Paper Money

Some Bahamians upset with change to next generation note

Mock-up design shows what the next Bahamas $100 might look like, compared to the current note, which depicts Queen Elizabeth II. The queen’s portrait is to be replaced by one of Arthur Hanna, a Bahamas politician.

Images from Freeport News.

The design of the next Bahamas paper money issue, a new $100 note and the final one in the CRISP Evolution series, has not been disclosed yet, but it is already causing controversy on two fronts.

Both are related to design. The portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, long a fixture on the denomination, is being replaced by that of Arthur Hanna, a founding father, member of Parliament, and governor general, who died on Aug. 3 this year at 93.

The first part of the controversy is who should take credit for the idea. The Progressive Labor Party said it was their idea when they controlled the government, after the now ruling Free National Movement said it came from them. Central Bank Governor John Rolle finally had to say that the note was five years in the making and Hanna’s death had nothing to do with it, adding that “had Mr. Hanna still been alive, this would have marked the first occasion that a banknote bore the image of a living Bahamian.”

The second point of controversy is that the government had the temerity to remove the queen from the note in the first place, notwithstanding the fact that she is already not on the $1, $5, $10, $20, and $50 notes, while still on the 50-cent and $3 issues.

The actual note will be revealed in September.

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