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Centennial coins to go into circulation

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After a slight delay, coins specially designed to commemorate the town’s centennial in 2003 should be making their rounds in local businesses next week, Chamber of Commerce co-ordinator Dawn Booth said.

Originally intended to be circulated during the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship last month, the Chamber now is aiming to officially launch the coin Aug. 27.

But Booth said the CIBC, Royal Bank, and Northern Lights Credit Union should have the $3 coins Monday, where businesses or individuals can get them in rolls of 25 for $75.

“We already know some businesses are on board,” said Booth, referring to local merchants’ acceptance of the new coins as legitimate currency.

The coin, which is gold and silver in colour, bears Fort Frances’ coat of arms and the phrase, “A Century of Prosperity & Promise,” on one side.

The other side is dedicated to the FFCBC and features a smallmouth bass. “It makes for an excellent souvenir,” said former Chamber president Tannis Drysdale. “Many tourist come up here and take loonies and toonies as souvenirs. Now they have another coin.”

Booth also noted special commemorative gift boxes—which include one standard coin, one silver-plated coin, one gold-plated coin, and a short written history of the town—have been bought up steadily from the Chamber office, where they’ve been on sale for the past few weeks. The coins come in a CD-case sized box, with a picture of Fort Frances circa 1903 on the front and a photo of the town today on the inside cover.

These limited edition sets, which cost $25, also will be available at participating businesses shortly.

Town council passed a resolution back in June to make the coins legal tender. But residents are reminded the coin will not be accepted outside of Fort Frances.

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