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eMedals-An 1877 Gold Lord Dufferin Governor General's Academic Medal

Item: C1851

An 1877 Gold Lord Dufferin Governor General's Academic Medal


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An 1877 Gold Lord Dufferin Governor General's Academic Medal

An 1877 Gold Lord Dufferin Governor General's Academic Medal - In solid 22K Gold, weighing 100.8 grams, engraved in large capitals "UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK 1877. WALLACE BROAD." on the edge, obverse illustrating the right-facing busts of the Earl and Countess of Dufferin, engraver marked "A.B. WYON", under the Lord Dufferin's bust and surrounded by the inscription "EARL OF DUFFERIN K.P. K.C.B. G.C.M.C. GOV. GEN. OF CANADA - COUNTESS OF DUFFERIN - 1876", reverse illustrating the Canadian coat-of-arms in the centre surrounded by the inscription "PRESENTED BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR GENERAL", 51.3 mm, in a circular frame with horizontal pinback, two small points on the inside of the frame for attachment to the small drill holes on the edge of the medal, missing its catch, extremely fine. In its hardshelled case of issue, maker marked "WYON 287 REGENT STREET LONDON" on the inside lid, soiled slotted medal bed, scuffed exterior, case near fine.Footnote: Lord Dufferin served as Governor General of Canada during a period of rapid change in Canadian history. During his term, Prince Edward Island was admitted to Confederation, and several well-known Canadian institutions, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Royal Military College of Canada, and the Intercontinental Railway, were established. Lord Dufferin concentrated on promoting Canadian unity and travelled to every province, seeking contact with as many Canadians as possible. A firm believer in recognizing excellence among Canadians, in 1873, he established the Governor General's Academic Medals for superior academic achievement by Canadian students, encouraging academic excellence across the nation. Over 500 medals were awarded in all seven provinces while he was Governor General between 1872 and 1878. The awards continue to be given out in high schools, colleges and universities to this day, becoming the most prestigious award that students in Canadian schools can receive. Dr. Wallace Broad was born in 1856 in Saint John, New Brunswick, the son of Elisha Broad and Janet Rankine Broad. After attending the grammar school there he entered the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, specializing in engineering. He distinguished himself in the department of science during his collegiate course while there. He was a prizeman in his junior year and a Dufferin gold medalist in his senior year, graduating with honours in chemistry, geology and natural science. Recipients of this award received it "For encouraging accuracy and thoroughness in the more elementary parts of literature and science. Medals to be awarded for eminence in natural science." He subsequently took a postgraduate course at McGill University in assaying, blowpipe analysis, mining, and geology, the latter under Sir William Dawson. After completing his collegiate studies, he associated himself for a time with Dr. L. W. Bailey in geological work in New Brunswick, then joined the Dominion Geological Survey of Canada, which was first established under Sir William Logan and was one of the largest and most efficient government geological surveys in the world at the time. He remained six years on the field staff of that survey, but left to engage in the manufacture of mining implements with E. Broad & Sons Axe Factory in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. He did not wholly forsake his “first love,” but always continued to take a deep interest in geology, mineralogy, and mining. For domestic reasons, consideration of his own health, and that of some members of his family, he went to Cape Colony in 1894. It was at Buluwayo, Rhodesia where Broad again resumed his geological work, charmed with the country and its mineral wealth, followed by a stint in East Africa in 1901. In 1902, he journeyed to China, and acted in the capacity of mining advisor for a period of three years to the Chinese Imperial Government. By 1906, after spending a few years in Japan, examining mining properties there, followed by a visit to London, England for a rest, he again returned to China and was engaged in mining and metallurgy work until 1913, when he retired and returned to Canada. A man of unusual culture and versatility, he took up residence in St. Andrews, New Brunswick when he neared his sixtieth birthday, having retired from an active career in geological work. He took up the art of printing, in which he became remarkably proficient, turning out quality work from his office in St. Andrews. He edited and published, and was later proprietor of The Beacon at St. Andrews from 1914 until 1919. He was awarded the honorary degree of doctor of science by the University of New Brunswick in 1916, and was one of the oldest living graduates at the time. Broad took a keen interest in town affairs at St. Andrews and from 1917 until 1925 served as chairman of the School Board. For the last twenty years of his life, he made his home in St. Andrews and up until the last few years of his life had been a frequent visitor to St. Stephen, New Brunswick, where he was on several occasions the principal speaker at the annual meetings of the now dissolved St. Andrews’ Society. Dr. Wallace Broad, died on April 22, 1934 at the Lahey Clinic of the Deaconess Hospital, Boston, following a brief bout of pneumonia, which set in after an operation. He was survived by his three daughters: Miss Katie Broad (member of the news staff of The Saint John Telegraph Journal) and Miss Mabel Broad, both of Saint John, along with Miss Lucy Broad of England, one brother Harry Broad of St. Stephen and one sister, Mrs. Ella Thorning of Cochrane, Ontario.
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