SOME unique and quirky artefacts from Australia’s history can be seen at UWA this Friday, with coins and stamps from the Principality of Hutt River going on sale.
The principality, near the WA town of Northampton, came into being on April 21, 1970, after a dispute between landowners the Casley family and the WA government over wheat quotas.
Founded by Prince Leonard Casley, who is now 91, the principality has been in existence for 46 years and is a popular destination for tourists.
Prince Leonard’s son, Prince Graeme, said Hutt River was a welcoming place.
“On arrival we can give you a visa. We can either stamp the visa into your passport or we can give you a card visa,” he said.
“You don’t have to apply prior, we get many tourists calling in.
“People come with interest and curiosity.
“Prince Leonard usually does a meet and greet most days.”
The principality has about 12 permanent residents, but Prince Graeme said there were many Hutt River citizens who reside overseas.
“There are many non-resident citizens around the world – people that want to give encouragement, or accolades, and they become non-resident citizens. We have around 10,000 of those,” he said.
Hutt River has its own stamps and currency, with notes replacing Australian dollars, and the principality also produces coins to mark momentous occasions like anniversaries.
One of Prince Graeme’s favourites is one commemorating the death of his mother, Princess Shirley, in 2013.
“Mum passed away about three years ago, so dad put her portrait on one side of the coin and his on the other as a commemorative coin,” Prince Graeme said.
“It’s very unusual to have two heads on one coin – if we played two-up, you’d be betting on heads.”
The Perth Stamp and Coin Show runs on Friday the 12th and Saturday the 13th of August.