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Our friend JP Leblanc put te information on his excellent medal site (http://www.jeanpaulleblanc.com) regarding the first type of the Order of Canada (Medal of Service) on an ebay auction. You can read the article here: http://www.thestar.com/News/article/166384

I have allowed myself to cite the article from The Toronto Star as I guess it gives interesting information regarding the medal. But don't feel so happy, gentlemen - the medal has been withdrawn form the auction, so you will not get it any more! :banger: I am also adding the photos of the medal, as they are somewhere in an external link and they may disappear any moment. The first type of the Order of Canada is such a rarity that few individuals have probably seen it. I once had a photo but I lost it somewhere. Thank you for the information JP - I hope you will not object having repeated it here:

December 29, 2006

Lauren La Rose

Canadian Press

TORONTO ? 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. 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 US$510, or about C$590. Bidding is slated to end Jan. 6 at 12 p.m. ET.

Born in 1883 in St-Constant, Que., about 30 kilometres south of Montreal, Lanctot was a well-known historian whose historical works ? including Francois-Xavier Garneau, Histoire du Canada and Montreal sous Maisonneuve ? spanned some 40 years.

After studying at the Universite de Montreal, Oxford in England and the Sorbonne in Paris, he went to work in 1912 for the Public Archives of Canada, today known as the National Archives of Canada. He retired in 1948.

Lanctot later served as a historical adviser on five Canadian short films in the 1960s, including Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Selkirk of Red River.

In the eBay description of the medal, the seller, identified as dalida44 from Montreal, writes that the "very rare medal of service" was recently acquired in an estate sale.

The posting also features photographs of the medal, a six-pointed snowflake with a Maple Leaf in the centre, adorned by a crown overhead.

But it is the engraving of the word "service" which reveals the rarity of the decades-old medal.

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."

McCreery said even the seller was unaware of the value of the medal, as he initially listed the item as simply a "Canadian medal" on eBay a week ago. The seller later relisted the item after being contacted by someone who told him about the medal's rarity, McCreery said.

"The guy had no clue what he had," he said.

Today, 64 individuals are appointed each year as officers to the Order of Canada.

McCreery said while it's not a common occurrence, medals occasionally to turn up for sale.

"It isn't something that happens all that often, but it's not unusual," he said Friday from Ottawa. "These sorts of things tend to come up ... one every couple months ? not necessarily on eBay, but in auctions in Canada and in the United Kingdom."

Rideau Hall spokeswoman Marilyne Guevremont said families or successors of late order recipients can choose to return the award, keep it as an heirloom or donate it to a museum, but it remains in theory a property of the Crown.

"It's also hoped that such insignias, medals or decorations are treated with the appropriate dignity and respect, and disposal by selling and buying them is highly discouraged," Guevremont said.

McCreery is throwing his hat in the ring for a shot at the medal. He's hoping to add Lanctot's medal to his collection of Order of Canada insignias, which he said will eventually go to a museum.

"They're just interesting to have, and it's the stories behind the people who were awarded them that sort of tells the story of the nation," he said. "I just sort of think of myself as a caretaker for them temporarily."

"Lanctot is a really neat guy. He did a great deal to create the modern National Archives that we have. That's my interest in it."

Edited by Lukasz Gaszewski
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Yes, this was pulled by eBay, apparently in response to the assertion that it was Crown property. Are we seeing the makings of a Canadian "Stolen Valor" movement here?

Hallo Ed, :cheers:

from what I recal reading online last year some Canadian M.P.s have proposed introducing a law to stop Canada's Military heritage from being sold out of the country to "Foreigners". :unsure:

Perhaps some of our Canadian members could fill us in on what happened with the proposal?

Kevin in Deva :cheers:

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The saga continues ;)

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/stor...0106?hub=Canada

TORONTO -- The anonymous owner of one of the first Order of Canada medals ever awarded is auctioning off the rare insignia via e-mail after Internet auctioneer eBay refused to let it be sold on their site.

In an e-mail Friday to The Canadian Press, the seller - identified only by the eBay username "dalida44" - said hundreds of people have expressed interest in the medal, awarded nearly 40 years ago to noted Quebec historian Gustave Lanctot.

The correspondence has also included a number of "insulting letters," the seller said.

"I had even one person writing: 'Can't believe you would sell this, this piece belongs to a museum. What else could we expect from a Quebecer, though. Disgraceful."'

An eBay spokeswoman said earlier this week that the medal was pulled from the site because it violated the company's policy banning the sale of government property.

The policy prohibits the sale of government IDs and licences, including birth certificates, passports and "any die, seal or stamp provided by, belonging to, or used by a government department, diplomatic or military authority appointed by or acting under the authority of Her Majesty."

However, the seller doesn't see the difference between the symbol of Canada's highest civilian honour and military medals, which are often posted on the site for auction.

"From my point of view, the medal of an unknown soldier who fought in World War II or an unknown fireman deserve as much respect (as) Gustave Lanctot's medal."

When eBay pulled the medal five days early on Jan. 1, the bidding had reached C$15,100 and more than 8,500 people had visited the auction, the seller said.

The owner said one medal collector was ready to send a bank transfer of US $22,000 for the sterling silver, snowflake-shaped medal.

The current owner paid C$45 for the medal at an estate sale in Montreal six years ago, but was unaware of its value until it was listed on eBay.

Lanctot was awarded the Order of Canada's medal of service just five days after the order was established on July 1, 1967. Since 1972, recipients have received a different medal and are described as officers of the Order of Canada.

