Irving Canaport Medal

by Tom Craig

Sometimes when you are able to source a small collection from someone or a friend, it can have some unusual items that you may or may not have seen in a long time. This is one of those times.

The item in question is an “event medal” struck to commemorate this local event in Saint John NB.

Irving Canaport Medal

The occasion was the opening of the Oil Terminal, Canaport, December 1969, as we know it, in Saint John. It would allow oil to be unloaded from the large ships to shore tanks. You may know this, but it was the Western Hemisphere’s first Deep Water Terminal!   Canaport was built by SUN OIL at the time in partnership with, IRVING OIL.  Irving Oil now operates the terminal to this day.

This was quite an accomplishment when you think of it, the terminal is located several kilometres off shore and the oil is pumped ashore by a submerged line that practically floats.

The medal is made of bronze; dia. is 45mm, approx. thickness is 5 mm. weight is about 2 ozs.

It is not know who manufactured this or how many were struck. A second medal for this event is also known to exist but is much larger diameter at about 110 mm.

Green River Whiskey Token

I knew I had to prepare to write about this handsome token, featuring a subject matter of such great economic, political, and social importance it has shaped, enhanced and even ruined lives throughout the ages. So, I braved one of the many blizzards of the winter of 2015 and headed into the cruel winds that pelted me with stinging snow, downhill (both ways) to the nearest NBLC to purchase a bottle of Jack Daniels – just the cheap stuff, not the mouth watering, limited edition Sinatra Select blend available only this year – and I sat to ponder why our beloved leader, our President, would thrust this particular piece upon me to write about, forcing me to imbibe the bitter spirits that can only be the life-work of the devil himself.

Green River Whiskey Token

Made of brass measuring 32mm diameter, the piece has the words “Green River Whiskey” above the figure of a black man holding an old nag by the reins and the words “The whiskey without regrets” below on the obverse.

The reverse features a horseshoe, four-leaf clover and a wishbone with “Green River” across them and the statement “It’s lucky to drink whiskey” around the perimeter.

Green River Whiskey was the product of John McCulloch of Owensboro, Kentucky, which he started distilling in 1885 and by the turn of the century his blends were winning awards internationally.

I’ve also seen a watch fob with the same obverse artwork, but with the words “She was bread in old Kentucky.” In addition to the slogans above, the following gem was used prominently by the brand: “The whiskey without a headache.”

whiskeygr

Judging by the variances available, it was a mass-produced item over a number of years in the 1930s, with some dating it specifically to 1936. There were as many as 20 different dies in use over this time, with only subtle differences in the design.

Most texts refer to this as a token, but without any nominal value, it seems more of an advertising medal. Either way it’s a fascinating piece of American history.