Paper Money

MPC Fest 2021 held remotely, with educational presentations

A Siege of Mafeking note from the South African Boer War was the topic of a digital presentation during the MPC Fest 2021, held remotely.

Image courtesy of Bank of Canada Museum.

This year’s MPC Fest, like so many other gatherings, was held virtually rather than in person. The fest calls itself the most important event for military collectors. Although a limited field, it encompasses far more than military payment certificates, the scrip that succeeded Allied military currency from 1946 to 1973.

Participation was not lacking, albeit electronically. Four of the 19 presentations made via Zoom were recognized with awards.

Fourth place went to Dr. Jayson Salibay for his presentation on Philippine emergency and guerrilla currency of World War II.

There was a tie for second place between Jim Downey and Steve Feller. The Downey presentation was on Sgt. James Plummer, a former Japanese prisoner of war, and the numismatic material he was able to bring home from the camps. The other was on the little known Siege of Mafeking notes from the South African Boer war. Five denominations of these were issued during the 217-day siege in 1899 and 1900: 1-, 2-, and 3-shilling-note coupons were for use in canteens, and 10-shilling and £1 notes were also issued.

First place went to Dave Frank, who with David Seelye recently authored The Complete Book of World War II USA POW & Internment Camp Chits. Frank is also a noted collector of Holocaust-related numismatics. His presentation told of the challenge of locating an exceedingly rare note from the Stutthof concentration camp in Poland, the smallest such camp and last to be liberated.

The Ray Toy Award is considered the military numismatics seminar’s highest honor. 2021’s recipients are Kathy and Dan Freeland, who have attended, supported, and actively participated in the MPC Fest for over a decade. Service to the hobby, it is said, could just as well be their middle name. They have made presentations and actively participated in many activities, including the administration of the Fest Scholarship Fund.

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