Will 2008 be Mike’s lucky year?

(Canscene) For almost as long as I have known him Mike Janacek, longtime publisher of the Czech-language Kanadske Listy has been pleading with Canada Post to issue a stamp commemorating Canada’s first honorary citizen (1985) Raoul Wallenberg.

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Wallenberg, it will be remembered, was the Swedish diplomat sent to Budapest, Hungary to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. He was one of the prominent Swedish Wallenberg family.

He worked to save the lives of many Hungarian Jews in the later stages of World War II by issuing them protective passports from the Swedish embassy. These documents identified the bearers as Swedish nationals awaiting repatriation. His disappearance into the maw of Soviet imprisonment has left his admirers without closure.

Honorary Canadian citizenship requires the unanimous approval of Parliament. The only people to have it are Wallenberg in 1985, South Africa’s Nelson Mandela in 2001, Tibet’s 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso in 2006, and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi in 2007.

In recent years, Canadian stamps have honoured both living and deceased celebrities and it remains a mystery why the committee making decisions on the content of stamp issues, should not have chosen Wallenberg.

Since stamp issues are frequently released in sets of four it now seems highly feasible that along with Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Aung, Wallenberg will eventually appear.

Mike Janacek, now in his eighties, hopes it will be soon, perhaps this year.
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One Response to “Will 2008 be Mike’s lucky year?”

  1. Bill Says:

    I would like to see that series of 4 stamps come out this year. Good luck, Mike!

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