Volume 7 Issue 1
INTERNET EDITION January
IMPORTANT NOTICE - T.N.S. MEETING.
Due to the Christmas - New Year break, and the current uncertainty regarding the time and place of the first Tasmanian Numismatic Society General meeting for 2002 in Hobart, the Tasmanian Numismatist (Internet Edition) advises that all interested members should contact T.N.S. President Chris Heath prior to mid-January for any further updates and details.
T.N.S.. Subscriptions are due shortly - but if you wish to get it over and done with before the notification arrives please send the normal amount of $20.00 full membership, $10.00 associate or junior (under 18) or A$25.00 international membership to:
P.O. Box 12 Claremont, 7011
Phone: (03) 6249 1369
Welcome to our first edition for 2002. We trust that this Internet Edition will provide some interesting and additional reading during the festive season. Bearing in mind our disclaimers, some of the links selected for mention in our segments will, no doubt, add to your reading pleasure - and may even tempt you into a new interest or assist in your numismatic educational processes, if you care to follow them up - and I wish you will.
'HONOURED GRAVE' - BOOK LAUNCH and REVIEW.
From time to time Fate has a funny habit of sneaking up and nudging us - as it happened to Roger McNeice O.A.M, who is currently the Honorary Numismatist with the Tasmanian Museum in Hobart as well being an established, respected author and historical researcher in several other associated fields. (See below.)
One of Roger's functions as Honorary Numismatist is to research most numismatic items, including medals, that are gifted or loaned to the Museum and, while he was researching a Distinguished Conduct Medal (D.C.M.), he suddenly became aware that he was, in fact, handling a bravery medal that had been awarded to his great uncle Hector Charles Long, during the First World War.
Hector Charles Long as a teenager in 1912
The D.C.M., second only to the Victoria Cross in importance for bravery, had been gazetted on the 26th March 1918, just two days prior to Sergeant Long's death on 28th March 1918 on the Sailly-le Sec Mericourt l' Abbe road near Heilly, France.
It was in a collective area now deeply etched into the pages of military history as 'The Somme'.
(Historical Reference: http://www.awm.gov.au/1918/battles/michael.htm )
During a fierce attack by the Germans, that the Australians were called upon to repulse when the British Army fell back in disarray, the loss of Australian lives was significant during their own counter-attack across the exposed slopes and road when they came under heavy machine-gun fire. It was during this attack that 23y.o. Hector Long died along with scores of other brave young Australian men and, whilst his last thoughts will never be known except by God, no doubt, they would have been firmly focused on the job at hand and the well-being of his comrades.
In June 2000, Roger and his wife, Jill, had the opportunity to visit the graveyard at Heilly Station, Mericourt L'Abbe, on the Somme, which now contains the remains of over 3,000 Allied troops, and reflect on the life of his great uncle and the other 400 Australians who are interred there. In all, there are 596 individual cemeteries in France containing the remains of 38,263 known Australian servicemen and Heilly Station Cemetery is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices our nation made in France.
A small unusual circumstance that occurred while they were at the grave-site - which Roger describes in the booklet - made the visit even more emotional and memorable. As they planted a small Australian flag on the grave, a coincidental flyover by two French Air-force fighter jets seemed to happen on cue. Both Roger and Jill were left emotionally buoyed by the 'salute'
The historical research that Roger had undertaken now had a personal meaning and, with a face to go with the name, he decided to put the information into booklet form - mainly for family reasons, but also as a tribute to a brave young man who never came home. In recollection of the trip to the Heilly grave-site he called the book 'Honoured Grave'.
On Sunday, Dec. 9th. 2001, a small intimate book launch was made at the Tasmanian Museum, and, after a few brief but inspiring words from Senator Eric Abetz, who had kindly agreed to officiate, the story of Hector Charles Long and his medal was finally told.
Author, Roger V. McNeice O.A.M. Senator Eric Abetz Tas. Museum Dir., Ms. Patricia Sabine
Family and friends at the book launch
Roger thanked the Tasmanian Museum director, Ms Patricia Sabine, for the assistance supplied by that worthy institution and also those relatives and other guests who had taken the time to attend and bring in treasured memorabilia about Hector Long.
A limited edition of only 250 copies of the booklet was prepared and, whilst some were distributed to close family members, for those other readers who are interested in the military history of that time, a copy would be a well-while acquisition for their library. The 28 page glossy booklet is historically well researched and written, without being boring or full of statistics and the photos are excellently reproduced. The book is a well illustrated narrative that combines many little known facts about the 40th Battalion, 10th Brigade, 3rd Division Australian Infantry Force and that of a brave Tasmanian soldier.
