News / Ottawa

Made in Ottawa stamps commemorate Thai leader

Company expects to print about nine million stamps for the occasion

An Ottawa-based printing company has produced nine million stamps commemorating the passing of a Thai monarch.


An Ottawa-based printing company has produced nine million stamps commemorating the passing of a Thai monarch.

Printed in Ottawa. Stamped in Bangkok. Delivered to the world.

A Canadian company is leaving its mark on the Thailand mail delivery market. After outbidding stamp printing companies from France, The Netherlands and even some from inside Thailand, the Lowe Martin Inc. was chosen by the Thailand Post to produce over nine million special stamps.

The offer helped mark the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the longest serving Thai leader who died in October last year and whose year-long funeral involved three separate processions. The ceremonies officially ended this past Sunday when the king's relics and ashes were enshrined in royal temples in the capital Bangkok.

King Adulyadej was 88 and had reigned over Thailand for seven straight decades.

"It's a great honour for us to have been chosen for such a huge event," said Ian Hetherington, the company's director of stamp production. The Ottawa-based printing company makes stamps for over 50 countries, but its international stamp sales manager had not been able to penetrate the Thailand market for the past two years, he said.

The commemorative souvenir stamps were produced in three formats: one of them contains the royal chariot, another shows the crematorium recently built, and the other one depicts the royal run. They're made with special ink ordered from Germany and contain simulated gold foil, said Hetherington.

Lowe Martin began producing stamps for Canada Post in 2001, and started branching out in other countries in 2004. The company has previously produced stamps for special occasions, especially for Chinese New Year celebrations and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Hetherington said there was no prior consultations with the Thailand-Canadian community about the making of the stamps, but hopes it can be a connecting point - as producing special stamps for Chinese New Year has connected the company with Chinese communities in Toronto and Vancouver.

"I also hope people in other countries will look at these stamps and be like, 'wow, who printed these stamps?'" he said.

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