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Blog > Postcrossing spotlight: ohegarty from Canada!

Two whale-themed stamps, with a whale-themed cancellation mark on top

Orla (aka ohegarty) caught our attention when she sent us a postcard for the 150th anniversary of postcards a few years ago featuring a whale-themed cancellation mark that she had designed!

Turns out, she’s the postmaster of a seaside community in Newfoundland that has the best beach in the world for watching humpback whales, so the design and initiative made total sense. We were curious to find out more, so we asked her a few questions:

How did you get started sending postcards? What is your earliest memory of them?

I am a first generation Canadian Irish immigrant. My grandfather sent me/our family postcards and letters in the 1970s-1980s from his various travels to visit his children and grandchildren.

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

I read about your launch and early success but did not join back then. I was reminded of this site when a postcrosser sent a cancel request to my post office (I am now the post master in a small rural seaside community) and designed/ordered a special humpback whale cancel since our town is famous for being able to watch humpback whales feed from our beach.

Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

Every send or receive is a surprise. The rare countries are extra special though, I have to admit.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your post office or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
ohegarty's mailbox, with a postcard featuring mailboxes in its front
Orla’s mailbox
ohegarty's postoffice window, featuring drawings detail of one of the drawings in a window
The decorated windows of the post office where she works.
What’s one way that postcards have changed your life for the better?

Joining the Postcrossing community opened up a different kind of creativity for me. And a different kind of connection to other humans that feels more real than our common electronic virtual square on various social media platforms.

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

Reading a new profile and thinking of what I could send to make their mailbox extra special.

Have you inspired other people to join Postcrossing, or met other members yet?

I’ve inspired at least four IRL friends to join and none of them know each other! I’ve only met the 4 people that are now members because of me, but I’ve attended an international virtual meetup — I know that’s not the same but still counts.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies or things that you’re passionate about?

I have the worlds largest collection of feminist postcards and feminist postage stamps. Actually, I’m not really sure about that claim but I’m willing to find out about other collections like mine!

I’m passionate about Feminism. I started the Counting Dead Women Canada list. Femicide is the ignored tragedy on our planet.

PS: You can hear Orla talk about postcards and her life in Newfoundland on episode 89 of the Postcardist podcast!

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44 comments so far

D2M2, United States of America
Love your whale cancellation; love this story. Thank you!
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elainecanadian, Canada
Hello from the Sunshine Coast on Canada's west coast! Love the whale cancelation stamp!
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Zed, United States of America
I just heard you on the Postcardist podcast yesterday, and here you are today! Keep up the great work with our hobby!
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BestWishesEric, United States of America
Hello Orla--Great to see you here! What a terrific interview.
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mysweetlife63, United States of America
That's so cool, I love whales!
Thank you Orla (ohegarty)!
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DonnaM, Canada
Yay!!! Our Orla!!! Here on the east coast we love her cancellation!!!
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Pullen, Netherlands
Hello Orla
What a nice interview. Greetings to you from the Netherlands 🇳🇱 Hennie
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firstdi, United States of America
We used to live in Sag Harbor, NY on Long Island and it's one of the first whaling ports in USA. I LOVE the whaling postmark that you created.
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orange_memo, United States of America
Hello from the Golden State west coast! What beautiful stamps and cancellation, I enjoyed this interview ^__^
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AlexisAhotep, Portugal
Lovely stamps and cancellation, Orla ❤️