A few copies of the book, 'Honoured Grave' , will be made available to interested parties and can be obtained for A$9.50 plus $1.50 post (add post A$3.00 O/Seas Airmail) - however, because this is a very special limited edition, we suggest an early inquiry would be advisable direct to:
Roger V. McNeice O.A.M.
8 Orana Place,
Taroona. Tasmania 7053.
Phone: (03) 6227 8825 - Fax: (03) 6227 9898
Further Works by Roger McNeice O.A.M. - In Preparation.
During my conversation with Roger McNeice at the book launch at the Tasmanian Museum on Sunday 9th. December, I asked him for a few brief details about the release plans of two new publications listed in his booklet, 'Honoured Grave'.
Emergency Service Medals of Tasmania.
This new book will deal with all emergency services medals issued in Tasmania to our Police, Fire Brigade, Prisons, Ambulance etc. and it will be released in March - April 2002. (This is a definite 'must have' for Tasmanian medallists.)
The Medals, Medallions and Tokens of the West Coast of Tasmania.
This book is to be released in February 2002, and covers all the commemorative; award and tourist medals; tourist tokens and coins issued for the West Coast of Tasmania.
(This is a richly diverse area of the state that has been sorely
neglected, numismatically, for some time. This new book will fill that void.
Again, this is a 'must have' publication for the libraries of all serious numismatists!)
Details of price etc. of both books will be available in late January 2002 and will be advised in our Feb. Internet Edition.
A PART OF HISTORY. by Graeme Petterwood (Editor).
The young men of Tasmania, like Hector Charles Long of New Town, who willingly shared the load when called upon and paid their dues of pain and suffering towards confirming our nationhood, should never be forgotten.
Roger McNeice's booklet 'Honoured Grave' will do its part in keeping that memory alive and, for that, we should thank him.
Those few old soldiers, who still remain to personally relate the events of their youth, are now almost gone in the flesh - but their spirit will proudly stride on throughout our history. Many Australians look back in quiet pride and sadness at the contributions, often made in blood, by members of their families in the conflicts that have strengthened our mettle as a nation.
I can also relate the sentiments of 'Honoured Grave' to one of my great-uncles, Thomas John Fox (Regimental No.6735, 12th. Battalion - Australian Infantry) also from the New Town area, who fought from Gallipoli to France with the 12th Battalion 1st. A.I.F. and died from wounds aged 29, on September 20th. 1918, probably received at the Battle of Epehy, in the Tincourt -Bouclé area of the Somme during the allied break-through of the infamous Hindenburg Line.
These fiercely fought battles are the ones that, tragically, claimed or maimed so many young lives from both sides of the conflict at a time when the absolute exhaustion of manpower, material and the will to fight were catalysts that were pushing the war towards a grinding halt after four years of carnage!
The entry of the U.S., and its thousands of fresh eager troops, into the battlefields of France and Belgium in 1917 was the final straw that tipped the balance to which side actually gave up first - it was that close a contest.
In the meanwhile, Australian soldiers continued to fight, suffer and die in places that were not shown on any map.
Tom Fox is also buried in an 'honoured grave' in France - at the Tincourt New British Cemetery, Grave 446.
(Historical Reference: http://www.awm.gov.au/1918/battles/hindenburg.htm )
Another one of my many older direct relatives Tom's first cousin, Frederick Robert Fox, another New Town boy, who had enlisted in the same Tasmanian dominated 12th. Battalion, survived after suffering two separate instances of gunshot wounding to the face and was awarded one of the 9,934 Military Medals that went to Australian troops and nurses, during the Great War, after its inception in March 1916.
I remember seeing Fred's gnarled face when I was a youngster but was too scared to ask anyone about it.
Thomas John Fox - died of wounds 20/9/1918 Frederick Robert Fox just after enlistment Sept. 1914
Uncle Fred enlisted in the A.I.F. (Regimental No. 1010, 12th. Battalion- Australian Infantry), on 13/9/1914 at age 19 11/12 years (as shown on his Attestment Forms) and left Australia on 20/10/1914 on H.M.T. 'Revanha' to join the M.E.F.
It is also recorded in family documents that he was on Gallipoli in 1915 for his 18th birthday. After returning to Alexandria on 6/1/1916 aboard the H.M.T. 'Lake Michigan' after dodging bullets on the Gallipoli Peninsula, he ended up in the Heliopolis hospital with severe appendicitis and subsequently 'embarked for o/seas' on board the 'Arcadian' on 29/7/1916.
