Issue of new $10 coins will end in tears

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 November, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 November, 1994, 12:00am

I READ with a great deal of interest articles on the proposed issuance of the new $10 coins. My interest is backed by many years' experience in this area, because I am a Canadian whose monetary authorities took a wrong turn similar to what is happening here in Hong Kong.

Some years ago, Canada issued a $1 coin to replace the $1 bill. This coin is now referred to as a loony. Yes, a national pun is definitely intended. My dictionary defines loony as 'lunatic; insane' and 'extremely foolish'.

Actually, the coin got the moniker 'loony' because on one side of the coin is engraved a loon, a beautiful large duck-like bird that one may have the good fortune to see in the spectacular Canadian wilderness.

But the issuance of the loony has created phenomena which were previously not seen in Canada, such as being able to tell if a person is right-or left-handed by the tilt of their body caused by the weight of the coins in their pocket.

One can also witness, from time to time, grown men cry. This happens when a man has only a five dollar bill and wishes to buy a papaw costing a dollar, and the vendor gives him change of four loonies. That's when he gets on his knees to beg for two $2 bills instead. His begging turns to tears when he is told that they are out of $2 bills.

In my experience over the last year and a half in Hong Kong, most of the change given to me is in $10 or $100 bills; only occasionally do I get $20 or $50 . Can you begin to imagine all these men crying in Hong Kong? People in Canada are now poorer not due only to the recession or the fall of the Canadian dollar, but because of their habit of tossing their loose change in a jar and subsequently forgetting about it. Previously this habit did not cause much harm to the national economy, but now with the inclusion of $1 coins it is another story.