1904 - Ceylon

Temperance Society Medal

A 1904 gilt silver Medal of the Temperance Society which was probably worn as a pendent.

Diameter27.1 mm
Thickness1.4 mm
Weight6.20 gms
1904_temperance_ag_obverse 1904_temperance_ag_reverse

Obverse : Sinhala Lion standing towards left, with full frontal face. Front left paw raised and tail curled over back. Two coconut trees on left and rice plant on right and stork facing right. Sunrising over sea on top. At bottom CEYLON above Buddhist Era 2448. All inside a dash circle along a raised rim.
Reverse : Sinhala Text Mathpan Panayen Walakemi (I will refrain from drinking Alcohol) at center with TEMPERANCE SOCIETY curved along top periphery, and 1904 below between two six petal flower symbols. Same symbol above Sinhala Text with -.- symbol below. All inside a dash circle along a raised rim.

The medal appears to have been worn as a pendent suspended on two hooks (broken) Most of gilt is worn away.

My father Upajiva Ratnatunga who refrained from drinking alcohol told me how he as an assistant superintendent of Surveys, had met Mr King, the then Survey General, at his residence. When he was offered a drink, he politely refused. The British colonial Mr King not accustomed to be declined had said, I order you to take a drink. At which point my father had replied You do not have authority to do so. Mr King had then, as an insult, asked that a glass of milk be brought for him. Later my father had a very good relationship with Mr King and worked on many successful projects together.

The Ceylon Temperance Society produced almost all the leaders of the Ceylonese independence movement.

The medal was scanned at 600 dpi and the images are displayed at 250 dpi. It was purchased from a dealer in Colombo in 2011.