A very short stay in England followed by a trip across the Channel aboard the 'Perham' saw him rejoin his unit on 20/9/1916.
On 23/9/1917, while in Belgium, he received his first gunshot wound to the face, and spent a few weeks being shuttled around several field hospitals at Boulogne and Buchy (near Rouen) in France.
Fred went on to win his Military Medal at Polygon Wood, near Ypres on September 31st. 1917 and was wounded again on 27/4/1918 just before being promoted to Lance Corporal on 11/5/1918. By this time his overall health was deteriorating and, during mid 1918, his records show he was spending short periods of time in the hospitals at Rouen and Le Havre. Like thousands of other Australian soldiers he had returned to duty after each episode of illness caused by the atrocious conditions and after effects of his wounds, but it was only a matter of time after the Armistice that he was repatriated home to Australia on board H.T. 'Port Hacking'. He had been sent across the Channel from Le Havre on sick leave and furlough from 9/11/1918 and remained in England until 3/12/1918.
Fred arrived back in Australia on 27/1/1919 and remained on medical leave until his discharge on 29/3/1919.
On the official copies of his military records, I noted that after '4 years and 198 days' in the Army, his Certificate of Discharge stated his age as 21 11/12 years at that time. He returned to the north of Tasmania for a while then went south to his old home in NewTown. He eventually married, had a large family, and lived until he was 73.
(Time must have passed very slowly in the trenches during the '4 years 100 days' he was away from Tasmania).
Also in the 12th Battalion was another older great-uncle, Albert George Peterwood (Regimental No. 266, 12th. Battalion - Australian Infantry). Bert was actually 34 2/12 years old when he enlisted on 20/8/1914 just a few days after the 12th. Battalion had been formed - it is said in the family that Bert had shaved a few years off his age to join up and qualify for active front-line infantry service. He returned to Australia on 11/4/1916 suffering from gassing and wounds but lived until he was over 70.
Bert's cousin, another great-uncle, James Henry Petterwood *, age 21 10/12 years, served overseas from 22/7/1915 until 20/3/1919 as a Driver in the 5th Division - Australian Infantry (Regimental No. 1395A - Division Ammunitions Column) and saw the results of the war in France from a different, but just as terrible, perspective. (* Different spelling, same family, same war!)
He returned and lived in Burnie, Tasmania until he was just over 80.
Dvr. James Henry Petterwood
"Out for a ride and fell in the road of the Glass"
The tragedy is that so many others - impossible to list here - from the older and larger extended Tasmanian families like mine, perished or suffered physically - or psychologically - when they volunteered to serve their country, some for a second time under fire from the same enemy, during 1939 - 1945, and others have since paid a price in other more recent conflicts nearer to home. Our servicemen and women may routinely grizzle (Refer: http://www.geocities.com/~worldwar1/aussies.html ) and even defy authority at times but, when the chips are down, they square their shoulders and step forward to do what they have always done for our country. LEST WE FORGET!
The 12th Battalion was formed at Pontville, Tasmania on Aug 15th, 1914. Its first 4 Companies were from Tasmania proper with Company A from Hobart and the south of the island, Company B from Launceston and the N.E. Coast, Company C from N.W. Coast, and Company D from the West Coast.
They were later joined by Companies E - F mainly from Port Pirie, South Australia and Companies G - H from Western Australia.
On January 1st, 1915 the A.I.F. adopted the double company system used by the British Army. The companies were combined as following: new Company A was formed from the old Companies A and C, new Company B from Companies B and D, new Company C from E and F, and the new Company D from G and H.
It has be recorded that only 712 of the original 'other ranks' of the Tasmanian - Western Australian composite Companies A and D survived their first major direct onslaught by the Turks in Gallipoli, but the Battalion was brought up to full strength again after the evacuation back to Egypt and prior to its departure to France where it again suffered continual heavy casualties.
(Historical Reference: http://www.henrick.com/ww1/index.htm )
12th Battalion Anzac Website: http://www.henrick.com/ww1/index.htm
Australian War Memorial - Biographical databases: http://www.awm.gov.au/index_flash.asp
Copies of various military archival documents and personal material held by the editor.
First A.I.F. Order of Battle: http://www.adfa.edu.au/~rmallett/noframes.html
A Brief History of the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
The D.C.M. was first issued under Queen Victoria's Royal Warrant on December 4, 1854 and was originally intended as a recognition of distinguished, gallant and good conduct shown by the troops in the Crimean War.