I'm fortunate because already had the chance to saw whales in Portugal, Spain and Brazil. Maybe one day, I'll visit "your beach" :)
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Norway_girl, Norway
Oh, that cancellation is so cool! I wish I'd receive that on a postcard one day!
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carolbeth, United States of America
I am thrilled to find you featured on this blog Orla! You had an impact on me during our correspondence some years back, and thanks to you I read a book set in Newfoundland to enhance my knowledge of the place my brother was stationed during his time in the US Navy. Sending loads of good wishes your way.
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kittenwsharpclaws, Canada
i am hoping to visit newfoundland and see your post office and some whales. I wish you a mailbox filled with wonderful surprises.
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dororose, Germany
Thank you so much for this inspiring interview. And since I‘m very much in feminism for decades now, I‘m enthusiastic to learn more about your collection of feminist postcards and stamps. Go ahead, Orla!
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cjf3848, United States of America
Enjoyed this interview. Thanks.
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MizKat, Canada
Great interview and photographs, Orla!
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postcardville, Canada
This is fabulous to see Orla highlighted!! She introduced me to postcrossing and I’m so very grateful. And I love her cancellation stamp too. Love from Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
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anitapado, Argentina
What a beautiful interview! You have inspired me to make you a special postcard for your collection! ❤️💪🏻
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Mag1979, Canada
Very interesting! Thanks!
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suegathman, United States of America
One of my favorite Postcrossers! What a treat to read this! :)
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jm1122, United States of America
I so enjoy these spotlights!
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julian0321, United States of America
Neat interview and I love the whale themed cancellation stamp. Thanks for featuring!
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Stinkypaw, Canada
Bravo Orla, keep it up and if we're lucky maybe you'll get to design our Canadian Postcrossing stamp one day!!
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Xmegan, Germany
What an interesting story and place. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful letterbox postcard you designed, Orla!
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Kasimir2007, Germany
Hello fron the Ruhr Area in Germany. Very interesting to read about you. Esp. your collection of feminism Postcards .. Thank you for sharing it with the community.
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mikebond, Italy
Hello Orla! What an interesting interview!
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CindyMc, United States of America
Hello, Orla! Nice to meet you! Newfoundland is on my list of places I'd love to visit. 😊
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Toome2, Netherlands
Great interview! always nice to learn about other people....
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snailmailsuperstar, United States of America
What a delight to see my Mailboxes Around the World postcard featured in such a lovely post! 🥰
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jlynch9923, United States of America
So happy to see my postcard friend on the Postcrossing Spotlight! Great interview! We met through the Postcardist podcast. ATD Rocks!
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lyndac, Canada
I have watched whales at St. Vincent as they fed off the capelin rolling in to the shore. If I had known you had the whale cancellation I would have stopped in. I stopped at Hearts Content and got the special cancellation there.
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moonlessnite, Canada
Interesting read about a fantastic cancellation stamp!
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Shinx, United States of America
I've received a postcard from you before! That one always stood out to me, one of my favorites. It's so cool to read more about your post office and postcard history.
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keyrs10, Canada
Hey! I've gotten a card from her just recently. Now I have to go check out the cancellation stamp again. What a lovely interview and such a thoughtful PC'er.
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HookedonPostcards, Canada
Thank you for sharing!
I'll have to visit St. Vincent next time I'm in Newfoundland, and mail my travel postcards from your post office!
Do you do passport cancellations, as they do in Peggy's Cove?
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Nique, Canada
SO interesting‼️
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Flippie, Canada
Hi Orla, I love your story and what you do. I hope to meet you one day......you never know or receive a card from you
I live on the West-coast and yes the whales are so beautiful.
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trixiepixels, United States of America
This entire story is great. Well done, Orla!
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Robin67, Austria
Hi Orla, how good to see you here! :)
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Eosynthia, Canada
Cooool!
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betslets, United States of America
I always enjoy "meeting" other Postcrossers, even if only through the Blog. Great story. . .enjoyed your profile, too. How brave you were to experience Burning Man. Stay well.
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Kewl, Philippines
Nice one! I just wish my country does more of postcard related stuff.
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bandcrab, United States of America
Orla sounds amazing! Happy to have read this.
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yacobschtettle, Canada
I heard you on the Postcardist and you inspired me to start a feminism and social justice collection. So neat to see you interviewed here. Your cancellation is my favourite. I have a pretty big whale card collection as well! Thanks for your contribution
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