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The Founding of the O.N.A. and Its First Convention

     The information in this section was compiled from text that appeared in the earliest issues of the Ontario Numismatist. It is presented in topical chapters that may be viewed by clicking on the chapter titles below.

     The founding convention was an outstanding success with about 750 visitors from across Canada and the United States. Members of the first O.N.A. Executive were: President Rod Rekofski, First Vice-President Lloyd T. Smith, Second Vice-President Ed Knight, Secretary Ruth Mueller, Treasurer Bruce Raszmann, and Regional Directors Walter Griggs, Rudy Sauro, Peter DeGraff, and Robert Willey.

     The highlight, or rather the highlights of the Convention came at the banquet Saturday evening when the 230 guests were seated that represented thirty numismatic clubs from Ontario, Quebec, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and California.

     The Guest Speaker, Mr. Robert C. Willey, F.R.N.S. of Espanola, a true student of early Canadian coinage, spoke on the origin of early Canadian tokens and how private citizens would produce their own money to satisfy their needs. Amid laughter, he commented that even Molson's struck their own coins and tokens, while other tokens boasted such images as rum and American whiskey. They were also used as media for propaganda around the War of 1812, and many of the tokens circulating around the colonies made demands for responsible government.

     The ultimate event was the awarding of O.N.A. Award of Merit. The Gold Medal, Sponsored by Molson's Brewery of Canada Limited, was the first award ever to be presented in Canada in recognition of contributions made towards Canadian numismatics. The first Awards Committee Chairwoman, Mrs. Claudia Pelkey of Oakville, introduced Mr. Clare Martin, representative of Molson's Limited and instructed him to break open the seal and read the personally inscribed inscription on the medal. Mr. Martin said, "The recipient and medal recipient of the Ontario Numismatic Association for 1962 is Robert C. Willey, F.R.N.S. Espanola, Ontario. On behalf of the Ontario Numismatic Association, our congratulations, Mr. Willey, as the recipient of this award for your research in early Canadian coins and tokens."

This material was originally researched for the 50th Anniversary Convention souvenir program by Paul R. Petch 

  Ontario Numismatic Association (O.N.A.)
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  This page and website were first created on May 2, 2009 at 8:10 PM; last updated on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM © 2009 - 2017 Ontario Numismatic Assocoation