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The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 34, August 22, 2010, Article 20

25 CENT TAOM RIVER ROADHOUSE MILITARY SCRIP OF 1943

Jim Duncan of New Zealand submitted this item about an interesting piece of World War II scrip. -Editor

In the New Zealand Numismatic Journal of May-August 1953 the 'father' of numismatics in NZ, Allan Sutherland, reported some military scrip used in New Caledonia by American and New Zealand troops stationed there. He said that although the US dollar was the preferred currency (and NZ currency was in short supply) the YMCA at Taom River Roadhouse provided paper chits for the use of the troops.

Taom River Roadhouse scrip

The notes he had were approximately 3 inches by 2 inches, and there were 1 Cent and 5 Cent notes. These were, he presumed, duplicated on brown, white and cream duplicating paper, enclosed by ruled lines and cut out with scissors.

The 1 Cent note has ONE CENT separated by the figure one in a circle, and above is TAOM RIVER and below ROADHOUSE. The white 5 Cent note has a small drawing of five swimmers, two swimming to right, one diving in and one about to dive. The fifth looked on. The legend is REDEEMABLE AT TAOM RIVER ROADHOUSE ONLY with lines for signatures by the PRESIDENT and SECRETARY. Both notes are printed in black. Taom River is inland from Ouaco.

Now another specimen has emerged - a 25 Cent note. It is as illustrated, with a map of New Zealand in the centre, and the date MAY 1943 at the bottom. It measures 4 inches by 3 3/8 inches (or 101x61mm) and certainly looks to have been cut out with scissors. It is black on coarse aged white (or possibly cream) paper.

There is a 25c symbol in each corner. In the centre is a map of New Zealand, with TWENTY FIVE CENTS along the top and 'Redeemable at TAOM RIVER Roadhouse Only' across New Zealand's North Island, with dotted lines for 'President' and 'Secretary' signatures at the bottom. In small print is MAY 1943 near the bottom edge.

None of the sighted notes are signed, and there are no registration numbers. The writer would be delighted to hear from any collector who has more, or any, of these very scarce pieces.

In the same article Allan reported a card issue for Helavo Seaplane Base, and a paper issue in New Caledonia by NZ Divisional Signallers.

Wayne Homren, Editor

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