Because of restrictions in funding, the D.C.M. was issued on a strict quota basis to each regiment, so only those who thoroughly deserved it received the honour.
It has now been awarded in nearly every Army campaign since the Crimean War with the same high value placed upon it. During World War I, only 1,900 of these prestigious awards were made but during WWII this figure swelled to nearly 25,000.
Prior to 1914 and after 1939, citations for the D.C.M. were not generally made in the 'London Gazette' and full details now need to be obtained from regimental histories. The medal has been subject to eight changes because of the different effigies used by the ruling monarchs as obverses - Queen Victoria issued one type, Elizabeth II has two types, Kings Edward VII only used one type, but George V and George VI both issued two types. The main difference is that some are crowned effigies within the usual royal cypher or legend. Struck in silver, the obverse of this medal originally showed a trophy of arms with the shield of Queen Victoria, exactly as per the Army Long Service and Good Conduct medal. However, from 1902 the obverse depicted the head of the reigning Sovereign. The recipients name is impressed on the medal in nearly every instance although there have been some exceptions in the method of name marking. The medal is suspended by a crimson ribbon which has a broad navy-blue central stripe and whilst a second or subsequent award bar may be added to the ribbon, rarely is it dated. The common reverse simply reads:
IN THE FIELD.
The DCM is always issued named on the rim, and the date of action was also inscribed from 1881 until about 1901.
Bars for subsequent awards were also introduced in 1881, and these stated the date of action until 1916, when they were superseded by the more familiar laurelled bars.
In 1993, the award of the DCM ceased to exist, having been replaced by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.
A Brief History of the Military Medal.
This British and Commonwealth medal was instigated on 25th March 1916 to recognise acts of bravery by non-commissioned officers and other ranks in the Army. A few were awarded to Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel.
Later in 1916, the criteria for the award was later extended to include women who show bravery under fire - this extension was in response to the acts of two civilian women during the Dublin Easter Uprising of that year.
Whilst it may appear to be a common award, as over 115,600 along with 5796 first bars, 180 second bars and one third, were given during WWI, it was an indication of the hundreds of individual acts of bravery carried out each day in the most trying of circumstances in that conflict.
The award is subordinate to the DCM, although some recipients who won the MM could easily have qualified for a DCM or VC for their outstanding acts of bravery in the field had the appropriate evidence and verification been available.
As previously mentioned in the article, 9,934 Military Medals went to Australians and, considering the percentages of troops from Great Britain and the other Commonwealth countries involved in the Great War, our share was very high.
The awarding of a Military Medal is noted in the 'London Gazette' but full details have to be sought from regimental records.
As with the D.C.M's. all Military Medals are named, most with impressed lettering but some are etched. Six different obverses are in keeping with the changes in the effigies of the monarchs who have ruled since the inception of the medal. Since the First World War, many recipients of M.M.'s have earned bars, several with two and at least one with 8.
The ribbon suspending the medal with its scroll type holder, has navy-blue edges with alternate white (3) and crimson (2) vertical centre stripes and it is often colloquially referred to as the 'duckboard' ribbon.
The wording and design on the reverse is enclosed in an open wreath under a crown and the ruling monarch's cypher.
In 1993, the Military Medal was discontinued and the Military Cross has been made available to all ranks as well as officers.
Medals - a compilation of major international medals first published by Wordsworth Editions Ltd. (1993)
British & Commonwealth Gallantry Decorations of the Great War.
The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes - Ninth Edition.
The world may have changed in 2001 - but one thing that has remained constant is the quality of Greg McDonald's little beaut 'The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes'.
The ninth edition continues the tradition of excellence that the eight others that preceded it have established.
The amount of knowledge that has been crafted into the 416 (10 x 21cm) pages is phenomenal and, even though the basic facts of older items has changed little, the multitude of new releases must have made the planning of this compilation - and all of its other necessary price revisions - into a rather daunting task.
Congratulations, Greg for another worthwhile addition for our libraries. The title of this little pocketbook should really read 'The Absolutely Most Essential Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes' because it fits that category!
For those who are just joining the ranks of the most fabulous hobby in the world you can not go past this collation of Australian numismatics that starts right at the beginning with our mixed bag of Proclamation coins (Page 26). The orderly progression of the facts and figures that most of us need to know - PLUS a lot of snippets of information that we should know to help us put a reason to some of the history behind our acquisitions - is precise and easy to find and understand.
The annual Pocket Guide offers as much additional knowledge as much larger publications - in fact much more than some.
The economical price of the Guide, at A$19.95 from quality bookshops and selected numismatic dealers, means that it is well within the financial reach of collectors of all ages. Direct orderers can have their copies autographed on request.
