"Last year was the Year of the Veteran in Canada. This year it is Year of the Veteran on Manitoulin Island," said David Walton, the Token Program Coordinator of the Little Current Lions Club, when he announced the upcoming issue of their 45th token. "We've decided to honor Canadian war heroes by commemorating the 150th anniversary of the institution of the Victoria Cross with our very first $5 token," he said.
The $5 token will have currency value at participating merchants on Manitoulin Island until Nov. 30. It is not only the first of that denomination, it is also the first time that the club offers enameled pieces for their lower denomination issue.
The obverse shows a traditional Victoria Cross (i.e., with the "For Valour" legend rather than the Canadian version with "Pro Valore") with the legend: HAWEATER 5 DOLLARS 1856 ? VICTORIA CROSS ? 2006. The traditional Manitoulin reverse has been used showing a map of the island flanked above by a deer and by a fisherman below with the legend: MANITOULIN / (island) / WORLD'S LARGEST FRESHWATER ISLAND.
The 35mm tokens were struck as follows: 2,500 on antique Florentine bronze blanks ($7.50), 150 on nickel-silver blanks ($17), 150 on gold-plated blanks ($18) and 150 on antique Florentine bronze blanks and enameled ($35). The ribbon of the medal is colored crimson on the enameled pieces.
They are available from the distributor, Bonavita, Box 11447, Station H, Nepean, ON K2H 7V1 CANADA. The telephone number is (613) 823-3844. Fax is (613) 825-3092. E-mail is email@example.com. The tokens may be purchased at the prices indicated in parentheses. Shipping and handling is extra. Canadian residents must add the applicable taxes.
Eligi Consultants Inc. had the token struck for the club from designs by Maj. Serge Pelletier.
The Victoria Cross is the British Commonwealth's highest decoration, given "for most conspicuous bravery or some daring pre-eminent act of valor or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy." It was instituted on Feb. 5, 1856, with awards retroactive to 1854.