Circulating coin recalls costliest conflicts

The government has approved a new circulating $2 coin, as well as two new, significantly greater, denominations of non-circulating legal tender coins.

An order in council, issued July 2, has authorized coins with the values of $1,000 and $1,250, and the issue of a $2 coin, using the famous image Wait For Me, Daddy, taken in 1940, which shows a young boy catching up to his father, who was marching with his regiment.

As a circulating coin, design details are outlined in the order. The coin will show a partial reproduction of the photograph in the centre, and the outer ring will have the words “remember” in English and French, with two laser-mark maple leaves. The edge will have the words “Canada” and “2 dollars,” with maple leaves.

According to the Royal Canadian Mint’s statement, the coin will be part of a commemorative circulation coin program to mark the centennial of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War.

That statement added that the use of the coins “was in accordance with the Government of Canada’s initiative to commemorate the nationally historic events in 2014.”

The report went on to expand that initiative.

“The centennial of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War have been identified as key nation-building milestones by the Interdepartmental Commemorations Committee (ICC) – chaired by the Department of Canadian Heritage – that manages the Government of Canada’s commemorations priorities. Under the ICC’s purview, the centennial of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War have been identified as meriting priority commemoration by the Government of Canada.
“The 2014 coin, ‘Mobilizing Canada,’ pays tribute to the massive efforts made by Canadians to support their people, nation and allies during the most costly conflicts in the history of humanity. The repercussions of mobilization for all Canadians, from coast to coast to coast, were immediate massive social change, dislocation, and disruption to dutifully drive the nation’s war effort. Canadians experienced dislocation of family life; men travelled Canada’s vast distances before being deployed to the front, and women took on new socio-cultural roles at home and in the workplace.

“This new $2 coin will raise awareness regarding the significance of the two world wars and their impact on Canadians, on and off the battlefields, at home and abroad. It will help educate Canadians about the significance of the two world wars and how they shaped the country and Canadian identity.”

No date for the launch of the coin was included in the announcement.

The photograph was taken by Claude P. Dettloff, of the Vancouver Province newspaper, when he captured a famous image in New Westminster, B.C., of a young boy catching up to his soldier father, who was marching with the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles), as it marched to a waiting troop train.

The image will also be used on a stamp being issued by Canada Post, and the City of Vancouver has commissioned a bronze statue based on the image.

As for the new denominations, the only thing mentioned in the order was the denomination, without further specifications. Details of non-circulating legal tender coins are given government approval, but do not have to published in the Canada Gazette, the official newspaper of the Government of Canada.

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