A unique sight can be found in Carlyle currently at 301-2nd Avenue West Apt. 3 with a 150 Anniversary of Canada Great Coins and Banknotes Show.
Ashish Soobah, originally of Mauritius, began collecting a mere eight months ago, and has amassed a collection of approximately 75 percent of the Canadian coins and notes that can be collected. This includes currency from the Royal Bank of Canada, Dominion Bank, and the Dominion of Canada.
"It's nearly impossible to get a full set," Soobah says of Canadian currency. Although he hopes to reach at least 90 percent in his lifetime, which includes a gold coin.
His oldest notes in his collection are from 1870, which are 25 cent bank notes. In 1935 the Bank of Canada printed both English and French money separately and in 1937 English and French notes were printed on the same money; Soobah's collection includes these notes.
In 1954 a series was released, which was determined to have the devil's face seen within the Queen's hair – which Soobah has – as well as the modified ones printed afterwards to eliminate the devil's face.
Soobah even has a sheet of uncut bank notes and has even gone to the effort of finding $2 bills with ascending serial numbers in order.
He has the first coins used in 1858 – the big pennies, as well as silver coins before the price of silver surged and coins were made of nickel instead. Soobah's collection includes 50 cent pieces, large silver dollars, as well as 1858 one, five, 10, and 20 cent pieces.
Being from Mauritius, Soobah also has a variety of currency from the island, which had been a French, then British colony. This collection includes an 1835 bank note of which there are only five in the world according to Soobah.
Soobah pointed out that the dodo bird still remains on the Mauritius bills, which are now rupees.
In addition to the coins and banknotes on display, Soobah also has a variety of stamps to be viewed as well including the very first stamp ever made – the penny black of 1840.
"Collectors usually don't show their collection and this one will only be here for two weeks, and then it will be gone, I will move it," Soobah said. "But, Canada is a great country and currency is a great way to learn and know the past. I like showing that to people. I think it's important to share that history with everyone, especially the young, and the best way to do that is through coin and bank notes."
"We are raising funds through donations for rare parrots, that day by day the forrest is taken from them or they are captured and sold for money," Soobah explained. "We are also raising money for stray dogs in Mauritius. I have a passion for animals and nature."
In bringing his collection to Carlyle, Soobah credits Dennis Gabrielle for aiding him. Gabrielle added, "This is the largest collection I've ever seen and I encouraged him to show it because I know this is something not seen in the southeast before."
"I want to thank Dennis for all of his help, and all of my friends who helped me with my first show," Soobah said.
These friends include Ria Soobah, Darcy McCrimmon, Kunny and Anoushka Nirsimloo, Nicole and Shane Prayag, and Parizaad Mohangoo.
Entry to the show is $5 for adults, while those under 12-years-old are free. After one week of being open it's future hours are as follows: July 21 - 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., July 22-23 – 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and July 24-28 – 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.