World Coins

Canada plans new circulating $2 coin with popular wartime image

An iconic Canadian image from World War II will be reproduced on a $2 coin scheduled for release into circulation later this year. The image, in the City of Vancouver Archives, is titled "Wait for me, Daddy."

Image courtesy City of Vancouver Archives.

An iconic Canadian image from World War II will soon appear on a circulating $2 coin in Canada.

The photo captures the poignant moment of a soldier from British Columbia about to depart for war on Oct. 1, 1940. Titled “Wait for me, Daddy,” the image shows then 5-year-old Warren “Whitey” Bernard running away from the grasp of his mother, Bernice, to his father, Pvt. Jack Bernard, who was in a formation of other soldiers about to board a train to an unknown destination as Canada continued mobilizing troops for the war effort. 

Photographer Claude P. Dettloff (of The Province newspaper) was positioned to photograph the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles) marching down the hill on Eighth Street at the Columbia Avenue intersection in New Westminster, British Columbia, when he saw the boy break away. The image soon became used for war bond drives and was reprinted around the world.

The coin has been confirmed through public Canadian government documents. It commemorates the centennial of the World War I and the 75th anniversary of the World War II, according to the announcement. 

The obverse will carry the standard Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, while the reverse depicts a partial reproduction of the aforementioned photograph.

The $2 coin is a ringed-bimetallic composition, having a nickel ring and a center composed of copper, aluminum and nickel. 

The reverse includes the inscriptions REMEMBER, 2014 and SOUVENIR, as well as the denomination and issuing nation’s name. Security features, also found on the reverse, include virtual images of a maple leaf, as well as two lasermark maple leafs.

The $2 coin measures 28.03 millimeters in diameter. Current coins of the same composition and denomination weigh 6.92 grams. 

At press time, an official with the Royal Canadian Mint had not responded to an inquiry about when the coin would be issued and what mintage limit it would have, but a sculpture based on the famous photograph is due to be unveiled in the city of New Westminster, British Columbia, at 11 a.m. on Oct. 4, according to a representative of that city.

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