Folksinger Stan Rogers already lives on in the hearts and headphones of Canadians, but his legacy is now being commemorated on a postage stamp, too.
Rogers, who sang about everything from farmers to fisherman to shipwrecks to, of course, privateers, died after an electrical fire in the bathroom of an Air Canada plane flying from Texas to Toronto in 1983. He was 33.
Canada Post released the stamp on Wednesday, showing an image of Rogers singing and playing guitar with a backdrop of Fogartys Cove, near Canso, N.S., where his mother grew up and where he spent many summers.
Fogarty’s Cove is the name of Rogers’s first album and also the name of a record label he founded.
Rogers’s widow, Ariel Rogers, said she believes he would be “pretty chuffed” to know he was being honoured with a stamp.
“He’d be maybe be a bit gob struck. I don’t know for sure,” she told the CBC Nova Scotia News at 6 on Wednesday.
She said Canada Post first approached her with the idea of the stamp about 16 months ago, and it set her off on a “trip down memory lane” as she looked through old photos of her husband.
The photo that was ultimately chosen shows Stan performing at the Calgary Folk Festival in the early 1980s.
“I think that photo is incredible,” said Ariel. “It’s a fabulous picture and it just shows Stan in full-tilt action on stage where he loved to be.”
Stan released just four albums before he died, but several others were released posthumously.
Ariel said he had a “tremendous gift” for telling stories.
“Not as much a reflection of what that person was, or what that job experience was, but almost like a prism. It’s just so multicoloured and so multifaceted that it lent a whole new meaning to that person, that person’s work or whatever it was he was writing about.”
As for the earworm that is Barrett’s Privateers, Stan’s rousing sea shanty invoked by college students and homesick Atlantic Canadians, Ariel said part of the charm of that song “is that allows you to sing ‘God damn them all.'”
The new stamp is available online and at Canada Post outlets.