Its handy size and solid construction are also definite pluses when wanting to post copies. From personal experience over the last eight years, I know it makes a first class present for overseas colleagues because it answers all their 'frequently asked questions' about Australian coinage and currency. I usually get politely asked if I am tardy in sending out the Guides I get for my close friends in the numismatic communities around the world. They really appreciate Greg's expertise as much as I do.
For Enquiries and Direct Orders contact the author:
Greg McDonald Publishing and Numismatics Pty. Ltd.
Lavington, N.S.W. 2641.
Instant Research Library.
Greg McDonald advises that he has a very limited stock available of the past 8 years of his famous Pocket Books for $9.95 each plus a flat postage rate of $3.00 for Australian numismatists. Order what numbers you need to complete your set. (International enquiries are welcome.)
** Please note that the 4th Edition has now Sold Out !
In December 2002, celebrating the Historic 10th. Edition of 'The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes' a special Hardbound Collector Edition will be also available by reservation from the publisher only.
As there will only be 500 copies produced of this special edition, and each will be numbered and individually signed by the author, it is expected a ballot will need to be held to determine the recipients. (Send no money with the reservation.)
The cost to Australian numismatists will be $29.95 inc. postage and only one copy per order will be considered.
It is very interesting when comparing prices in past issues of 'The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes' - for instance - with the current approximations. It is extremely gratifying for me to be able to use the series of older Guides and catalogues that I have as an assistance in picking up the potential of certain coins and banknotes before they go through the roof - or drop though the floor.
A few years ago, several facts that were included as Notes in several well known publications caught my attention regarding the original Bradman Proof issue and more recently some of the Millennenium issues which have shown a remarkable growth pattern. Without those older Guides and catalogues to alert me to the fact, I may have missed out securing the items early enough to realise their considerable investment value as well as their value to me as a collector.
Whether you collect or invest, you need to do your homework, and, the best way to do it is with the best textbooks you can get your hands on and compare the price trends.
During the last few years, in particular since the acceptance of the Internet as a buying and selling tool, the interest in numismatics has risen dramatically and, with it, a shortage of economically priced collector coins, banknotes and other numismatic items has emerged. It is true that some areas of the hobby have suffered badly from over-production and supply of the pretty 'collector' oriented pieces, but that problem has been recognised and eventually the market levels will reflect a truer value of some items and we must then learn to live with them.
These levels will show up relatively early in the quality numismatic publications.
A good example is the plethora of uncut notes first issued in the early 1990’s - and, with the concept still with us, most are now well under their original retail prices. Obviously a hobbyist will probably grin - through his gritted teeth - and bear it but an investor would have probably shed them as soon as he saw that they had started to loose ground.
This is where quality publications such as the Pocket Guide can be so helpful even for the professional.
Even though my own hobby-based investments will probably never be sold during my lifetime - except under dire straits - the amateur, like myself, chuckles when he sees any rapid appreciation on some of his few more prized possessions. At least, somewhere down the track, the next custodian of our accumulation will have the opportunity to benefit - if they see fit.
The variance in appreciation and depreciation is quite marked in the current numismatic market trends, but the original formula of quality, scarcity and appeal still is valid in all areas of the hobby because there are two types of numismatists - the collector with an eye for an investment, and the investor with an eye for the artistic quality of the object.
Usually, the two types of numismatists meet somewhere in that theoretical middle ground in choosing their selection, but both obviously need something to base that selection on - this is why the Guide or another quality catalogue is essential.
Further down the track a consultation with a competent dealer/expert will confirm the choice that suits both pocket and ascetic requirements.Annual catalogues may not be 100% spot on but they will give a better than broad idea of market trends and values in the complete range of produced coins or currency.
As is often said - "Buy the book before you buy the coin."
I received a nice Christmas card by post direct from International T.N.S. Life Member, Jerry Remick of Quebec. enclosing a sample, details and illustrations of his annual 2001 Christmas medallion. As it was too late to include scans of this beautiful and thoughtful reminder of the Spirit of Christmas and Hope for the New Year in this issue we will show them in February.
We also seem to have lost our usual link with the Société Numismatique de Québec Homepage - whether this is a temporary loss we will try and ascertain.
With the amount of 'viruses' that are currently haunting the Internet - of which we have had several onslaughts ourselves - it may be that some of our links have suffered serious or temporary technical meltdowns.
UNIFICATION by EURO.
After thousands of years. Europe - or the biggest part of it - is to become unified not by strength of arms but by that more powerful and persuasive force - that of finance.
