The first time I saw one of the new bills, I thought there was a hole in it.
In reality, the "hole" is a clear section with built in security holograms.
|You have to tilt the bill, "just so", to make the holograms visible.|
Comparing the new bill with the old one, I am immediately struck by how kind the years have been to of dear Mr. Laurier as he seems to be getting younger-looking with each successive bill. In fact, I barely recognized him when I saw the new bill.
But that wasn't the only change.
On the back of the older bill was a skating scene, and the bilingual first lines from a well-known story called "The Hockey Sweater". "Le chandail de hockey" as it was called in the original French, is a short story by Canadian author Roch Carrier. Written in 1979 it is a true story from Mr. Carrier's childhood growing up in Quebec as a fan of the Montreal Canadiens. He and his friends all wore Canadien's sweaters. In fact their sweaters also all bore the number 9 on the back, as that was the number of the greatest hockey player of them all -- Maurice Richard. When Roch needed a new sweater, the mail order store mistakenly sent a (gasp!) Toronto Maple Leafs' sweater, which his mother insisted he wear ! He suffered awful teasing by his teammates and his coach refused to let him play his regular position !
In 2009 Canadian astronaut, Robert Thirsk took a copy of the book into space, and upon his return, presented the book to Mr. Carrier.
The story is considered an iconic work of Canadian literature. It shows our nation's passion for hockey while at the same time it points our the problematic relationship that exists between the French and the English in our nation. In spite of that fact, or maybe because of it, the story is popular throughout Canada.
The opening line of the story quoted on the bill is:
"The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places -- the school, the church and the skating rink -- but our real life was on the skating rink."
For a bit of fun you might want to watch the the NFB's (National Film Board of Canada) charming little movie called "The Sweater" which was based on Roch Carrier's book.
So what replaced the skating scene on the back of the new bill ?
The Canadarm !