As we continue to highlight 25 artifacts from within our collections for our 25th anniversary, this week, in honour of Remembrance Day, we are featuring a Canadian Centennial Medal along with a ceremonial photo memorializing the day the medal was received.
The Canadian Centennial Medal commemorates the Centennial of Canada’s Confederation and was awarded to people who were recommended by governments and associations for having provided valuable service to this country. The Centennial celebrations occurred throughout 1967 but culminated on July 1 to recognize the 100th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. In advance of this anniversary, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker had announced that the federal government would provide funding for the construction of around 860 Centennial projects including the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill, various municipal parks and arenas, and more. The commemorative medal program recognized a total of 29,500 award recipients, including Dave McBride.
This medal pair in the Diefenbunker’s collections belonged to Dave McBride, a former teletype and cypher technician who worked at Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Carp from 1963 to 1970, and then again between 1978 and 1982. This artifact includes the Canadian Centennial Medal and the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD). The CD is awarded to officers and Non-Commissioned Members of the Canadian Forces who have completed twelve years of service. The decoration is awarded to all ranks who have a good record of conduct. Along with this medal pair, there is a photograph of then-Corporal Dave McBride receiving the Canadian Centennial Medal on July 1, 1967.
This Canadian Centennial Medal (left) is silver and circular in diameter with a thin raised rim. On the facing side of the medal is the Royal Cypher EIIR surmounted by a crown and superimposed on a large maple leaf. The inscription around the circumference reads “CONFEDERATION CANADA CONFÉDÉRATION.”. On the back, The Coat of Arms of Canada is overlayed in the centre of the medal with the dates “1867 – 1967” curved underneath. The ribbon is read with five thick white strips.
The Canadian Forces Decoration (right) is ten-sided — to represent the ten provinces — and constructed of gold-plated brass. On the obverse is a contemporary effigy of the Sovereign of Canada, circumscribed with the inscription in capital letters of the Canadian Royal Title and the word “CANADA.” The reverse of the medal has, from top to bottom a naval crown, three maple leaves, and one eagle representing the Navy, Army, and Air Force. The word “SERVICE” appears on a scroll at the bottom and two fleur-de-lis are depicted on each side of the crown. The ribbon affixed to this medal is red, with three equally–spaced thin white lines along its length.
On November 11, we honour individuals like Dave McBride, other former Diefenbunker personnel, and those who gave and continue to give their lives to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace. Please join us in a moment of silence this Remembrance Day.
Stay tuned as we continue to celebrate our 25th anniversary by uncovering stories from our museum’s collections.