The Douglas family has succeeded in buying back the medals of Tommy Douglas, the Saskatchewan premier known as the Father of Medicare, and his father, Douglas senior, who served in the Boer War and First World War.
Daughter Shirley Douglas was on telephone link with a bidder from the Museum of Civilization acting for the family during the auction at Jeffrey Hoare Auctions Inc. in London, England.
The 19-piece set of medals and memorabilia were listed in the auction catalogue at $600, but the family paid $20,000.
A Baptist minister, Tommy Douglas was premier of Saskatchewan for 17 years and introduced medicare over fierce opposition. He gave the medal collection to his friend, Jimmie White; after White’s death, the collection was auctioned in the 1990s.
The family was alerted the collection was back up for auction by members of the Canadian military who thought the medals belonged with the family and didn’t want to see the collection broken up.