Former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna has enthusiastically endorsed an effort by the Saint John Stamp Club to have boxing legend Yvon Durelle on a Canadian postage stamp.
“He was one of my childhood heroes and one of the great icons of New Brunswick,” McKenna told CHSJ radio news. “If he could be put on a stamp — that would be wonderful.”
McKenna, deputy chair of the Toronto Dominion Bank Financial Group, was in the port city to attend the bank’s annual general meeting.
McKenna said he loved the idea of a Durelle stamp. As the petition was not available at the interview, McKenna signed his business card and asked that it be attached to the club’s letter.
The stamp club agreed at its March meeting to send a letter to Canada Post Corporation’s Stamp Advisory Committee suggesting that the boxing champion be honoured on a future stamp issue. Attached to the letter is a petition which the public can sign in support of the suggestion.
Durelle, known as the “Fighting Fisherman,” won both the Canadian middleweight and light-heavyweight boxing titles. The Baie-Ste-Anne native’s fight against Archie Moore is considered one of the most memorable fights in boxing history. Durelle was inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame.
The stamp club was among those who suggested that Durelle stamp last year to mark the 50th anniversary of his famous fight against Moore in 1958. No such stamp was forthcoming, and the club decided to renew its quest to have one issued.
The club’s latest letter suggests a Durelle stamp could be part of a set of commemoratives saluting a number of Canadian boxing greats, including George Chuvalo. Canada Post has issued such sets in recent years honouring Canadian recording artists and Canadian stars in Hollywood.
Before it is sent off to Canada Post, the club’s letter and petition is available at Loyalist City Coins & Books at 86 Germain Street in Saint John where supporters may sign it.
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