WS Weigh & Son 1925 5 Shilling Private Trader's Note Fine (Mounted on card)
Issuer: William Steven Weigh
Location: Boulia (North-Western Queensland)
This is an intact shinplaster from an incredibly remote part of Queensland.
Boulia is around 1,700 kilometres northeast of Brisbane, it currently has a population of around 600 people.
Online records show that Catherine Weigh lodged a request for discharge from bankruptcy in 1941 - that document relates to an event in 1931, indicating that it encountered serious financial difficulties as a result of the Great Depression.
Prior to that, Mr WS Weigh or Bill Weigh played a key role in the Boulia community. He is variously listed as being:
- the Boulia Shire Clerk;
- a member of the Great Northern Rabbit Board; and
- Honorary Treasurer of the Boulia Hospital.
Weigh provided much information on the way shinplasters and calabashes circulated throughout regional Queensland via a letter he wrote to "The Sun" newspaper in Sydney in 1922:
"The nearest bank to Boulia is at Cloncurry, nearly 200 miles away, and although we do occasionally see Treasury Notes, they are no by any means as plentiful as shinplasters. It is absolutely necessary for our business to issue our own notes and I.O.U.’s; we could not carry on without them. Men come in from the surrounding stations with big cheques which they want ‘breaking up’, and we give them our own cheques, notes, and I.O.U.’s; otherwise we should have to carry a very big quantity of Treasury Notes, which would be risky. At race time a storekeeper would probably be compelled to have on hand Treasury notes to the extent of from £800 to £1000, to change all the cheques that are presented to him. Last Christmas, the stores and hotels in Boulia ‘broke up’ cheques amounting probably to over £1000. The nearest bank is 200 miles away, and a moment’s reflection will convince anyone of the necessity for a storekeeper out here to issue his own notes, which after all are merely cheques for one pound, payable to bearer, and drawn on a bank. These notes and I.O.U.’s are freely circulated for hundreds of miles even into the Northern Territory, and there is no trouble, save that possibly sixpence exchange may be charged by an over thrifty businessman."
The shinplaster we offer here is an intact example, issued and used in an incredibly remote part of outback Queensland.
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