War of 1812 hero Laura Secord commemorated on Royal Canadian Mint 25-cent circulation coin

QUEENSTON, ON, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ - 200 years after Laura Secord's historic nocturnal walk through the woods and fields near Queenston, Upper Canada to warn British forces of a planned American attack, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a new circulation coin honouring her memory as a hero of the War of 1812.  This is the last of four circulation coins which have commemorated key historical figures that influenced the fight for Canada from 1812 to 1814.

"Honouring the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 with this special circulation coin pays tribute to one of our greatest national heroes and reminds us that women and men of all backgrounds played instrumental roles on the road to Confederation," said Minister Nicholson.  "Our Government encourages Canadians to take this unprecedented opportunity to learn more about our heroes and history and to take pride in our traditions by collecting this new circulation coin dedicated to War of 1812 hero Laura Secord".

The War of 1812 paved the way for Confederation. It was the fight for Canada and a defining moment in our country's history that saw British regular forces, English and French-speaking militia, First Nations and Métis1 allies join together to defend our borders2. Without their courage and sacrifice, and the support of ordinary citizens like Laura Secord, Canada as we know it would not exist.

"The Royal Canadian Mint is committed to preserving memories of the people, places and events which tell the story of the Canadian experience and the remembrance of the heroes of the War of 1812 is a wonderful way to celebrate our proud values," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.  "Laura Secord is celebrated as a hero of the War of 1812 for valiantly supporting our troops in a spirit which survives to this day and the Mint is delighted to have issued a 25-cent circulation coin which Canadians can collect in celebration of her nation-building achievement."

Limited to a mintage of 12.5 million coins, the Laura Secord 25-cent commemorative circulation coin begins circulating June 22, 2013. The public is encouraged to look for it in their change or obtain it at face value online at www.mint.ca/1812.

The Mint has also released a number of exquisite precious metal collector coins since the official launch of the 200th anniversary celebrations of the War of 1812 on June 18, 2012.  On June 11, 2013, the Mint issued a $4 face value 99.99% pure silver coin featuring a portrait of Laura Secord, set against an intricately engraved background consisting of the bilingual text "The War of 1812/La guerre de 1812." This coin is also emblazoned by the engraved and painted Government of Canada War of 1812 logo.  Limited to a mintage of only 10,000 examples world-wide, this coin retails for $49.95 CDN.  Laura Secord is also celebrated in recently launched Commemorative Gift Sets and Special Edition Uncirculated Sets featuring the Mint's War of 1812-themed circulation coins.

This product, and others, can be purchased from www.mint.ca; the Mint's boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver; and through our network of distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets. These products can also be ordered by directly contacting the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada and 1-800-268-6468 in the US.

About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit www.mint.ca

Images of the Mint's newest War of 1812 commemorative circulation coin are available by visiting ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca.

           
1 http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/feature-vedette/2012/01/index-eng.asp

 
2 http://www.1812.gc.ca/eng/1305658803194/1317921921396




Backgrounder




2013 25-cent circulation coin:
200th anniversary of the War of 1812 "Laura Secord"

As Canadians far and wide mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, this historical turning point is a reminder of the heroic figures whose brave acts assured the defence of a future Canada.  One of the most legendary figures of that conflict was heroine Laura Secord, whose night time trek to warn British troops of an impending American attack at Beaver Dams is forever remembered as an act of courage and loyalty to the troops engaged in the successful defense of Canadian territory in the War of 1812.

Laura Secord's journey into legend began when her "Late Loyalist" father Thomas Ingersoll moved his family from Massachusetts to the township of Queenston in 1795.  She later married merchant James Secord, who became a sergeant in the local militia. He served under Major-General Sir Isaac Brock and was seriously wounded in the famous Battle of Queenston Heights in October 1812.

On June 20 or 21, of 1813, Laura overheard American officers discussing their intention to ambush a British outpost near Beaver Dams and capture its commanding officer, Lieutenant James FitzGibbon. With her husband still recovering from his battle injuries, Laura set out on foot early the next morning to warn Lieutenant FitzGibbon who was over 30 kilometres away. She successfully delivered her message first to about 400 First Nations warriors, then FitzGibbon. On June 24, 1813, American forces confident of capturing Beaver Dams were ambushed by the First Nations Warriors. FitzGibbon's 50 British soldiers arrived in time to accept the American surrender.

Laura Secord only received public recognition in 1860, when the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII) visited Upper Canada and learned of Secord's journey. Upon his return to England, he sent Secord a reward of £100 and publicly lauded her contribution as a war hero. After helping defend future Canadian territory so many years earlier, she died a revered citizen of a newly founded Canada in 1868 at the age of 93.

The reverse image of this new 25-cent circulation coin features a profile portrait of Laura Secord, designed by Nova Scotia artist Bonnie Ross, against an intricately engraved background comprised of the words "The War of 1812" in both English and French. Featured in the design is the stylized maple leaf from the Government of Canada War of 1812 logo, on which "1812" appears in antique script.

12.5 million of these commemorative circulation coins have been produced in two distinct finishes: half feature a coloured maple leaf from the War of 1812 logo, while the remainder bear a frosted portrait of Laura Secord with an unpainted maple leaf.

The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

Canadians can find this new coin in general circulation as of June 22, 2013, or obtain limited quantities through an online coin exchange at www.mint.ca/1812.

SOURCE Royal Canadian Mint

Image with caption: "From left to right: Royal Canadian Mint Chair James B. Love and the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada unveiled the new 25-cent circulation coin honoring War of 1812 heroine Laura Secord at the Laura Secord Homestead in Queenston, Ontario (June 21, 2013). (CNW Group/Royal Canadian Mint)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130621_C2353_PHOTO_EN_28357.jpg



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