Henshaw, Blair

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Henshaw, Blair

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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. Henshaw was a member of the BC Philatelic Society, and created thematic philatelic exhibitions under the banner of the AIDS on Stamps project, an independent non-profit AIDS awareness initiative organized by Henshaw. In 1992, seven years after being diagnosed with HIV, Henshaw began lobbying Canada Post and the federal government to produce a Canadian stamp featuring HIV/AIDS in order to raise awareness about the disease in Canada and abroad. After four years of lobbying and public outreach by Henshaw, on May 8, 1996, Canada Post became the 59th postal jurisdiction to issue an HIV/AIDS awareness stamp. The stamp featured an image by Vancouver artist Joe Average, and was released to coincide with the 11th International AIDS conference held in Vancouver. Henshaw died June 15, 2002, in Vancouver, British Columbia.


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