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Canada Post issues new stamp celebrating hockey pioneer Willie O'Ree


Canada Post has issued a new commemorative stamp honouring the life and legacy of Willie O’Ree, the National Hockey League’s first Black player.

The stamp was unveiled at an event Saturday in Edmonton as part of the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic weekend festivities.

O’Ree made history when he took the ice for the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens on January 18, 1958, at the Montréal Forum.

Following a trailblazing career, O’Ree has continued to inspire generations of Canadians, dedicating his life to promoting diversity and inclusion in hockey. His work encourages young people to follow their dreams despite obstacles or prejudice.

In 2018, O’Ree was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame for his work on and off the ice, and the NHL has since created the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award in his honour.

Featuring a recent photo of O’Ree wearing his signature fedora cap and an inset photo of him in action on the ice in 1960, the stamp was designed in black and yellow to mirror his uniform colours while playing with the Boston Bruins between 1958 and 1961.

The recent photo was taken by photographer Philip Cheung in O’Ree’s San Diego home. The stamp issue is cancelled in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where O’Ree was born and raised.

The stamp and collectible will be available for purchase at post offices from October 30.