As from January 1st. 2002, the 12 participating members of the European economic block will have put away their assortment of Francs, Pesetas, Marks, Guilders, Lire, Drachmai, Escudos, Punts etc. and start to deal directly with the new Euro coinage and currency and the eyes of the financial and numismatic world will be upon them.
The introduction will not be without technical teething problems but, like when Australia took its big step into decimalisation, the public will adapt probably sooner than later. There will be those who absolutely abhor the apparent loss of national identity that was always indicated by their currency but they will be gradually swallowed up by the juggernaut of the Euro and its obvious benefits. Detractors will seize upon each problem as it arises and try to blow it up out of proportion, but, on the whole, the general public have already embraced the concept and will make it work now the die is cast.
Excitement is already evident amongst the numismatic communities of participating states; and colleagues elsewhere in the world are finding that interest in the hobby is starting to reach an all time high - not just because of the range of Euros coming onto the world market, but also in regard to those European coinages that are destined for the melting pots. Like collectors everywhere, they will choose to hoard the quality items as potential investments and it will be left to the general public to salt away the lower denominations as keepsakes. Sometimes, those old circulation coins are the ones that keep the hobby rolling along - and, while some may never be all that valuable, they are a respected part of numismatic history just as the common coins of Ancient Greece and Rome are today.
The following are extracts from the last Newsmail of 2001, and the first Newsflash of 2002, from Martin Peeters of the Worldwide Bimetallic Collectors Club and gives a brief indication how WBCC members are reacting.
(WBCC Website: http://wbcc-online.com )
E(uro)-day...by Martin Peeters, WBCC Focal Point
When I started collecting Bi-metallics in mid 1996, I knew then that, in 2002, the 1 and 2 Euro coins would be Bi-metallic ones.
Today, January 1st. 2002 is E(uro)-day for me because so many, at least 24, Bi-metallics will be issued.
I say at least 24 pieces, but there will be more if we look at the different dates and mintmarks.
wish all Bi-metallic collectors a successful Bi-metallic Euro year !!
Bi-metallic Euros from Vatican.. - Submitted by Massimiliano Aiello, Italy
This article is about the new VATICANO 2002 Euro set:
There will be the first mintage in Euro for Città del Vaticano dated 2002 (Year XXIV). 8 values: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 EuroCent, Bi-metallic 1 and 2 Euro. Minting: there will be the UNC set and the PROOF set.
In the PROOF set there will also be a Silver Medal.
of every issue, description and characteristics of the series of coins will be
announced as soon as possible.
2. Bi-metallic Euros from Andorra...Submitted by Manuel González, Spain
This week I phoned the Servei Emisions of Andorra (Andorra Mint) and asked about future Euros from Andorra. They said me that Andorra actually issue Diners and not Euros. Recently Andorra Mint issued a new commemorative gold 25 Diners. I asked if they will issue Euros in the future and the Mint spokesman replied that 'maybe in the future..., but at the moment the laws of Andorra force them to emit currencies in Diners'. Andorra is a country that issues agreement currencies with many German mints and, probably, can in the future issue Euros like in the cases of San Marino, Vatican and Monaco. This is what they told me by telephone, but they don't still know anything.
3. Bi-metallic 1 and 2 Euro...Submitted by Martin Peeters, Netherlands
Correction for the dates of the Luxembourg Bi-metallic 1 and 2 Euros.
* 1 Euro is only dated 2002
* 2 Euro is only dated 2002
The Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club (WBCC) was established September 14, 1996 and is the very first Worldwide Collectors Club using the Internet.
of the WBCC is exchange Bi-metallics and exchange knowledge about Bi-metallics
WBCC Webmaster, JD White, USA, email@example.com
WBCC Auction Provider, Rod Sell, firstname.lastname@example.org
WBCC DoCu-Centre: Frans Dubois, Netherlands, email@example.com
WBCC Public Relations: Cliff Anderson, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
WBCC Research Centre: Paul Baker, UK, email@example.com
WBCC Development Centre: Jack Hepler, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
WBCC Focal Point: Martin Peeters, Netherlands, email@example.com
WBCC Website: http://wbcc-online.com
Bi-metallic Coin Forum page: http://www.network54.com/Forum/86625
The WBCC is sponsored for the Basel World Money Fair 2002 by: * Schuler Presses, Germany and * The Portuguese Mint
The following email was received from Mike Metras, of the Elgin Coin Club, on December 23rd. just in time for Christmas. It was, in part, a personal message - but I would like to share the inspirations of the attached communal letter with you in the spirit of the season and all of our aspirations for a fresh start in the New Year no matter who we are or where we live.
