(University of Ottawa) Academic Achievement Medal, 1893
In silver, weighing 66 grams, hallmarked and marked ARGENT (silver) on the rim, artist signed "P. LETHIELLEUX ED.", engraved "PREStd BY REV. J. LEFEBVRE - AWARDED TO ALBERT GAGNON - 1893 -", 52.4 mm, crisp detail, high relief, light contact, edge nicks, extensive bruise, very fine. Footnote: The Oblates of Mary Immaculate were founded in France in 1816. In 1841, at the invitation of Bishop Bourget, Canada became their first foreign mission. With steady reinforcement from France and Canadian recruits, they moved up the Ottawa Valley, and in 1845 into the North-West, where the establishment of the Catholic Church in Western Canada was largely Oblate work. Their first work was to bring Christianity to the natives, but in the West especially, this led to a large role in bringing about reconciliation between the native peoples and the European settlers and civilization. Father Albert Lacome was particularly important in this area. From the time of Alexandre Tache, one of the first two Oblates to come to the West, and later second Bishop and first Archbishop of St-Boniface, Oblates provided the first bishops for most of the dioceses of Western Canada. In 1848 they founded the College of Bytown, renamed the College of Ottawa in 1861 and, by Parliament in 1866 and papal charter in 1889, the University of Ottawa. In 1965 the Oblate foundation became Saint Paul University, federated with the University of Ottawa, which was reconstituted as a secular university. Since the 1920s, the Canadian Oblates have also been active in foreign missions. There are now about ninety Canadian Oblates in this work.