Penny, Canadian 1858-2013
Yesterday after a long battle the Canadian penny was laid to rest. The Canadian penny is predeceased by the Australian (1911-1964), New Zealand (1940-1989) and Irish (1928-2000) pennies. The American penny (1793- ) and the British penny live on. The Canadian penny was dressed with Queen Elizabeth on her head’s side and Canadian Maple Leaf or Leaves on her tail. Penny was older than Canada the country herself (1867). The shiny copper colour, sometimes faded and tarnished, will be missed in pockets, under sofa cushions and in the ‘take a penny, leave a penny’ dishes across the country.
After debate and many thoughts the Canadian Government decided to lay the penny to rest since it was smarter to stop making it with the cost of making a penny being more that it was worth (1.6 cents if you are wondering). The last penny was minted last year and they will now slowly be phased out of circulation. Vendors can now decide to accept them or not after Monday February 4th, 2013. Cash registers will be programmed to round up or down to the closest 5 (or 10) cents. The recommendation is 1-2 cents round down, but who are we kidding? Do you think shops will actually round down? Well according to the news last night a few stores had.
Yesterday I went to 2 places and each time had to use pennies. (I arrived in Canada early Sunday evening from Shanghai). They were gladly accepted and my order was not rounded up nor down to the nearest 5 cents. The news reported last night not all cash registers have been programmed to do so just yet, so it may be a slow process. Charites are cashing in and collecting all the pennies they can according to many news reports. In addition, the news last summer reported many people were holding onto a precious few. The now discontinued penny has become a memento and something to show the children and grandchildren to marvel over in years to come.
As we grow old we may find it harder to give up on all things familiar as technology and advancements force us to make changes we may not like or be ready to accept. Now as many Canadians ask ‘where were you?’ or ‘what were you doing when the penny died?’ we need to come up with a new phrase since a ‘penny for your thoughts’ no longer will have meaning. Any ideas? Pennies
are were great for making wishes, what will we use now? What about finding pennies for good luck? I guess they will be an even luckier find now. Now that the penny is gone sights are set on removing the nickel. The penny’s production will save an estimated 11 million dollars a year according the CBC.ca article. Nothing in the article or news reports has stated what the spending will be used on instead. Hopefully Penny’s passing will be used for good and bring life to a much required area of need.
Penny for your thoughts…?