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Historic One Pound Trader’s Note added to Geraldton Regional Library’s heritage collection

Lachlan AllenGeraldton Guardian
Richard Shepheard, Mayor Shane Van Styn, City manager libraries, heritage and gallery Trudi Cornish, and co-ordinator heritage services Lorin Cox pictured with the One Pound Trader's Note.
Camera IconRichard Shepheard, Mayor Shane Van Styn, City manager libraries, heritage and gallery Trudi Cornish, and co-ordinator heritage services Lorin Cox pictured with the One Pound Trader's Note. Credit: Supplied

If you were unaware that Geraldton once had its own currency back in the early days of its settlement, this story might not make much cents to you at first.

A unique slice of the region’s history has been added to the City of Greater Geraldton’s Heritage Collection with the donation of a One Pound Trader’s Note.

Donated by Mid West resident Richard Shepheard, the Scott and Gale One Pound Trader’s Note dates back to the 1870s and was one of two rare pound notes auctioned in Sydney in 1997.

The Geraldton City Council purchased the second pound note at the auction which dates back to the 1860s.

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City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn thanked Mr Shepheard for his contribution to the City.

“The City’s Heritage Collection already contained one of the notes and it’s now bolstered with a second, which we are very grateful for,” he said.

“You can just imagine the adventures both of these notes have been on since being printed in the mid-1800s. How times have changed.

“Preserving our history is a key part of what the Geraldton Regional Library does and I encourage everyone to check out both the Heritage and Local History Collections. They are full of gems that showcase the region’s transformation.”

Printed between 1858 and 1874 by English Printers Blades, East and Blades, the notes were essential to local trade in the early days of the colony, due to the shortage of coinage in circulation.

The notes design features a black swan, believed to pay homage to both the Swan and Greenough Rivers.

City manager of libraries, heritage and gallery Trudi Cornish said the One Pound Trader’s Note had a really interesting story.

“It’s so rare and so fragile it has to be kept in a dark situation, if you can imagine when we look after museum items. It’s the sort of thing that’s only lasted because it’s been kept in certain conditions,” she said.

The two notes, among only a few still believed to be in existence, are now part of the library’s heritage collection.

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