The year is coming to a close here and I am getting a bit full of the holiday stuff and other things too. Have done a lot of writing this year, as you'll see from the general part of the letter below. Some days, I'm just a bit tired. I have to remember that this is supposed to be retirement and take some time just sitting back and relaxing. That's not always so easy with me.
How is your committee member Tom Williamson? Better I hope. I hope that things are going quite well for you in Northern Tasmania (that always has a wild and woolly ring to me but I know it is your home!). By the way, I've been elected president of ECC for the next two years--time for a change--for them and for me. I'll enjoy the challenge.
Well, on with the communal part of this letter. You know or have heard some of it before, but I've included it anyway.
Enjoy and have a really fine holiday and New Year. Chaio, Mike.
It is once again time to celebrate the birth of the Light of the World and to encourage the days to get longer. It is also time to share a few thoughts and history with friends. So I'm walking in your door again with my massif and wishing you a Happy Holiday and a Joyous New Year. Last year's letter got lost in the shuffle of a new life style just getting started. But a life not reflected on can be a dull life that loses the fun times along with the rough times.
So with this, I renew my yearly reflections with friends.
A lot of things have happened in two years: My mother endured a lingering death. I trudged through a series of life-expanding experiences dryly labelled "mid-life crises"-- I procrastinated and finally retired early (from the company where I had been working 16 years) and set out to do my own thing. I spent a month circumnavigating Sicily, buried my mother, published a book, opened a store in cyberspace, attended a 40th HS class reunion and a Swahili class reunion, and rewrote a story about a kite. I am trying to finish a book of words and pictures of my life in Ethiopia more than 30 years ago. Collecting, studying, buying, selling, and talking about coins still plays a major role in my monthly activities. And to top it off, restaurants are giving me elderly discounts without asking my age anymore. Life is moving along in this part of the world. And "retired" or not, much more seems to be happening than ever before.
My mother died at the end of January this year after three months in hospital beds following an operation and heart attack. Conscious most of the time and taking an active part in decisions, she suffered patiently and with dignity though she seemed ready to go in the end. All her care givers were so kind and helpful and all praised how well she treated everyone and how well she endured her pain. She was a good mother with a wonderful artistic spirit. Thanks for everything, Ma. We miss you!
Itching for a different life style and work environment for several years, I finally retired from Computer Associates' (CA) writing department September 15 last year to begin a life of writing travel, coin, technical, inspirational, and how-to works, selling coins, scanning pictures, designing web pages, and doing anything else interesting I could dream up. So far it is working. The money is not pouring in, but I have travelled some, I have published my first book, and the second is close to done. Life is slower, richer, and smoother though not without its bumps. I am excited about the possibilities and what has already began.
To celebrate the change, I spent a month wandering the cities, ruins, mountains, hills, and shores of Sicily, a place invaded by so many of the marauders of the past, a place with the ruins of great cities that ceased to be centuries before Christ.
In Syracuse I walked the streets where Archimedes' ran yelling 'Eureka!' and I stood transfixed in the theatre that witnessed the debut of plays of Aeschylus. High on Mt. Etna's flanks I watched silent clouds of ash billow from the throat of Europe's largest volcano. In Palermo's Monreale Cathedral, one of the most beautiful temples built by man, I praised God, man, and the oneness of all.
As I was about to begin my writing venture, I remembered a ghost that may have still been hiding in the back of the closets of my mind impeding to my writing efforts. I decided it was time to exorcize it. In freshman English at St. Mary's High School our teacher asked us to write a short story. I did. I wrote about a kid flying a kite in a field. I received an 'F' with no explanation. When I asked my teacher why, she answered curtly, "There's no way you could have written this. It is too good for you to have written it. I don't know where you copied it from but you must have copied it." - No, Sister, I wrote it. I shied away from writing for many years, I suspect in no small part due to this incident. But today, after 24 years of technical writing and an award-winning monthly periodical under my belt, I know I can write well. To put any demon out of my life forever, I rewrote that kite story last year. Of the original, I only remember a boy, a kite, a field, and a woods. I wrote "The Kite." Read it at www.prairienet.com/coins/kite.htm
Now if the demon was there, it is gone. I fly the kite of my thoughts and dreams and aspirations every day. Life is good, Sabu.
