08 November 2010

Gaspereau Press at Windsor Castle

At one time, if a Maritime literary publisher mentioned that something was going on at Windsor Castle, he was most likely referring to the poet Alden Nowlan’s nickname for his Fredericton home, but in this case I’m talking about the real thing. Gaspereau Press was pleased to learn that one of its printed pieces is not only in the collection of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but that is also presently on display in the gallery her offical residence, Windsor Castle.

This month, Windsor Castle is exhibiting the broadside "The Last Post" along with portraits of the two last surviving British First World Wat vetrerans, Henry Allingham (1896–2009) and Harry Patch (1898–2009) Mr Patch served with the 7th Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry as a Lewis machine-gunner and Mr Allingham with the Royal Air Force as an aircraft mechanic. Both participated in the three-month Battle of Passchendaele in 1917: Mr Patch in the trenches, and Mr Allingham repairing the aircraft damaged in the fighting.

Vancouver Island University’s Institute for Island Studies commissioned us design and print this boardside in the fall of 2009 to mark a visit by Britain’s poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. The commission required a quick turnaround and there was some difficulty getting enough sheets of ‘old masters’ handmade paper from Montreal’s Papeterie Saint-Armand. But in the end all turned out well. I hand-printed 133 copies of the 18 × 38 cm broadside. Jack McMaster and I collaborated on a stylized poppy fleuron specifically for the project too.

You can view the the boardside and the portraits and hear a reading for the poem on The Royal Collection’s web site.


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