Of the four awards handed out annually by the CCLA, the Carleton Medal is our oldest and most prestigious. This award celebrates someone from our community who has made a significant impact on the profession over the course of their career. The list of recipients of the Carleton Medal is truly impressive – you can check out the full list here.
The history of the Carleton Medal is told with great detail in the book that was written for the 100th anniversary of the CCLA. The Medal was actually struck in that year to mark the centenary, and was designed by Kenneth Jarvis, Q.C., R.C.A. The design was based on the armorial bearings of Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester. Here’s what The First Century has to say:
The main element of his armorial achievement was the broad arrow, and this has been incorporated in the design of the Carleton Medal in two modes; on the obverse it appears in the naturalistic form of the arrowhead plant, a hardy and familiar native of Canadian lakes and streams. In this form it represents growth and vigour, striving upward towards the light, and producing, in due season, fine white blossoms. At the top of the obverse of the medal are the buds of future flowers symbolic of continuing growth. The two plants with their leaves and blooms represent the French and English components of the Association.
The motto, vicimus virtute, may be translated victory through merit and combines the ideas of conflict and the just resolution of it in favour of the more meritorious or deserving. … The motto relates also to Guy Carleton’s motto, quondam his vicimus armis, which may be translated, with these arms of yore we conquered.
(From: William C.V. Johnson, ed, The First Century: Essays on the History of the County of Carleton Law Association by Various Hands on the Occasion of the Association’s Centenary, 1888-1988 (Ottawa: Bonanza Press Ltd., 1988).)
The recipient of this year’s Carleton Medal will be announced in the coming weeks, and will be presented at the CCLA Awards Dinner on March 7.