To give my new writing efforts a jump start, I chose an easy project with a lot of its pieces already mostly done. Using articles from the Elgin Coin Club Newsletter I had published for six years, I compiled a CD-ROM presentation complete with all new graphics. Money Meanderings: An Introduction to Numismatics debuted in late June to the members of a committee of the Chicago Coin Club and I was astounded that four bought a copy immediately with only a minimal sales effort from me. I sold four more at a book signing at the American Numismatic Association (ANA) summer seminar. It was on a good start. It continues to sell. And if I were a better promoter, it would likely sell more. That's a task for later, or I could release control and give the task over to Denise, who has asked for it more than once. Sometimes I shoot myself in the foot for little reason.
I left Ethiopia 30 years ago. As early as 1972, I started to write a memoir and travel narrative of my life in Asmara, Eritrea, Ethiopia in the late '60s. 1972-3, 1978, 1988-9, and 1993 all saw activity in this effort. Then while producing HTML manuals in the late '90s at work, I realized I finally had the medium to effectively present this book to the world. That day I began the final rewrite. Now it is going strong and nearing completion. As of today Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth has better than 66,000 words and 410 graphics. Check out www.prairienet.com/ethtrav.htm for a preview. It will initially appear on CD-ROM early next year and later come out in a paper edition.
Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth .
The CD-ROM should provide spectacular pictures, sound, and video that cannot be reproduced well or at all on paper. And when I finally get this out of the way, I can start on the Sicily book. (Refer: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july2001.htm )
In late June I went to my 40th high school reunion. I walked onto the restaurant patio on the banks of the Fox River in McHenry and wondered who all the grey-hairs were. I recognized no one. But then each in turn came back into memory, classmates all. Later in the bathroom mirror, I noticed that I, too, was one of those hairs-hairs! Memories, life stories, and small talk flowed thick as onetime friends and fellow travellers in the halls of Marian Central renewed old ties and talked of current hopes and ambitions. Surreal! A fun encounter reserved for every five or ten years!
And then a weekend in September brought another reunion. Six Swahili linguists, John, Denis, Bob, Dick, Al and myself, from the Monterey class of 1967 travelled from Namibia, California, Illinois, Washington, and Philadelphia to the hills of central Massachusetts. We quickly regressed to vivid memories of the days in the late '60s in Monterey, Fort Devens, Asmara, and Viet Nam. And even more than the HS reunion, memories, life stories, and small talk flowed thick as friends and fellow travellers on the rocky road of the Army Security Agency spent two and a half days reinforcing old ties. In the shadow of Ft. Devens, we talked of our shared experiences, wildly different lives, and current hopes and ambitions as we all traverse our middle fifties. When we parted, I felt so much at home with them, that it was hard to tell that we hadn't seen each other for more than 30 years (save John, whom I last visited face to face 20 years ago!).
John, Denis, Me, Bob,
Dick and Al.
And to end the weekend, Denis and I flew out of Boston's Logan Airport on Sept. 10th., less than 24 hours before the fateful departure of the doomed 911 flight from there, a very sobering after-the-fact thought.
As for coins (Mom always said she skipped this part), I continue to attend four coin clubs' meetings a month. One has elected me president and another vice president for next year. This year, my seventh at the ANA summer seminar in Colorado Springs, I learned about Santa Claus vignettes on obsolete paper money along with a lot of other intriguing information about the paper money that circulated in the US through the end of the Civil War. And I continue to sell coins and paper money on Ebay (I'm arbateasmara) on the internet, at several Sunday shows each year, and at my web store at: www.worksandwords.com/coins.htm
To sell and promote my coins, writings, and services, I set up Mike's Works and Words, my internet storefront earlier this year. Take a look and come back now and then. It's at: www.worksandwords.com . It continues to change and grow.
Look particularly at the non-commercial areas: the writing and photo gallery pages. I just added an active sub-site that publishes letters from fellow travellers on the roads of Kagnew Station in Asmara in the late '60s.
So am I better off out of CA? You bet! Am I more relaxed? You bet! Am I getting accustomed to working at home? Surely!
Do I have more to do than ever before? You bet! Will I be going back to look for a safe corporate job soon? Don't hold your breath! Where will I be in five years? Beating these keys, burning a CD, selling a book, sitting in my back yard, having lunch with Denise at Star 34, meditating on the top of some mountain or the side of some river, or walking some obscure byway in Tasmania, Turkmenistan, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Tahiti, Tipperary, Tegucigalpa, Tabora, Tangier, Twizel, or somewhere equally remote! Lookout World, Mikey is here!
Have a really great holiday. Peace and Love,
Box 314, Somonauk, IL 60552-0314
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AS WELL, MIKE!
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