Veterans, citizens and coin collectors gathered at Legion House,
the headquarters of the Royal Canadian Legion, on Oct. 7 for two very
special events: the Royal Canadian Mint’s Annual Public Meeting and
the launch of a 2014 $20 coin that commemorates the 50th anniversary
of the Canadian peacekeeping mission in Cyprus.
Business was discussed first. After going over the Mint’s
activities over the past year, James B. Love, chair of the Royal
Canadian Mint Board of Directors, said he was happy to report that he
had, a few days earlier, presented an annual dividend check of $10
million to the RCM’s exclusive shareholder, the Government of Canada.
Ian E. Bennett, president and CEO of the Mint, continued with some
details on the Mint’s financial accomplishments.
“For the fourth year in a row, the Mint has climbed above the $2
billion threshold by generating nearly $2.6 billion in annual revenues
in 2012,” Bennett said.
He then boasted that the combined revenues of the RCM for the past
five years (2008 to 2012) was about $11.5 billion, more than six times
the $1.8 billion reaped from 2002 to 2006.
“Looking at the last five years, which happen to coincide with the
start of the financial crisis and its prolonged effect on the global
economy, we’ve generated more than $250 million in gross profits,
which eclipses all of the Mint’s profits for the previous 25 years,”
He then pointed out that the RCM had “put together an impressive
display of circulation and collector coins that commemorate the theme
of remembrance. We’re also proud to showcase many of the medals that
the men and women of the Mint are honored to handcraft for Canada’s
soldiers and veterans.”
Bennett then announced that, since “next year marks the centennial
of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World
War, the Mint is developing an all encompassing coin program to
commemorate these watershed moments in our history, starting in 2014.”
The exact details of the program are not yet known to collectors,
but the collecting community knows it will comprise both circulating
and collector coins and will span 2014 to 2020. The Remembrance
program aims “to pay a worthy tribute to all those who steadfastly
defended Canada and its values, with themes such as ‘The Canadian Home
Front,’ ‘Canada on the Battlefront’ and ‘Peace and Legacy,’ ” Bennett said.
Cyprus peacekeeping coin
He then proceeded with the launch of a .9999 fine silver $20
colorized coin that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Canadian
peacekeeping mission in Cyprus.
“By celebrating 50 years of Canadian peacekeeping in Cyprus, we’re
conveying the gratitude of all Canadians to our peacekeeping veterans
and to those who continue to fulfill this vital function around the
world. I hope that this sentiment will endure as long as the coin on
which their inspiring stories are now preserved,” Bennett concluded.
The coin depicts three Canadian peacekeepers at an observation
post: one, kneeling, looks through binoculars and sports what Bennett
described as “the famed blue beret of the peacekeepers, almost as
iconic as our beloved maple leaf”; and in the background, two other
soldiers, one in a watch tower and another at the foot of the tower,
also stand guard.
The scene was engraved by Royal Canadian Mint engraver Susan
Taylor, who said that she paid particular attention to the rendering
of the United Nations badges on the uniform and beret, “making sure
that all the details were captured accurately.”
Taylor also paid great attention to the rendering of the blue
beret, which is delivered by translucent enamel. “I wanted to make
sure that the folds in the beret were lifelike.”
For more information on this piece, visit the Royal Canadian
Mint’s website at www.mint.ca. ■