Monday, January 01, 2007

Selling The Honours

In days of old, receiving the Order of Canada used to require significant life-long contribution to the betterment of Canadian society. Or failing that, significant life-long contribution to the betterment of the Liberal Party.

Now you can cut straight to the chase and get one on Ebay:

A click of the mouse and deep pockets are all that's separating online bidders from a chance to own a rare piece of Canadian history that ranks among the country's most prestigious honours: one of the earliest Order of Canada medals.

The medal, awarded to noted Quebec historian Gustave Lanctot nearly 40 years ago, surfaced eight days ago on eBay. Mr. Lanctot died in 1975.

The Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community, and service to the country.

As of 5 p.m. ET Friday, nine bids had been registered on the popular auction site for the sterling silver medal, with the highest bid posted at $590. Bidding is slated to end Jan. 6 at 12 p.m. ET.


Mr. Lanctot was awarded the Order of Canada's medal of service just five days after the order was established on July 1, 1967.

The medal of service was only handed out between 1967 and 1972. The name of the award has since been changed to officer of the Order of Canada.

"It's quite scarce," said Christopher McCreery, author of "The Order of Canada: Its Origins, History and Development."

"There are only 389 awarded, of which there are only about 125 that are still in existence because the remainder were exchanged for the officer insignia and melted by the Royal Canadian Mint."

Selling such medals has always seemed distasteful; what has been given as an honour by a grateful nation should not be the subject of mere commerce.

Source: Globe and Mail

1 comment:

kursk said...

It was over $12,000 U.S. last time i looked..the Gov't should step in here,as technically, they are the owner in the event of the recipients death..