George Edward Clerk (1815-1875) was a prominent Montreal Catholic and editor of that City’s True Witness and Catholic Chronicle. A Scottish Canadian who had a bright and inquisitive mind, Clerk accepted Bishop Bourget’s challenge to launch an English speaking Catholic newspaper which would deal with the anti-Catholic aspersions of the Montreal Witness. Clerk’s warm heart and sharp mind gained his newspaper much respect. His service of the written word lives on as the Canadian Catholic Historical Association presents the George Edward Clerk Award to outstanding Canadian historians for their contributions to Catholic history.
The Canadian Catholic Historical Association commissioned William McElcheran in 1973 to design a mold to cast the original ten commemorative medallions in memory of G. E. Clerk. Some of McElcheran’s life-size sculptures stand on the campus of St Michael’s Collegeat the University of Toronto. A second series of medallions were cast in 2001 through the courtesy of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries of Yorkville.
The CCHA awards medallions to scholars who have distinguished themselves in Catholic studies, publishing, teaching, archival work, or administration. The past recipients of the award include:
M. Conrad Charlebois KSG (1973)
Donald J. McDougall PhD (1974)
Robert Scollard CSB (1975)
John S. Moir PhD (1991)
Richard A. Lebrun PhD (1993)
Raymond Huel PhD (1995)
Terrence Murphy PhD (1997)
Marianna O’Gallagher MA (1999)
Edward J. R. Jackman OP, PhD (2000)
M. FriedaWatson CSJ (2002)
Margaret Sanche MA (2005)
Patricia Roy PhD (2008)
Elizabeth Smyth PhD (2010)
Mark McGowan (2012)
The selection committee asks you to send in the name of a person you would like to nominate for the Clerk Award 2014. The Clerk Medallion will be presented at the annual CCHA dinner in May at Concordia University. Please send your nomination by 31 January 2014 to the Selection Committee whose addresses are listed below.
The nominee will qualify for the award under one of the following categories:
1. Excellence in writing or researching the history of Catholics and the Catholic Church.
2. Service to the administration of the CCHA/SCHEC: planning conferences, special events, and editing manuscripts.
3. Excellence in the field of Catholic archives or teaching Catholic history.