WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:— On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Dutch Red Cross, the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten has minted a silver commemorative coin of 5 guilders. In 1859, a battle between the French army under Napoleon III and the Austrian army was fought at the Italian town of Solferino. The Swiss banker Henry Dunant was witness to the fight and 40,000 people were killed. He went to help the wounded. On his own, however, this was impossible work. That was why he called for the help of the women in the village. He set up aid stations with them for the wounded of both parties. Back in Geneva, the battle involved him. He writes a book about what he has seen: ‘A memory of Solferino’. In the book, he makes 3 proposals:
- Each country must establish volunteer aid associations that are equipped and trained to take care of wounded people on the battlefield.
- Wounds on the battlefield, medical personnel, and their equipment must be considered neutral and must be protected by a license plate.
- These proposals must be ratified by an international treaty, and the protection of the wounded and medical staff who take care of them must be guaranteed.
At a meeting in 1863 of 16 European states, representatives approved Dunant’s proposal to set up voluntary volunteer associations. They agree to use a red cross on a white surface as an emblem. The birth of the International Red Cross is a fact. The agreements are recorded in 1864 in the first Geneva Convention. This laid the foundation for Humanitarian War Law. Jean Henry Dunant received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. In the following years, National Red Cross societies are established in many countries. The Dutch Red Cross was founded in 1867.
The Curaçao and St. Maarten countries also have a section of the Red Cross. The Department on Curaçao was founded in 1931 and that of Sint Maarten in 1976. Both departments fall under the Dutch Red Cross. The Red Cross is central in the design. The text DUTCH RED CROSS and 150 YEAR is placed above and below the logo. On the reflection (represented by the lines around the logo) of the cross are the 7 basic principles of the organization, namely Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary, Unity, and Generalness.
Other specifications: Metal: silver 925/1000 Weight: 11.9 gr Diameter: 29 mm Quality: proof Nominal value: 5 guilders Number of beaten specimens: 400
The silver coins are available at the cash department of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten and cost NAf 107.50. For more information about previously minted commemorative coins, please consult our website: http://www.centralbank.cw/commemorative-coins
Translated Press Release from the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten