Australian 50c Coins : 2011 National Service 50c

September 23, 2010

Australia 2011 National Service 50c

2011 sees the 60th anniversary of Australia's National Service program which commenced in 1951 before stopping in 1959 and then being adopted again in a different form in 1964 and running through to December 1972. The initial period of National Service (or less euphemistically conscription) required that all Australian males aged 18 to complete nearly 6 months of training followed by five years of service in the Commonwealth Military Forces. The second period of National Service (from 1964) required two years of service in the regular armed forces followed by 3 years in the reserves. During the 18 years of the two programs more than 287,000 "Nasho's" served Australia and 212 of these young men died while on active duty, 2 in Borneo and 210 in the Vietnam Conflict.

On the 8th of September 2010 those who served under the National Service program were invited to parade along Anzac Parade to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra where the National Service Memorial was officially opened. The Royal Australian Mint has taken part in the program with the release of a non circulating cupro-nickel 50c coin, one of which was laid in place under the dedication plaque during the memorial's construction. This coin is available to collectors in a PNC and as a carded issue. Seen above the coin bears the standard Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Her Majesty. The reverse, sculpted by Wojciech Pietranik, shows the new National Service Memorial surrounded by the words "DEDICATED TO ALL AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL SERVICEMEN AND IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED". The National Service Memorial comprises a square sandstone plinth representing the Army, upon this rests a polished granite slab with the reflection of the sky representing the Air Force, while on this is a bronze bowl filled with water depicting the Navy. Within the bronze bowl is a triangular element which depicts the co-operation of the three armed services and their importance in our society. At the bottom corner of the Memorial is a representation of the National Service Medal which each "Nasho" is entitled to wear. Personally I find this coin to be just about the most attractive Australian 50c coin minted and given the popularity of military themed coins it is sure to be a popular issue.

Thank you to those who served.

Posted by mnemtsas at September 23, 2010 4:34 PM
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