Today, 64 individuals are appointed each year as officers to the Order of Canada.

Christopher McCreery, an author and expert on the history of the award, was among those trying to buy medal while it was up for auction.

Of the 389 medals of service awarded, only about 125 are still in existence because the remainder were exchanged for the officer insignia and melted by the Royal Canadian Mint, said McCreery, author of "The Order of Canada: Its Origins, History and Development."

Rideau Hall says families or successors of deceased Order recipients can choose to return the award, keep it as an heirloom or donate it to a museum, but it remains in theory the property of the Crown.

Selling the medals is "highly discouraged," spokeswoman Marilyne Guevremont said last week.

A southern Ontario muscle car auto-parts dealer wants Rideau Hall to seize Lanctot's medal outright, and has contacted the RCMP to look into the matter of its sale.

"It's a sad state of affairs that this guy got this medal for being a historian," said Dave Thomson, a resident of St. George, Ont., about 100 kilometres southwest of Toronto. "Here his history is just being peddled."

Thomson regularly surfs eBay to buy war medals awarded to Canadian veterans in order to return them home for local honours. He had hoped to purchase Lanctot's medal to return to Rideau Hall or a museum.

"My main concern is (that) these medals are where they're supposed to be," he said. "I'm a preservationist."

"Maybe it's time this one was made an example of and we tighten up the rules on these medals," Thomson said, adding that guidelines should be put into place.

"If these medals weren't allowed to be bought and sold they'd be thrown out. "

"The Order of Canada is the highest honour we can give Canadians. The very fact that you're allowed to sell it demeans it. It makes it a joke. Somebody can receive it and sell it the next day for money."

Bids are being accepted for the medal until Jan. 12 at delorisivy(at)videotron.ca.

Edited by Laurence Strong
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The saga continues ;)

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/stor...0106?hub=Canada

A southern Ontario muscle car auto-parts dealer wants Rideau Hall to seize Lanctot's medal outright, and has contacted the RCMP to look into the matter of its sale.

"It's a sad state of affairs that this guy got this medal for being a historian," said Dave Thomson, a resident of St. George, Ont., about 100 kilometres southwest of Toronto. "Here his history is just being peddled."

Thomson regularly surfs eBay to buy war medals awarded to Canadian veterans in order to return them home for local honours. He had hoped to purchase Lanctot's medal to return to Rideau Hall or a museum.

"My main concern is (that) these medals are where they're supposed to be," he said. "I'm a preservationist."

"Maybe it's time this one was made an example of and we tighten up the rules on these medals," Thomson said, adding that guidelines should be put into place.

"If these medals weren't allowed to be bought and sold they'd be thrown out. "

"The Order of Canada is the highest honour we can give Canadians. The very fact that you're allowed to sell it demeans it. It makes it a joke. Somebody can receive it and sell it the next day for money."

Hallo Laurence,

presuming Mr. Thompson is the afore mentioned muscle car auto-parts dealer, I also presume he dosent give away the auto-parts to people who want to preserve muscle-cars, no I imagine he sells his items to the public for a big fat fee.

The current owner of this medal wants to sell his item, which happens to be a medal, which it appears he legaly accquired, if the Canadian Government and Public are so concerned about it, then they should make an offer.

The majority of a countrys decoration both military and civil end up going for sale as the reciepiant or the reciepiants family require money, either to help buy the basics, provide for medical bills, etc..etc... eventualy they get into the hands of proffesional dealers who are only interested in big money.

A Government Fund should have been established to acquire these items for the Nation and less whinging from people when an object is placed for sale.

Kevin in Deva :cheers:

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Hi Kevin,

I think you have hit the nail on the head. If Canadians want to keep such items in our country, and we should, we must be prepared to purchase the items outright. Far too often we tend to complain that our heritage is being sold and then it resides outside of the country, however, we are not prepared to do anything about it. It is easier to claim that the government must pass laws to do what we are too lazy or cheap to do for ourselves as private citizens. There must be organizations within Canada who can raise such a fund to purchase and preserve such items.

Ok, I've vented and now I've calmed down (caffine level is low).

Regards

Brian

;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have to agree with Kevin here. My thoughts are basically the same.

It's a shame eBay pulls stuff like this. Unless there is a literal Canadian law prohibitting the sale of the Order Of Canada than the seller has every right to do with it as he pleases. It's my understanding that the Great White North is still a free country. And shame on eBay for arbitrarily enforcing their 'rules' on what can be sold; either one can sell medals or one can't. Period.

BTW, nice lookin' Order. :)

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'Eric Gaumann' said:

"I have to agree with Kevin here. My thoughts are basically the same.

It's a shame eBay pulls stuff like this. Unless there is a literal Canadian law prohibiting the sale of the Order Of Canada than the seller has every right to do with it as he pleases."

I agree with Kev but, Eric, there IS a law prohibiting the sale because, to get a bit technical, the recipeint died and his heir did not follow the law and return the piece to it's "owner" - the Governor General or Government of Canada. So, again technically, it could be construed that the gent is selling stolen goods!

I think it's a shame that important items from the history of (fill in the name of a nation here) are being sold out of (fill in nation here). However, if the heirs own them legitimately, like the Topham VC, and need the money or flat don't care, then it's up to the citizens of the nation to convince the government that they want said item to go into a national repository. A law just produces black market sales, sans proveneance, or a trip to the smelter!

Peter

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