New stamp highlights an incredible tale of resistance, imprisonment and escape during the Second World War
WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Yesterday, at an event in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada Post unveiled its annual Remembrance Day stamp honouring the remarkable courage and perseverance of Mona Parsons. During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, Parsons helped downed airmen escape back to England. She was arrested and became the only female Canadian citizen to be imprisoned by the Nazis during the war.
Born in 1901 in Middleton, N.S. – and raised in Wolfville – Parsons had been living in the Netherlands with her Dutch husband before the war. When the Nazi occupation began in May 1940, Parsons and her husband assisted what would become known as the Dutch Resistance.
Canada Post issued a stamp honoring Mona Parsons, a member of the Dutch Resistance and the only female Canadian citizen to be imprisoned by the Nazi regime during WWII, on November 6, 2023.
They helped hide Allied airmen whose planes had been shot down over the Netherlands, their home serving as a stopping point in the resistance network. But in 1941, an informer betrayed the couple to the Nazis and they were arrested. Parsons was sentenced to death by firing squad. She appealed the ruling, and successfully got it commuted to life with hard labour.
Transported to Germany, Parsons spent the next three years in prison – until 1945, when, during an Allied bombardment, she escaped. She then embarked on a dangerous journey out of Germany, walking 125 kilometres over three weeks to the Dutch border. By the time she arrived, her feet had become badly infected and she was emaciated, weighing just 87 pounds.
From left to right: Wendy Donovan, Mayor of Wolfville; Andria Hill-Lehr, Author of Mona Parsons: From Privilege to Prison, from Nova Scotia to Nazi Europe; and Doug Ettinger, President and CEO of Canada Post. Photo: Carolina Andrade. This permanent installation of the Mona Parsons stamp at the Wolfville, N.S. Post Office, is 8 feet by 6 feet and was unveiled at the first day of issue ceremony.
Safely back in the Netherlands, Parsons sought help from an Allied soldier. Incredibly, he was also from Nova Scotia. He was part of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders unit that had advanced into the country.
Eventually, Parsons returned to Nova Scotia, where she remarried and lived until her death in 1976.
About the stamp
The Mona Parsons stamp was designed by Larry Burke, Anna Stredulinsky from Burke & Burke. It features a portrait of Mona Parsons, with a photograph of infantry soldiers of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders advancing into the Netherlands. Printed by Lowe-Martin, the issue includes a booklet of 10 Permanent™ domestic rate stamps, an Official First Day Cover and a pane of five stamps. The cancel site is Wolfville, N.S., where Mona Parsons grew up.
The stamp and collectibles are available at canadapost.ca and postal outlets across Canada.