experts throughout the world for its safe anchorage. Located
on the western side of the Grenadine island of Bequia, it is
a beautiful and spacious bay where large vessels may dock and
be repaired in safety.
The twenty-dollar note features the nutmeg
of Grenada and the Government House of Montserrat. Grenada
is known for its nutmeg, a crop which in 2003 accounted for
36.4% of the island’s domestic export revenue. Legend
has it that the first nutmeg tree was brought to Grenada in
1834. This was during the Victorian era, when nutmegs were
very much in demand by the aristocracy to ward off illnesses.
The Government House of Montserrat, overlooking Plymouth,
is an elegant Edwardian mansion which was built in 1907. It
has been described as “perhaps the most picturesque
home in the Caribbean”. Although still standing, it
is no longer the official residence of the Governor of Montserrat,
having been abandoned due to volcanic activity.
The fifty-dollar note features Les Pitons
in St. Lucia and the Brimstone Hill Fortress in St. Kitts.
Les Pitons, the most famous landmark in St. Lucia and the
most photographed mountains in the entire Caribbean, comprises
twin conical peaks rising majestically from the sea. Petit
Piton is 2,461 feet high and Gros Piton is 2,619 feet high.
The pyramidal lava cones were formed by a volcanic eruption
about 35 million years ago. Brimstone Hill Fortress, which
is among the largest and best preserved monuments in the Caribbean,
is a complex of bastions, barracks and other structures adapted
ingeniously to the top and upper slopes of an 800-foot hill.
On October 4, 2000, it was inscribed as a UNESCO world heritage
site. The fortress, whose construction began in 1690, became
widely known in the 18th century and Napoleonic times as the
Gibraltar of the West Indies.
The hundred-dollar note features a portrait
of Sir Arthur Lewis and one of the buildings that comprise
the Headquarters of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. Sir
Arthur Lewis, (1915 –1991), a St. Lucian by birth, was
an outstanding economist, intellect, leader and humanist.
As first chancellor of the University of the West Indies,
Sir Arthur Lewis was knighted for his outstanding service
to the Caribbean region. In 1979 when he was awarded the Nobel
Prize for Economics, he became the first black person and
the first West Indian to have been awarded this honour for
an academic discipline. Since 1996, the ECCB has been hosting
the annual Sir Arthur Lewis Memorial Lecture Series in honour
of this Caribbean visionary.
Construction of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Headquarters
began in November 1992 and was completed in August 1994. The
Headquarters is situated on 3 ½ acres of land overlooking
the city of Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts. The Eastern
Caribbean Central Bank, as the region’s monetary authority,
is charged with the responsibilities of regulating banking
business, monitoring the availability of money and credit
and promoting and maintain monetary stability and economic
Now you have another reason to examine your EC notes. Take
another look and reflect on the wealth of information on each
note. So the next time someone asks you about the history
of the islands comprising the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union,
just grab a few EC dollar notes and give him or her a history
lesson that will always be remembered.
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