put into the project by society volunteers, including last summer's museum workers, Mandi Steadman and Dan Hackmann, who played with initial designs; Tracey Redden, who got the design from paper to a stamp; and the Berwick Post Office, for support and advice throughout the process.

To celebrate the new cancellation stamp, the post office and the museum society will launch the mark Thursday, July 5 at the post office. After a cake-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m., visitors to the post office will be among the first to have the new stamp on outgoing mail.

Also available for collectors and people who would like a keepsake are 50 first cover Canada Post festival series stamps, including the new Apple Blossom Festival stamp. The society will also have Berwick post cards on hand that can be stamped as well.

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