The Blazon is a colourful and interesting periodical that we publish two or more times a year. It contains articles on heraldry associated mainly with BC and the Yukon, but also, occasionally, with points further afield. It is distributed in PDF format to members of the branch.
If you would like access to our recent issues and are not yet a member, please see our members area for information on how to join. For those who prefer to "try before buying", check out our archived issues, which are open to the public. (See the panel, to the right).
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History of The Blazon
The Blazon began as a chatty, black and white newletter to advise members of happenings and events of interest in the branch. It was created by Robb Watt, who was the branch's first president and who later became the first Chief Herald of Canada. The first edition of The Blazon in its colour form was the Summer/Autumn edition of 1999 produced by our celebrated member Rean Meyer, who served the branch in many capacities including president and editor.
In 2001, Rean also took on the responsibility of editing Heraldry in Canada. In 2002, while working on the issue commemorating the Golden Jubilee of H.M. The Queen of Canada, he became critically ill and, sadly, later passed away. Into the breach stepped some volunteers, including Laurie Patten, and the Jubilee edition was completed.
Laurie then accepted the task of becoming editor of The Blazon, which involved a crash course in computer graphics and much additional time just learning the job as he went along. In addition to this, he served also as a director and later president, as well as continuing his work in his studio as a heraldic craftsman, which was an extremely heavy load.
Laurie felt that "The Blazon should reflect the colour of heraldry" and wanted to pattern the format after the magazine of The Society of Heraldic Art in England. His first decision was "that it must have colour on every page". Thus was born the beautiful, colourful version of The Blazon that we enjoyed for the next four years. A much admired feature introduced during his editorship was the profiling of the achievements of branch members on the front cover as their grants were approved. There is no doubt that Laurie has left his imprint on The Blazon and gave us a very professional, colourful and interesting branch publication during his term as editor.
However, in 2006, with the rising publication and postage costs, and the fact that the revamped national newsletter, The Gonfanon, could carry our branch news, it was reluctantly decided to end publication, the last issue being the Summer/Fall issue of 2006.
It was soon felt, however, that we really needed our own newsletter and with the re-invigorated executive headed by Carl Larsen, and Allan Ailo as vice-president, The Blazon was resurrected as The BC Blazon. The first issue was in the Winter of 2006/2007 with Allan at the helm as editor. To reduce costs, it was distributed via email in PDF format, a practice that continues to this day. In 2009, the title was changed to The BC/Yukon Blazon to more accurately express its mandate. However, starting with the Winter issue of 2012, the title reverted to the original The Blazon.
With the creation of the Vancouver branch in 2014, Allan stepped down as editor to take on the presidency of the new branch and Darren George stepped in as the new editor, and then, later, John Neill, the current editor-in-chief.
The Blazon has continued ever since, keeping to the high standards set by Laurie and Allan.